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Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Eleven Plus Enforcer

You, and your child, are just approaching your child’s lesson.

“Mum, I don’t feel like going to work today.”

You have driven three miles. You have given up `your morning’.                You are in a hurry because you have to buy a birthday present for your younger daughter’s best friend. Your daughter has told you what to buy.

“What is the matter? Are you feeling all right?”

Thoughts run through your mind. You know that violations among some Bantu peoples often leads to restitutive and punitive actions. Your mind wanders a little. You could whisper to your son that for intentional injury a double indemnity must often be paid. Was your child trying deliberately to upset you?

Your thoughts flow on as step by step your hands guide your eleven plus candidate to the lessons.  You mutter, very quietly, to yourself that for some breaches of conduct an appropriate sacrifice or purification must be performed.

Your son grunts an answer.

There are only a few steps left to go before the two of you reach the lesson. You try again. “Please dear, what is the problem?”

Your much loved son turns to you and, with a twinkle in the eye, says: “Mum you always get wound up. I love my lessons.”

You are now the wronged person. You may feel, fleetingly, that you should apologise to your child. You do not want to react too much but you don’t want to feel pressure every week. You know that in a dispute the wronged party often returns to self-help. Would it make you feel better if you clipped your son around his ear? You know you would NEVER do that that. You do, however, have right on your side. You have some form of legal right towards your child and the eleven plus.

You are the final enforcer in the family.

You are the ultimate regulator of disputes.

It is your inborn duty to protect your child.

You look at your son and smile. “Nice try, love. In to battle now!”