It was World Maths Day and I was in a very adaptive mood. Zak was talking about pain, “have you ever experienced pain?” he asked me, “I was once given a wedgie by six children!”. I left him to work out how long it would take for six children to give him a wedgie, with each wedgie lasting three minutes.
We were both suffering slight cabin fever. Zak’s transgressions meant we wound up being inside, all day. Yesterday, while in a fit of rage, he threatened to kill me. He immediately knew he’d broken a rule from his behaviour plan and apologised. I also knew his threat was about as real as his chances of attending a mainstream secondary school, but nonetheless I had to report him.
His punishment for the threat was to sit in another class, alone…with me. This felt like punishment for me also. After he’d asked if he could “spin around for two minutes”, I knew it was time to abandon the curriculum and repair our friendship. We pulled faces at one another, I taught him how to moonwalk (he must now adopt this manoeuvre the next time he storms out of class) and he taught me some Farsi.
I read on with ‘Bradley Chalkers’, with Zak’s own parallels to the main character very obvious. Zak too, is struggling to make friends. He asked about the school trip, planned for June, and if we would share a room. I explained why this wasn’t possible, plus if it was bunk beds and he had top bunk, I couldn’t run the risk of him being a bed wetter.