My worst parent - Nero's mum turns tyrant

2nd April 2010 at 01:00

The parent who became the bane of my life initially seemed to pose no threat; quite the opposite. Her four-year-old son could count and wrote sentences that would make any literacy co-ordinator weep with joy. Most importantly, she had achieved the Holy Grail all reception teachers are looking for - a perfectly toilet-trained child.

Other staff might mock her braided hair, clinking amber jewellery and the fact she had named her son after a debauched Roman emperor, but I was prepared to admire her individuality. After all, I had briefly flirted with tie-dye before turning to Next separates. And she always supplied a complete, labelled PE kit. For the first few weeks I drifted blithely along under the illusion that I had achieved the ultimate in Parental Partnership.

Then the letters started. The first chastised me for placing a "metaphorical dunce cap" on Nero's head (sitting him in the "Time Out" corner). Next, I had "stifled Nero's scientific curiosity" (a request not to float Playmobil figures in the toilet). A stern missive followed for "impairing Nero's narrative flow" (for suggesting he didn't have to write everything in block capitals). In response to her suggestion that assemblies be run as "encounter groups", I answered that with 120 infants this was an encounter best avoided. I heard no more for a while.

In summer term I got my lottery-winning moment - Nero was off to a "more progressive school". As I unwrapped his parting gift, a box set of A Series of Unfortunate Events, I almost thought I would miss him. Until I saw the note from mummy. With a pen dipped in pure acid she had written: "Goodbye. The title aptly describes your teaching - wouldn't you agree?"

The writer is an infant teacher in South Yorkshire. Send your worst parent stories to features@tes.co.uk. Every one we publish earns #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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