Well, I was going to cover a few subjects...but a few people have asked about how DS2 is doing now, so thought I’d devote this newletter to that How do you get a teenage boy to remember to go to a memory test?? This is my current problem with DS2. He has been concerned about his failing memory. We think he’s suffering with memoria electus as he always remembers when his girlfriend is due, whereas remembering that homework needs to be done daily seems to be a problem of some magnitude. It has been taken a little more seriously since the day he forgot how to spell his name for his GCSE exam paper and along with missing other important details, the school psycho has decided that a memory test is in order. Why don’t they go and get him? He has missed three appointments so far. I’ve told him that "I forgot" is never a good excuse for anything. Everyone knows that “I forgot” really means, "It wasn't important to me", but he keeps forgetting my advice. Other than that, DS2 is doing well. Certainly well on the social front which I guess will always be his number one priority. A couple of other things that are squeezed into his life to make the burden of school bearable 1. We have just been informed that his Junior Gym Coach exams will take place in August. Going to cost £100, but the biggest obstacle is finding 2 small children for him to be tested with….and persuade their parents to drive them all the way there to be instructed on the fine art of the cartwheel and rolly polly (amongst other things). Finding two small children isn’t exactly difficult, but asking them to travel is going to take a bit of thought. 2. Work experience. Oh my. Don’t I just hate it. The first problem is getting them to write the letter in the first place. With DS1, he wrote 35 letters and received one reply, and that was a rejection. He eventually got a job, but the whole thing was a disaster. Now it’s DS2’s turn. DS2 goes to a different school and things are more organised there. Write letter with a certain format, include this and that, take to Head Of Work Experience Teacher to be checked. Fill out form for permission to use letter headed paper (any other paper not allowed). Rewrite, go to Head of Work Experience Teacher to have rechecked. Address envelope, and place now half crumpled letter in envelope to go back for rechecking. Fill out new form with details of where they plan to go etc etc. Eventually ‘post’. Right….this has taken us 6 months to do (not counting the amount of time taken to decide where he would like to do these 2 weeks!) Each reply has been a no. He’s even been around companies, knocking on the door and asking to no avail. So it has ended up with me approaching my school. They know him well and are pleased to have him (Phew). Still meant going through the application procedure. Next step. Fill out Criminal record thingy. Okay, that can’t be too hard can it? Include 2 letters with your name and address on. We found one from his bank. The school said we were doing well. Most struggle to find any at his age. They recommend that we get his school to write a letter to him. So, the next step was to walk up to the school and ask them if they would please write a letter to DS2 and include his full name and address, then post it to him. Yes, they will do that and told me to “write a letter confirming that this is what we need and include a stamped addressed envelope”. Meanwhile, my school would like £20 which they have to send to the criminal records whatever along with the application. Okay, so they pay for mine, but all WE families have to fork out themselves. Fair enough..though I must say I am a little grieved owing to the fact that I do so much voluntary work for the school. In the end, we did find another letter (the junior gym coach thing), but have still had to find the £20 and photocopy all the forms for his present school to check and approve. Can you imagine working through all this with a young guy that can’t remember to turn up for a memory test, let alone hand anything in! Next on the list is to buy some clothes for the occasion. School have suggested black trousers and smart shirt and tie. Clean black shoes, grey or black socks. Okay, we can do that, except for the black trousers. Next step then, to buy black trousers that will probably never be worn again. Last step is to work out where he’s going to live during this time at my school, as we are hoping to go away for a few days that week. It’s a special week for DH and I. Wonder if DS2 will remember to go back to the right house each day?