Tag Archives: GCSE

Now I Know My A, B, C’s

examsExam results day for The Teenager.

Bitten nails, late-night angsty-chats with friends, contemplating the future.

And that’s just me.

These last couple of months have been an exercise in diplomacy, negotiation and extreme patience:


‘I’ve failed. I know it. I just know it. I have. So there.’

‘You haven’t.’

‘How do you know?’

‘Well, um. Ah. Good point. You tried really hard? And, you went through a lot of post-it notes?’

‘S’not fair. I bet the exam markers hate me. Maybe they couldn’t read my writing.’

‘I’m sure they’ve seen it all, don’t worry.’

‘Mum. You’re, like, so not helping. Please, leave me to my despair and close the door behind you, ta.’

This morning, finally, we got here. The Teenager plonked himself with a grunt onto the sofa and watched beaming kids opening their results live on telly. Probably not his best idea ever.

I went to work (after offering to take the day off and do something nice, like feed the ducks), put my phone on loud and waited. And waited. Phone rings.

‘Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum.’ (heavy panting down the phone)

‘Hello dear!’

‘Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum! I’m in!!’

‘Wonderful! In what, dear? In school? To get the results?’ (non-committal, just in case)

‘D’ur!! Like, I diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid it! I passed, gonna do my A levels, do my A levels, yay, like A levels.’


I collapsed in a crumpled heap outside work.

‘Muuuuuum, just one problem.’


‘You know how I have to register for the next two years? For the A levels? Well, like, I threw out my results from last year. By mistake.’


Long story short, I left work, took him to school and he got a print-out. Sorted.

I dropped him off at a friend’s house before heading back to work.

I was a wreck. He’s out celebrating.

It’s all good. We got there in the end.

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Don’t Need No Education

examsOnce again our little cottage is in a state of uproar.

The Teenager is sitting some GCSE exams, with the rest to follow next year.

I have bought him the Lett’s guides, replenished his pen-pot, explained how to write up mind maps and supplied him with a steady stream of juice to refresh his brain.

To no avail.

In the middle of cooking dinner yesterday (a home-made curry he refused to eat – tough), the phone rang.

‘Mrs Stumbling?’


‘Well,’ and sounding relieved to reach a real, live parent on the phone, regaled me with a tale of woe and lost opportunities. The Teenager could easily reach an A in this subject, but is cruising close to an F, if he’s lucky. The usual – not concentrating, joking around, no proper presentation of coursework.

It was a good conversation in some ways. I explained that he has all the support he needs here. Apart from anything else, I’ve been studying something or other for ten out of his fourteen years. It simply boils down to him being a Teenager who is somewhat lazy. And rude. And…(I could go on and on).

When he came home from school, I summoned him to the kitchen as I was juggling naan bread, a hot grill and a large pot of curry. He saw my face and scarpered, slamming his bedroom door extra loud. He really should have taken GCSE drama. He’s quite superb. I counted the seconds, and sure enough, within 15, loud music was blasting out. The angsty type.

I yelled up the stairs – handily, his name has three syllables, so the effect can be quite stern. ‘Wha?’ ‘Come down……..NOW.’

After a stand-off worthy of a spaghetti western, he sloped into the kitchen, refused dinner (a recent recurring theme), told me his version of events – ‘teacher hates me, wasn’t doing nuffink wrong, s’not fair.’ Stage direction – exit left.

A while later his door opened and his school tie floated downstairs, followed by the door slamming shut again.  Not the most rigorous form of protest, but it made me laugh. Which annoyed him.

I can only do so much. Nothing to do with MS. I have just returned from a visit to Staples as his pencil case was stolen and he needs the stuff for exams. He has an exam today. He told me this last night, around 10pm.

Stage direction – curtains.

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