I’m furious.

“I don’t want to go to school”.

Why the fuck can’t he cooperate. I’m sure there are loads of children out there who, when a parent says, “Let’s go now”, they say, “OK Mummy” and skip along.

I’m not listening to him today. I’m furious

I’ve gone out the front door with all bags and clothes to put on him. He hasn’t even got his socks on yet. I shut the door thinking he may come running if he hears the door shutting behind me. Not a chance. He’s gone up to his bedroom to start playing the recorder. I can’t sit it out downstairs. I’m too furious.

I’m furious when I go up to see him and he’s playing the recorder.

“Go away”.

I’m not listening to him. My fury is too strong. I do everything for him. This morning we watched some episodes of Mister Maker on the iplayer and then we made an alien out of a plastic spoon with pipe cleaners for arms and plasticine for feet. We even painted it green. I remember making and doing lots of things before school in the late 70s and 80s; reading, knitting, sewing. It was therapeutic me time before going to the place where I had to go. I can’t remember ever resisting school, even when I hated it. At first it was a place to make things and be active and that suited me well. Later on, the pressures that crushed my desire out of the balance drove me to timidity and depression.

But now, fury. I’m not listening to him. I tell him. I demand. I point my finger. I poke it and waggle it. “I’ll be waiting downstairs to go”.

I go down, grab my book to write and sink into myself again so I write and release the fury onto the page.

I hear him playing with the blinds upstairs. Now, he’s coming down. What’s he going to say?

I’m sitting on the stairs. He taps me hard twice on the back. And again.

I turn round. I tickle his feet.

“Shall we go now?” I rephrase this, “Zec, are you ready to go to school?”

Still, “No”.

“Zec, I have to go to work”

“I want to come with you. I don’t want to go to school.”

“You can’t. I’m going out. I’m not going to be here”

Where are you going?”

“To Brixton”

“Are there computers there?”

“No, I’m going to talk to someone.”

“I want to come with you.”

“You can’t. This is work I have to do on my own.”

Fury again. “I’m going outside to wait for you. I go out the front. His trousers and school top are outside. His bag, my bag. I don’t feel at all calm. I’m fuming. I can’t get into the spirit I invoked in recent writing and don’t even try, but I’m aware how different I feel now. I feel really unconnected to Zeca. I’m angry, I need his cooperation. I’m bored with his resistance. How can I approach this in a different way? Is he not feeling listened to? I haven’t done much listening today. I don’t feel connected to him today. I’m annoyed.

But I didn’t lose my temper with him. I was short, grouchy, clearly pissed off, but I didn’t lose it with him.

I seem to have accepted that this is the battle I have with Zeca, or rather that this is a battle he is waging with the world and with me, as its apologist.

‘Why do I have to go to school every day?’

Monday to Friday 9am to 3.15pm.

Grey trousers, blue top, grey jumper.