We sit, a table between us. A table as wide as a chasm, littered with paper and pens, laptops and resentment. I, his mother am both torturer and inquisitor and he, my son is both victim and student.
We are fighting word for word a compulsory foreign language. We are despite the animosity and dread working towards the same thing - I am trying hard to be a proper Asian Tiger Mom which goes so against the grain and he has built a huge wall around himself.
Oh don't get me wrong, we are still a united front, as soon as I shut the book and he puts down the pen, we revert - instantly and I mean INSTANTLY back to our normal harmonious selves. Me a bossy mom and he a flippant teenager.
But, at this very moment I can feel his displeasure as I ask him again in my faltering lingo a set question. His reply is equally hesitant and uncomfortable. I hate what I am putting him through - putting us both through.
Roll on Thursday evening when we will both be free of this despised subject and he can study more contentedly his other assignments which he loves and I can return to my books - both our deadlines draw near and I know I am not ready.