"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

>Todd N° 5,376 (and still going)

>I’ll give my son merit: he’s incredibly good at screwing up other people’s weeks.

I can feel it from here, still, the air exhaled from my Ex’s body as he saw our son off to Italy. An entire week without Todd is indeed a blessing, but behind every blessing there looms a dark cloud ready to piss on your Happy Parade. And Monday was no exception.

The Ex received a letter from The School which was followed up by a Phone Call. The day after the concert, last Friday, Todd managed to insult just about every single one of his teachers resulting in a retenue (I think that’s how you spell it – my written French is pretty crap) which means that Todd will spend next Monday at school doing any school work that happens to get thrown at him. As I get the feeling that the teachers really dislike the boy and that this will be his second retenue (I didn’t even know there was a first one this year), I can imagine that he will be kept pretty busy. All day.

And just as my Ex is jumping around shrieking Oh merde! Oh merde! The search for a school is getting even more difficile, he receives a phone call.

“Monsieur Ex?”
“Je vous telephone from Italy – it’s about Todd.”
“Oh non! Has he had an accident?”
“Non, non, Monsieur, c’est lots more serious than that….”

[I thought death was more serious than an accident, but then, this is Belgium.]

It appears that Todd and about 15 others decided to go out on the piss on the Monday night, as you do on school trips. But instead of coming back at 10.30pm, they decided to roll in at midnight, as you don’t if you already have one day of being locked in a classroom to look forward to. Todd now has two. One more and he’ll be expelled which will make the joy of looking for another school even more difficult, unless it’s one of the poorer schools that needs more students in the centre of town, somewhere Todd really isn’t comfortable.

So that has been looming over our heads since Monday. The Ex doesn’t do stress too well and ends up throwing up all too easily. I let stress get to me until I end up driving the entire household insane and find myself being dragged along to see my darling Italian doctor who throws anti-depressants at me as if they were Smarties.

Yes, I take Happy Pills.

Well, I should be.

So the Ex and I have been in contact about this – well, I’ve been in contact as the Ex seems to be allergic to calling me, and I now want to settle on a punishment that we will both throw at Todd.

My suggestion was to ground him from going out until after the exams which is around 20 June. The Ex ummmed and said he’d think about it and get back to me. I’m still waiting. While I was talking to the Ex I mentioned that I was pretty annoyed that he didn’t stick to his ‘tough love’ with regards Todd’s broken tooth.

“Mais non! It wasn’t me – Todd ask my mother and she made the dental appointment for Todd.”
“She what! Well, I suppose that as his Mamy… Why didn’t she call you?”
“I don’t know, but Todd had his tooth fixed behind my back.”

So that explained the tooth story as the Ex was all for Todd going to Italy looking like a fucktard. This made me call up my ex-mother-in-law and ask her if ever Todd asks for something when he’s spending the week here, to call me first. Fortunately, we are all in agreement with this and the poor woman was almost apologising for having had Todd’s tooth fixed, “mais Zoe!, he was so proud of his broken tooth! Je n’understand pas!” – but had I been in her shoes, I would have probably done the same thing. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Todd returns today and is expecting to go to a party tonight, his dad told me.

“What the fuck! Listen, you are not really going to let the boy go, are you?”
“Non, non – he didn’t even ask me. After last Friday and Monday – in Italy, the only place Todd is going is to bed.”
“Enfin! You’re learning, Ex. Get back to me about your idea of a punishment if you think that I’m being too severe.”
“Salut, Zoe et bonne soirée.”

Still no frigging email.