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Not an easy time for us

So … an update on Son#2 and it’s sad news I’m afraid.

He has not passed Grade 8.

Yeah, his headmaster called me yesterday to tell me and the X and I went through to the school to meet with him today to discuss the issue and decide what to do. No, that was *not* an easy meeting!

I think the headmaster was really concerned that the X and I would fight against Son#2 repeating the grade, but we both feel strongly that he needs to be kept back. It wasn’t a close thing either. He’s done very badly this year …

We’re sending him to an educational psychologist for a full assessment and arranging for various therapies to help him. And things at home (both the X’s and mine) are going to have to change a bit to provide him with more structure. Eish.

He really loves his school – he’s so happy there and he’s come out of his shell completely over the last year, perhaps a bit too much – he’s gone from zero to hero amongst his peers and lost focus on the reason why he is there in the first place. He’s starting to get into trouble and display some rather dodgy behaviour that’s concerning us all – even Son#1. Actually, Son#1 is VERY upset about all of this and has read his little brother the riot act!

And the headmaster, who is a STUNNING guy, has tried to chat to Son#2 on numerous occasions but, like the rest of us, he’s not connecting at all. This boy just shuts down, he gives NOTHING away and you just cannot read him at all. It’s most distressing and frustrating.

So that’s where we are. It hasn’t been an easy 2 days at all but we’ll get through it. Son#2 is spending tonight with the X and he is going break the news to him. We have no idea how he’ll react. He’ll either get terribly upset and break down, or he’ll just dismiss it and pretend nothing’s wrong. It could go wither way …

Oh man, this is the last thing I wanted for him and it breaks my heart but in all honesty, if he’s not doing the work and not coping, then he must stay back and learn from his mistakes.

Déjà vu

Hmmmm …

For those of you who don’t really know me yet, I’m going to have to fill you in a bit on events with Son#1 so you have a bit of background info and you understand my frame of reference with regard to this post.

Son#1 started smoking, drinking and getting into drugs at an early age. His growing dependence on alcohol and narcotics progressed into a full-blown addiction and he recently spent 2 months in a treatment centre and is now a recovering addict.

For more on this, if you want some detail, please have a look at these posts:

  1. Shit is happening
  2. Tomorrow’s the big day
  3. Deep breaths
  4. Midnight drama
  5. The turning point
  6. An amazing milestone
  7. Another huge milestone

Mmk, if you’ve read all that, you now have a much better idea of what we’ve been through and why I’m feeling slightly distressed about the current events now unfolding. Events that seem to indicate that all this shit is re-emerging, this time with Son#2.

A couple of weeks ago, there was an incident involving Son#2, the school, a few cigarettes and a dodgy person hanging around the school perimeter who was later identified as a dealer. That was all a bit of a nasty, unexpected surprise but it was handled – both by me and the school – and the situation was diffused.

But now I’m facing another tough situation.

I went to fetch Son#2 last night from a friend’s house in Constantia and when he climbed into the car, I heard the unmistakable sound of bottles clinking in his bag. I asked him what was in his bag, and he said: “Nothing.”

I wasn’t happy with that answer so I asked him to open his bag and show me. He said: “Do we have to do this now? It’s bad.”

Me: “Yes. Open your bag please and show me what’s inside.”

He turned slightly pink, unzipped it and pulled out a half-empty bottle of Mampoer.


Mampoer is a South African drink – a distilled brandy made from fruit that has an alcohol content of 50%. The bottle is wrapped in barbed wire. He’s 14.

When I asked him what he was doing with it, he told me that one of the kids who had been with them that day had brought it and didn’t want to take it home in case he got into trouble and he asked Son#2 to take it for him and give it back to him the following day. AT SCHOOL! Son#2 was actually going to take this to school and give it to this kid?

Oh good grief.

I made him dump the bottle and gave him my unhappy speech about underage drinking and making unwise choices. He swore he never had more than one sip of the stuff (!?) and was only trying to help this other kid out …

So we pull into the driveway and “something” tells me that this is not the end. So I turn to him and ask him: “Is there anything else in your bag I should know about?”

“Yes.” *eyes cast down*

He pulls out 2 more bottles – Southern Comfort and Cain.


