“So what are you reading?” I asked as I bumped into Alex’s room
He jumped guiltily and tried to hide the Mad magazine he was reading, he then put a notebook in front of him. I pretended not to see the Mad that has just been pushed under his table and reached out for the notebook which had Social Studies on the cover, but was filled with drawings- spider/super/batman; rubber man and what looked like a cross between Sango and a rabbit.
“Oh! Sorry about that.” He said as he snatched the notebook from me and thrust another one with the title of ‘Social Studies’ written on it.
“Okay, hold on, let’s rewind and start from the very beginning.” I said as I picked up the Mad lying underneath the table.
My head was filled to overflowing with the thought that I have somehow failed my son. The sins of my youth have finally caught up with me; it must have been passed through the genes. Images of my mum and me in scenes horribly similar to this passed through my head …well except for the drawings…mine were stories. I had a sense of déja vu; I didn’t know how to proceed…should I start yelling or use the loving mum tactic?
“Well?” I asked again, basically because I didn’t know what to say next. Alex first stood up and put a healthy distance between us.
“Emm, which one?”
“Mad, that Mad under the table”
“…and I’ll prefer the original version of the story, not the remix.”
“I was tired of reading social studies, so I decided to take a break…”
“By reading a comic?”
“Should I have watched a movie?” he asked, all innocence.
“Don’t even start with that! I’m dead serious here!”
“Sorry mum, I’ve read it so many times I just wanted to read something aside from my notes.”
“Okay, what about the Social Studies notebook full of drawings?”
“Well, our Social Studies teacher is veeeeeery boooooring, and tends to go on and on about being a good boy or girl, so whenever he starts I draw in my fake social studies notebook.”
“You know you’re not supposed to do that!”
“Yes, I know I am supposed to pay attention in class, and yes I know how expensive the school is, and I know how I will disgrace YOU if I fail MY exams… mum you keep going on as if this is the ONLY exam I’ve ever done. Since the day I came back home and told you we were starting exams, you have been going on at me…and you made me scared.”
“Oh so now it’s my fault…” I asked, I was at a loss
“I am not blaming you, I’m just telling you that the way you have been going on scared me. I mean you keep sneaking up on me and asking me funny questions, and waking me up at 5am to read… I am still in JSS 1 you know, I’m not reading for SSCE or something...”