Diary - My worst parent - Jade's rock hard mother became a gem

8th January 2010 at 00:00

It was a mystery. How could someone such as Mrs Bluitt have a daughter as beautiful as Jade*? The girl was bright, polite and had the looks of an angel.

Mrs Bluitt, by contrast, was a battleaxe of a woman - large, square and bullish with dyed black hair scraped back into a thin, scruffy pony tail. Her face was set against the world in a permanent angry scowl.

At the end of each day she waited outside the gates with her back to the school.

One day Jade was not her usual cheerful self. She said she was "hurting in two places". She had a toothache and her foot was hurting.

I said to her that Mummy might need to take her to the dentist, and on seeing that a shoe was definitely too tight I said that Mummy might need to get her some new shoes soon.

The day ended. Suddenly and without warning, the school was rocked by the sound of hysterical screaming. An ashen-faced headteacher and Mrs Bluitt entered my classroom and I was subjected to a stream of swear words spat out at full volume.

How dare I tell her what was best for Jade? Why didn't I mind my own ******* business?

That evening, suitably chastened, I composed an "I'm sorry" letter to Mrs Bluitt and dropped it into the post box.

In retrospect, I can only guess that Mrs Bluitt had never before had a personal handwritten letter delivered to her and she appreciated the gesture.

From that day she was in the playground ready for a chat with me every day. She smiled, she laughed, she even had a new hairstyle.

Most important of all, she asked me if I liked Jade's new red shoes. Well, of course I did. My worst parent turned out to be my new best friend.

*Names have been changed.

The writer is a primary school teacher working in Leeds. Send your worst parent stories to features@tes.co.uk and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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