So we made it two weeks this school year before I get the call from the school office
‘’Hi mum, its Miss K’’ – in an instant my gut drops. Miss K only ever calls with bad news. She always starts off with the same line ‘’don’t worry Summers fine’’ you know, for once I wish she wasn’t fine. I wish the school would ring me because Summer is vomiting or running a temperature. At least then I could get a half day off work. No such luck for me – it’s always down to behaviour and I always get judged. Miss K really doesn’t like me. She has been there at the start of all my call ins to the head. She is the one who is concerned first about things like Summers erotic dancing at school and Summers insistence on running into walls to get plasters, she is the one that sees me drop Summer at school late when I am hung-over from a works party the night before (just the once).
. She is essentially the school secretary but she has been put on some half day course and transformed into parent liaison officer. Whatever that means. She has taken this extra responsibility on and with it power above her station and she is desperate to find a social services case. The easiest target so far is Summer.
‘’Summer has made a formal complaint to me’’ says Miss K – quite how a 5 yr old makes a formal complaint I don’t know. Does she do it via alphabetical flash cards or play dough animation ?
‘’She is refusing to eat her packed lunch’’ - so bloody what! make her eat it!
‘’ we here at (insert name of primary school) listen to children’’ she is reading this out of a manual. ‘’Summer is protesting about the quality of her packed lunch, the sandwich was soggy, she says the food is off and there is a funny smell in her lunch box’’ this all coming from a girl who I caught drinking washing up liquid yesterday.
Soggy sandwiches are part and parcel of school days aren’t they? – who has not had a soggy sandwich at least 10 times during their school life. I thought sandwiches were meant to be wet until I was 15!
I am smiling now at the thought of Summer protesting. Standing on a chair in the lunch hall making herself heard, demanding change, throwing her soggy sandwich to the ceiling and starting a petition. This is silly, and the school are calling me about a soggy sandwich. I wait for Miss K to crack, say how stupid Summer is being, but she doesn’t, she is as appalled by the sandwich situation as Summer. She is taking this ‘formal’ complaint very seriously.
‘’Summer tells me that the lunchbox has been in the fridge for 2 days’’ Summer is a fucking liar and out to get me. I remind Miss K that this is not possible as she had the accused lunch box yesterday thus breaking this supposed 48hr fridge imprisonment.
‘’Summer is demanding school dinners from now on- we had to give her one today as we cant see a chid starve- you owe us £2’’ oh shut up – I now have to pay you £2 because you won’t let a child eat a soggy sandwich! And now Summer has rights to demand school dinners and you want a cheque upfront for £150 to cover the term. Tell Summer if she wants a hot meal at school she needs to get a job and then she can decide what she can and can’t have.
When I get Summer from school later she is looking sheepish, she knows she has done wrong, but she also knows she is victorious.
‘I am sorry they called you mum, I begged her not to, I told them It would make you mad’ yes Summer go on, imply that I beat you
‘’I just don’t want packed lunch anymore and this is the only way you will stop making them’’
And so I get my cheque book out and sign away a shit load of money for Summer to eat the same thing day in, day out – a tuna jacket potato.
Suffice to say on checking the lunchbox I found it empty – she had somehow managed to force herself to eat her lunch at the after school club, soggy sandwich and all.