Yesterday, for the 26th time, J'Lo's mum came in to discuss the problem. The meeting was straight after school at 4 o'clock. Mum was sporting pink flannel pyjamas and was eating a jumbo bag of pork scratchings. I thought that a bad sign. She balanced precariously on one of my teeny child's chairs (J'Lo's mum is the size of a small semi-detatched bungalow). Her numerous bags of Poundland shopping were scattered around her, arctic rolls and Findus Crispy Pancakes were slowly defrosting on my classroom floor.
Mum: Aye. I think I knaa what the problem is with our J'Lo, like. I knaa why she's not deeing any work. It's cos she's waiting for an appointment for the clinic. She's been waiting for months.
Miss Underscore: Oh really. What is the appointment for?
Miss Underscore: Physiotherapy for what?
Mum: Why, have yous not noticed, like? She's got flat feet.
Miss Underscore: Flat feet? (pause). Flat feet are why she hasn't written more than 10 words since Christmas? We have taught J'Lo to hold her pencil in her hand you know!