No 1 son is in his final year of school. He has a GCSE English exam on Monday and 3 more this month before taking the rest in the Summer.
All through his school life he has been credited with being bright, but perhaps not applying himself as well as he should. Over the years I just kept thinking, he has plenty of time to settle down, he's only 7, 11, 13! But well now, like all things in life crunch time is upon us! Where did all those years go?
Last night he came home from his girlfriend's house and casually advised me that he really did need a copy of 1984 for his exam next week! What! Why has it taken until now to occur to you that it was about time you found your "lost" copy! Of course, it was my entire fault, he told me ages ago. I vaguely remember a conversation in passing about 6 months ago, I think... I'm not getting into this conversation, past experience tells me I am doomed if I do and doomed if I don't with teenagers.
Said book located, we got down to serious talks about revision. Seems it has been happening, although I don't see much evidence of it. I then found myself (after several glasses of a very nice red) telling him that if he gets good grades he can have an iphone! There, it slipped out! How could I try to bribe my child! What example am I setting him! Am I insulting him, by assuming that he would try harder to do well if there was something in it for him? What if he tells his mates he's getting an iphone, and they tell their parents or the teachers find out? Oh! The shame of it. I'll never be able to look Mrs A in the face again!
Also, what if he doesn't achieve the grades? What do I do then? and it’s his 16th Birthday at the beginning of June. Do I give him the iphone then, before the results come out? Why am I talking about iphones, I could never afford one. OMG!....
When I think back to my school days and the O levels I sat, all I can remember is sitting for hours in my bedroom reciting into a tape recorder my notes and playing them back over and over again. Even falling asleep listening to my voice droning on and on. No incentive from my mother and my major concern on the day of the biggest exam of my life was my "shaggy" perm had gone disastrously wrong and I looked more like a poodle !