There are twenty school days left until the half term holidays and then J never has to wear school uniform again.
By the end of the school year, his trousers are ready for the recycling box: frayed, shiny seated, their easy-care everlasting creases just a fading memory. But it is April and these pairs of trousers are both OK: not too short nor too long, still black and slightly crisp. Ten school days’ life left in each of the two pairs? No worries.
J’s school has an eminently sensible approach to uniform. They don’t see the point of arguing with students about how long their skirts are, so none of them wear skirts. Instead they all put on sporty logo’d polo shirts and sweatshirts with tailored trousers and mostly they wear trainers. No flapping ties, no blazers, no laddered tights. It’s brilliant. Meanwhile, A Level students and those on GCSE study leave can wear whatever they like, and it is towards this latter stage that J is relentlessly progressing.
But ten days ago, J came home sporting a gaping hole across the crotch: the seam had given in to an excessively athletic leap during basketball at break. Only two days later, trousers number 2 shared a similar fate. The sewing machine, which makes only occasional sorties, saw good service that weekend. Then last week, both seams gave way again.
J is now asserting his right to not be embarrassed by trousers with raggedly stitched seams. I have spotted a pattern here and am as sure as dammit that those seams are having a little help along the way. Buying new trousers is not going to help. We are at stand-off. I foresee four weeks of morning lunges by me as he heads out of the door wearing skinny jeans…. angry exchanges….. texts from the school welfare officer…. phone calls home. In short, powerlessness in the face of adolescent determination.
And I can’t be bothered with all this. I’m going to let him go to school in his jeans so that we can have a quiet life. With twenty days to go, and GCSEs looming, I don’t want to be fighting to regain control over something as unimportant as school trousers. If I force this one, J will only find another way of exerting control over his environment.
I’m picking my battles.
I am linking this post up to the Adoption Social’s Weekly Adoption Shout Out, week #114.