Back­to­school blues

Weekend Witness - - Opinion - MIDLIFE CRI­SIS Tr­ish Beaver

My daugh­ter is glued to her newly ac­quired tablet, kindly be­stowed by granny, and she is ea­ger to read each and ev­ery in­stal­ment posted online by One Di­rec­tion fans who write aw­ful fan fic­tion.

I ini­tially re­joiced in the ev­i­dence that my child could ac­tu­ally read, but now I am forced to con­fis­cate this tech­nol­ogy in or­der to get any­thing done.

My son LOVES school — this does not mean school WORK, you un­der­stand. For him, school is the hours spent in the cor­ri­dors chat­ting up girls, mak­ing jokes with pals and think­ing up wise­arse re­marks in class to sound cool.

But I have to give his teach­ers full marks for their de­vi­ous strat­egy. This year they have com­pletely con­fused him by pro­mot­ing him to a brainy class.

He no longer has his gang of heck­lers and mo­ron wannabes to hang with. Don’t get me wrong, they are very sweet boys, but like very other mother I imag­ine that deep … and I mean very deep, in­side my boy there has to be a glim­mer of in­tel­li­gence lurk­ing there undis­cov­ered. It just needs a lit­tle bit of nur­tur­ing and coax­ing to come to the fore.

Ev­ery year, I be­gin with ev­ery in­ten­tion of mak­ing nu­tri­tious, healthy lunch boxes ooz­ing with vi­ta­mins and crunchy, salad­look­ing items, but it lasts a week as my en­thu­si­asm wanes and my chil­dren’s snotty re­marks wear down my good in­ten­tions.

My son says let­tuce makes his sarmies soggy, my daugh­ter says the ap­ples are too crunchy, and by the end of the week we are back to bor­ing old peanut but­ter and cheese and ham.

I am pos­i­tive no­body at my old school died of kwash­iorkor from bor­ing old sarmies.

Ev­ery year, I think I will be a bet­ter par­ent and then I de­cide af­ter about a week that I re­ally can­not be both­ered.

My chil­dren could have been raised by wolves and in­stead they got me — and their dys­func­tional fa­ther — lucky them.

So, as the back­to­school process gets go­ing, and my fraz­zled nerves be­gin to re­cover, I re­mind my­self that in the blink of an eye the house will be empty and I will yearn for th­ese days. • tr­ish.beaver@wit­

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