DS1’s continuing discombobulation at home was becoming cause for concern, with recent events prompting me to contact his teacher and the school Senco for a chat. That day, he’d refused to go to judo, hiding his kit and getting dressed in his uniform, adamant, that although he still wanted to do judo, he wasn’t going. Explain that one. His downing of tools with regard homework was ongoing and, from talking to other parents, it was

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“We had a little incident at lunchtime,” DS1’s teacher told me, after catching me in the playground after school. “He punched Andreas in the face.” Gulp. She gave me a look that suggested it wasn’t quite as bad as it sounded, but I needed convincing. “The got things under control and took him to the Head,” she continued. “I walked past him while he was sat outside office and asked him why he was sitting

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DS1 is a bit off-kilter at the moment. There’s no obvious reason why and he’s not forthcoming when asked. “I’m fine”, “There’s nothing wrong” or “Be quiet” are his staple answers. The latter coming when clearly there is something troubling him right that second. Door slamming is a current favourite pastime. Not just once, but repeatedly opening and forcibly shutting the same door until he gets a reaction. The wall around the doorframe in my

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“Dad, can we play football?” “Sure, but I won't be able to save many because, remember, I hurt my arm when I fell down the stairs yesterday.” (I’d missed my footing trying to avoid a Match Attax card that was lurking on the top step.) “Yes, I know.” “Oh, you know do you? Only you didn't come and see if I was OK.” “Erm, well… I had better things to do,” he informed me, “…

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“Dad, I'm making a Man U Dream Team and I can't think who to put as defenders. I’ve got Ferdinand but I need three more.” “Most people normally say ‘hello’ first, especially when someone has just walked through the door after being away for nine days,” I replied. He smiled and handed me his team sheet. A Chelsea Dream Team as well as Liverpool and Barcelona ones already lay on the floor of my study

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