Thursday, April 14, 2005

I'll Go Back To Bed, Shall I?

I'll Go Back To Bed, Shall I?

As everyone knows there are days when you are the pigeon and days when you're the statue. Today my household was most definitely the statue.

I'd planned to start today with a lie in, a dance around my bedroom to envigorate myself,a quick blog to make up for not doing one last night since I'd been babysitting, some light lunch and then some gentle non-invasive packing. I managed to get up to the dancing round my bedroom part before I got a phonecall from my father saying that obi-3* was not in school. And that my dad had been pulled out of an important meeting to be told this. Cue my dad having to come home, my mum having to be found from the realms of Tesco and them having to go and search the local area for obi-3. And since none of us can get into the mind of a 13 year old boy and where the hell he would go in the pouring rain when he is supposed to be in school we couldn't find him. Really, we're all at a bit of a loss about this truancy lark, both myself and obi-2 sailed through school without any real problems and certainly none that required us to go and sit in a ditch with our friends for the entirity of a school day.

Whilst my dad was searching for Obi-3 he'd noticed that the car was clanking a bit so, in fear of clanking when we he has six hours worth of driving to do on Saturday in order to take me back to Oxford, he decided to take the car to the garage since he was at home and clearly there was very little, other than running yelling through the streets of Crossgates that we could do about obi-3's continued absence at this stage. He arrived home an hour later to inform us that the clanking was largely due to the fact that the exhaust was about to fall off. And since this is Ford's satan car** it was going to cost over £500 to fix it. Which, given that he had to replace the battery two weeks ago when it conked out on a trip to the local skip, didn't please him greatly.

We were just beginning to see the morbidly amusing side of all this when the phone rang. Cue Obi-2 ringing to inform us that for the second time in under two months her phone had been stolen. The only reaction was one of utter disbelief and my mum questioning why Obi-2 has been at Uni for six months and has managed to have her phone stolen twice and I've managed three years without this happening to me. And the answer when it comes down to it? Sheffield. The underbelly of Yorkshire. I've seen the reports on Look North***.

When we'd managed to just about digest all of this, Obi-3 appeared, under the pretence of having been to school. The pretence lasted all of five minutes until I, reining in all urge to kick him back out of the door, was tasked with talking to him given that my dad's efforts were going nowhere. Twenty minutes later and it emerged that he'd spent the day -and indeed most of yesterday - with his friends at some as yet unspecified truanting location near to his school****. And, after much questioning as to the reason why the only answer was that he didn't like school. Or rather he liked school but not the lesson part. Which to a family who pretty much centres around education this is something of unchartered territory.

So now there's a big meeting with the school tomorrow morning, in a 'where do we go from here' kind of way. And, for once, I really don't know. How do you cure a thirteen year old of not liking school? In some ways I feel for him, school work is genuinely hard for Obi-3, in a way that I'll never quite grasp. And his school, which is different to the one I went to, certainly has very little to reccommend it. Possibly his recent actions lie with him having been quite seriously bullied at the beginning of the year; the school was, quite frankly, absolutely useless. The teachers are over-stretched, there are far too many pupils at the school and it seems that they're giving up on children far too easily. And I hate that. But whilst we want to solve the problem, and screaming and yelling at him isn't going to do that, he is old enough to know what he's doing. And old enough to comprehend the level of worry he causes when we don't know where he is. But we have to do something. It's just that we don't yet know what.

In contrast, however, I feel slightly calmer now. Obi-4 and I played Harry Potter on the playstation, I aced a particularly difficult section***** and then when we'd finished the 30 minute slot Obi-4 grabbed his Harry Potter wand and told me a story about Harry, Ron and Hermione. Complete with actions and sound effects. Which made me smile. If I could just arrange for tomorrow to go a bit smoother, that would be nice.

*When there are multiple children in a family it's a difficult one to remember all of the names so my dad had the theory that, almost like the Star Wars character we should each be Obi and then the number as to which child we are. Thus, under this system, I would be Obi-1 and my youngest brother would be Obi-4.

**Ford Galaxy as it is officially known.

***To be fair to Sheffield it probably isn't any worse than Leeds. It's just that it features more often on Look North. And indeed neither obi-2 or myself have ever had anything stolen whilst out in Leeds.

****When I was at school I didn't even know that such places actually existed. I thought they were simply mythic parts of school lore.

*****I know this is a kid's game we're tlaking about here but it was difficult, there was a fire breathing monster and everything.


Nik said...

Ah, but you only aced that section because I wasn't there, sorry I got delayed on the coach-that-doesn't-exist. Next time Obi-4 says I can play, I shall need more notice, clearly I missed out considerably.

Val said...

I know its really really mean to laugh, and you sound as though it was about as stressful as being stuck in a Middlesbrough car park,(and that is, very!!) but its the way you write it. Hope today is better.

And I thought you weren't into SciFi, oh Obi-1 :)(respect is definitely due to your dad for that one!

Nik said...

I really think we should name the ND like that. It's a great idea, so much so that I tried to do it in my head last night before going to bed. If you don't count the minis, I'm Obi-10.

Bex said...

as far as Obi-2 is concerned it can only get worse, my brother has lived in sheffield for about 2 years, he has has his phone stolen 3 times, or so he tells my parent. It transpires that stolen phone 1 was actually foolishly left in a taxi after a ride that my brother forgot to pay for. The taxi firm held it to randsom.