‘Where are you, Lu?’
Echoey voice came through the phone. ‘I’m in the shower.’
‘But you had a shower this morning. Why are you there now?’
‘I’m talking to Jamie! Besides, it’s the only place that’s air-conditioned besides Quest and the bar. And I’m not exactly going to sit in the bar.’
Fair point. Looks like Lulu has found her new office.
Jack asked, ‘Do you want french fries bringing to you? We can call the Zanzibar and get them to deliver.’
The Zanzibar Restaurant in Peakes Boatyard is just upstairs from said shower block.
‘No, I’m ok for now. Maybe later.’
We giggled back on Quest; me, Jack and Delph. Lulu of course wouldn’t find it strange at all to be delivered french fries in the shower. Those teenage brains – it’s as though they’re built for the rest of world to find comedic respite in. Consolation for the pickles they get into.
Like the sizeable meltdown Lu had before she went off to her new office. It was coming – we’d had a peaceful run. The triggering factor? Explaining to her she needed to do her homework due for next week.
At first, she looked puzzled at Quest’s saloon table. ‘But you said you’d gotten a homework exemption.’
‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘for the week we were in Florida. Not for this week coming.’
Then her face went crimson. Uh-oh. ‘But the homework is from the classes we had when we were in Florida. You should have got the homework exemption for this week.’
Ok. She had a point. But here’s the thing. InterHigh is a good school – for what it is. Teachers are brilliant. Relaxed, helpful, professional. It’s very prompt and organised. And it strips away the lessons that are fillers. This is because it’s assumes, probably rightly, that its kids are doing other stuff. Hobbies, interests, child actors, athletes, travelling families – that sort of thing.
Still. It did make a positive difference for Lulu when she went to mainstream school – if only for the sheer number of hours she was there. In order to keep up with a comparable level of education, InterHigh’s set homework definitely needs to be done. It evens things up.
Here was my quandary. IGCSEs have just started. And the start lays the foundations of understanding.
So I crossed my fingers and said, ‘The homework won’t take long, Lu. I’ll help you.’
Cue meltdown. Oh yeah. Poor Lu.
But here’s the next thing. Before we went home – when she a proper ‘boat kid’ – I would have been lost in this meltdown. And Jack. Both of us. We would have taken it to all sorts of heart. Now, I can see she’s just an ordinary kid. Going home showed us that. She wasn’t having a meltdown because she was a boat kid. Deep breath. Pass our teenager a tissue. Find her an office. Move along.