I was distraught. Again, he tells me the same story – he didn’t drink this and it’s for his friend … Then he says to me: “I don’t mind if you tell Dad, but PLEASE don’t tell my brother!” Interesting …

When I walked inside the house holding the two bottles, Son#1 looked at me and asked what was going on. So I told him. He said to me: “Mom, he’s lying. I know he’s drinking and he’s taking you for a ride. This is how the shit starts. I did exactly the same thing. You need to do something.”

Yes. I need to do something.

If Son#1 had not been through what he’s been through, I could probably write this all off to normal teen experimenting. But I’m not willing to take that chance. My gut tells me to take this very seriously.

The question is though … what the hell do I do?

The big M

Monday …

Lots to do, lots to do!

One thing I’m not looking forward to later is a meeting with the headmaster at Son#2’s school. Why do I always feel like *I’m* the one who’s in shit for something when I get summoned to see a headmaster? Bah.

Yeah, there was a bit of an “incident” on Friday and now I have to go in this afternoon and sort it out with them … I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that this does NOT turn into the crap that we went through with Son#1. Seriously, I’ve had enough of it!!

Anyway, on a MUCH better note … tonight is the 27 Dinner here in Cape Town. I’m looking forward to it but at the same time I’m feeling slightly uneasy about it being held at a restaurant that the X and I used to regularly frequent. Hmmm … it’ll be strange going back there, but it’s going to be cool to hook up with some awesome people so I’ll just try to keep that “stuff” out of my head tonight. Should be fun – I’m told these events are pretty good 🙂 This is my first ever 27 Dinner YAY me!! I just hope Mr Golding keeps his big fat camera lens away from me!! Hah. AND I hope that my bloody head doesn’t flare up on me … that would be the pits.

Well my friends, it’s Monday – my Inbox has been completely trashed over the weekend and I need to get stuck into it.

I had a pretty cool weekend though. The weather was just awesome here. And Liverpool beat Chelsea, at The Bridge too nogal! w00t w00t 😀

Signs of summerness in my garden:

No, I did NOT get around to sorting out the boxes and stuff, nor did I set up the new office space.

You’re surprised? Hehe … I *am* the Queen of Procrastination you know!

Laterz xxx

He’s climbing the walls

I just got back from visiting Son#1 at the clinic and he ain’t doing well today …

He doesn’t want to be there

He feels like he’s getting nothing out of it

He says it’s a waste of time

He’s so sick of being asked: “how are you?”

He can’t connect with the Terrible Tag Team

He doesn’t want to talk

He can’t relate to the other kids in there, bar one

He feels lonely and isolated

He wants everyone to leave him alone

He just wants to leave

I told him to write this all down and raise it in the community session tomorrow, to tell the counselors that he had something to say and that everyone should just shut up until he’d finished. I told him to put all this to them, to close his eyes and talk if that would help. I told him to feel his anger and frustration and shout at them if he needed to!

I know those counselors can be damn intimidating and I personally don’t think they handle my boy in a way that encourages him to talk at all. They keep butting in and totally stopping his train of thought. I’ve seen how he clams up and becomes extremely defensive with them.

I hope he can manage to do this, to call a spade a shovel. I think it’s important for him.

Anyway, he seemed a bit brighter after we chatted about what he was going through and he’d written all his thoughts down …

Then I let him sit in my car for a while and listen to some music. He misses his music so much now that they have made a decision not to allow CD’s to be played there. Poor guy, he’s pissed off about that.

I am starting to get a bit pissed off myself. They “encourage” family to be involved – grandparents and siblings especially. His gran and his brother have both been to visit Son#1 in the clinic and today I was told they couldn’t go … wtf? No explanation, nothing. That really grates me. If you make a decision or change your mind about something then fine, but if it’s going to affect other people, at least have the damn decency to give them a reason!


A new family tradition

Wow, it’s been a heavy day … let’s end it on a slightly lighter note, shall we?

I have started a new family tradition. Well, it kinda started itself a few years ago with Son#1, but we continued with Son#2 over the weekend.

Here’s how it goes:

When you spot your very first teeny sprouts of dark armpit hair emerging, immediately come and show me and everyone else who is in the house at the time.

Hold up your arms so we can all squint into your armpits to examine the evidence of your forthcoming manhood.

Stand their proudly, with a big grin on your face as we “ooooh” and “aaaaaah” over the little black blighters!

Give us a few minutes to squeeze your already-red cheeks and playfully punch you in the gut as we rag the hell out of you.

And then, my young man, you get given a set of keys to the house.

Hairy armpits = you’re old enough for a key 🙂