The primary school emotional rollercoaster



“I’ve had a pooper day,” announced only son on Wednesday. He wasn’t the only one, but his seemed slightly more emotional than mine. He explained that he had dropped the gluestick on the floor and when he was picking it up it had accidentally hit the cardigan of a fellow student. The fellow student thought he had done it on purpose. Everyone else backed her up so the teacher sent a very indignant [I can picture it only too well] only son to the head teacher’s office where “I had to sit for an hour without moving AT ALL. Do you know how hard that is, mum?”. I can only guess because only son really likes to move, particularly if it involves dancing.

Hence, only son was feeling like he didn’t want to go to school at all the next day. “No-one trusts me,” he said. To make it so much worse, his mother had missed the text from school about the American lunch and so he would be doomed to have a jacket potato. I suggested I could make an American dinner, but it was small beer.

His week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. On Tuesday he was named star of the week for his listening skills in PE. He demonstrated all the exercises he had been able to do as a result of listening carefully as we walked along the road to the car. This included something called burpies and sit-ups. He lay down on the pavement to show me how they were done. Only son was cock a hoop about being star of the week. “I have NEVER EVER been named star of the week since I was in Year R, mum,” he said with great excitement.

I have not had a week with such dramatic highs and lows, but it has had its stressful moments due to work overload, broadband disaster and a general feeling of anxiety, anger and shame caused by Amber Rudd’s speech to the Conservative Party conference. My partner is Catalan and has been here over 20 years working in social services, helping people with learning difficulties and paying his taxes, unlike, reportedly, Amber Rudd. Is he no longer welcome in this country? That certainly seems to be the message he is getting.

On Wednesday, just before hearing about the pooper day, I got a text from my internet provider. “Sorry to hear you’ve cancelled your broadband,” it said. I have not, to my knowledge, cancelled my broadband, having gone through weeks of trying to get it connected, however sorely tempted I was to do so.

I rang the provider, thinking it would be a five-minute phone call, but oh no. It is always slightly dicey ringing them on the mobile because mobile reception where I live is a bit random and tends to involve holding the phone aloft and praying the connection won’t fail. Eventually I was told everything was fine and nothing had been cancelled.

The next morning, the internet didn’t work, though all the lights were green on the router. I rang Jason on the tech desk. He did some checks which took quite a lot longer than anticipated and during which I got only son dressed, ironed clothes and generally got ready for the school run. Nothing worked. Jason agreed to ring back after the school run when he would have done more tests. He kept his word. “Can you turn the router off and on again before I try another test?” he said. I did so. Lo and behold the internet worked. If only all things in life were that simple.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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