D is for Dog

My fourteen year old is very capable.  He has been blessed with great ability, both academically and physically and as such he is involved in lots of activities to enhance his learning and competes in lots of sporting events.  This does mean that he often is out of class for one event or the other and sometimes misses crucial lessons.  He is supposed to catch up on them but because he knows he can probably do relatively well without putting in too much effort, it has come to my attention that he doesn’t always and so far he has got away with it.

His school is very good at keeping us up to date with his progress, both good and bad so we often receive letters informing us of how he is doing. The other week we received a letter saying that they were very happy with his progress, he was exceeding all his targets but they were concerned about his English.

English!?!!?? I was a bit taken aback because English is one of his best subjects. The letter didn’t give any further information so that evening when he returned from school I told him about it.

‘Ah yes, I got a D’

‘B ’  I said confidently, obviously that is what he said!

‘Na, a D’ He responded.

The African in me flew out….D???!!!  Ah ah how? Why? I couldn’t get my head round it. And he said ‘na’!!!! Is it any surprise he got a D in English when he can’t even articulate ‘no’ properly?!!

‘D for Dog?  Or B for Ball?’ I asked in a shout.

He looked at me baffled, like I was losing it.  Clearly the African in me needs to emerge more often..

‘I got a D mum, chill!  But I got everything right, I can show you the paper’. He tried hard to hide the snigger that was surfacing as he met this new side of mum.  To be fair, I had not been hiding her but I guess she never had reason to emerge in such an aggressive manner.

‘Show me!  How can you have got everything right yet you got a D? AND DON’T TELL ME TO CHILL!’

‘Mum!  What’s wrong with you, you are taking it all a bit …….’

‘SHOW ME!’  I shouted


I could see that he was visibly amused but determined not to ruffle my feathers any further.  He handed me his paper and yes he had got ‘everything right’ but had written too little…..valid reason or not, it was still a D.

I was seconds away from asking the very African question: ‘those who got an A, do they have two heads?!’ I resisted.

Once we got past the situation I was amused; amused at my response, and amused at his response to my response…despite the seriousness of the situation it was actually quite comical.

100% human. This one knows his alphabet, phonics and all!

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