Blog 6-Home-schooling: Heaven or Hell

I sat happily at my desk yesterday, lost in the ‘to do’ list of a self-publishing magnate when my 14 yr. old son appears beside me like an apparition from Great Expectations. He stood, dressed, or not dressed, depending on your viewpoint, in a moldy, grey, smelly, homeless old man dressing gown. Where it came from I don’t know. Had he been skip-diving during lockdown for kicks??? Barefooted and hair akimbo, he had his arms in prayer position, in supplication of Divine help.

‘Mum, now don’t freak out, I’ll take whatever punishment you want to dish out later, literally anything, but for now, I need help. I am actually supposed to be in the kitchen, cooking right now, at this very minute, for home economics’. Then he stood, and the look of horror on his face said it all. It was a mike drop moment but not one to emphasize a point made. It was more mike drop into the abyss of fear: the abyss of teacher wrath, the abyss of a Mum meltdown.

I jumped into action. We ran into the kitchen. As he was reeling off ingredients needed, I pulled cupboards apart. His camera was still off and his mike on mute. Realizing his teacher probably wouldn’t appreciate his imitation of Reginald Perrin from Rising Damp, I yelled at him to run and change into something, anything more appropriate to a home school class of cooking than his current attire. I scanned his Ipad: Flour, cheese, pasta…

Meanwhile, said budding Gordon Ramsey slid his socked feet into the kitchen, aka Tom Cruise in the movie ‘Risky Business. He combed his fingers through his matted hair and thankfully managed to pull a t-shirt over his head, moments before his teacher called out his name, to turn the camera on and list the ingredients he would be using to add flavor to his Mac n cheese.

Mac n cheese, so that’s what’s on the menu for today. I scoured the fridge frantically looking for anything that would be appropriate…spotting a packet of rashers in the back, I whipped them out and flung them across the kitchen as he looked in my direction, an actor waiting on his line prompt.

‘Miss, I’ll be using… rashers…’ I upturned the veg rack and a missile of garlic shot out in his direction.

‘em, garlic….’

What else?, a moldy tomato, yep, it beats the turnip I was considering…

‘tomato’ he added questioningly.

‘Very good Theo, now class, let’s get on.’

Relief came flooding over us both and we literally slid to the floor in a moment of mirth and madness. As with all adrenaline rushes, when they subside there is a moment of exhaustion.

That was to be short-lived as I realized the pasta was to be already cooked and we had no cheese. NO CHEESE!!!, it was literally the main ingredient.

He flustered and twirled in a circle as I yelled directions for hot water, pot, pasta, stopping short of screaming for fresh towels and a midwife!!! I grabbed my purse, ran out the door like my house was on fire, and did a Sonya O’Sullivan sprint to the corner shop.

Suffice to say we cooked the required dish, even if it looked as appetizing as a bowl of Bostik glue.

The photo was taken of the day’s lunch and uploaded to his home-schooling site. Disaster averted and box ticked.

I had to go and lie down.

Now from a parenting point of view, there is an argument for letting him sink or swim, suffer the consequences of his actions, or non-actions as the case may be.

However, there is an instinct that kicks in when a child comes to you for help, in a panicked and urgent situation. You just jump and do.

But I thought about it, and I always teach the kids that it’s not that stuff goes wrong, because that’s part of life.  The trick is to learn how to deal with problems when they do. And I have to say he dealt with the problem very well by asking for help, in a clear and calm manner, predicting a response, and mitigating the reaction by requesting me to be calm before the news was delivered. He averted a telling off by pointing out the immediacy of the situation and accepting whatever was to come in the future.

At the end of the day, I decided he had probably got enough of a fright to learn the lesson of being prepared for class, being organized, forward planning, and whatever else that day was about.

We also laughed heartily and it will be a story we share into the future, of the day we had garlic missiles fired across the kitchen and the Faulty Towers debacle of him channeling his inner Manuel and the cooking of his Mac n cheese.

Wellness Tip

Don’t eat dodgy pasta.

Crystals for Indigestion:

Malachite: This is very good for aiding digestion and it stimulates colon and stomach function.

It’s good for a lot of physical ailments. It is good for restoring strength and vitality after illness and rebuilding tissue after surgery. It helps reduce inflammation and aids in the elimination of toxins.


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