Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

A Lost Cause

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

A Lost Cause

Article excerpt

"It's navy blue with a yellow pompom and ear flaps to stop him getting earache," says Hayden's mum. We are in the cloakroom area investigating the whereabouts of her Little Angel's woolly hat. This is not the first item from Hayden's extensive wardrobe of winter clothing to go missing. Two more woolly hats, several scarves, umpteen gloves and a green welly have similarly disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

I can tell by her tone that Hayden's mum suspects me of being complicit in the case of his lost belongings, but this is not true; the fact that he has misplaced two maths books and a number of class readers since the beginning of January supports the view that Hayden is easily distracted and frequently puts things in the wrong place.

"Do you remember the time he got a piece of wax crayon stuck up his nose?" I ask.

Hayden's mum looks long and hard at her Little Angel. When she turns back to me there is just the trace of a tear in the corner of her eye. "You don't think there might be something wrong with him?" she asks.

I smile reassuringly and explain that it's normal for those of a creative and intelligent disposition to misplace things: "I do it all the time; it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the state of my mental health, now, does it?"

She gives me a questioning look, so I tell her the story of my missing diary. It is an item I have lost many times but have always recovered on account of it being fluorescent pink. …

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