Susan gets a call from Michael’s headmaster. Michael has been playing truant. Roger is in love with Abi, and tells Ben he has finally become Abi’s friend, which Ben explains is the kiss of death to a relationship.
Susan summons Ben to meet her at the school. The meeting with the headmaster doesn’t go well for Susan, he tells Ben and Susan that Ben’s relaxed attitude is much better than Susan’s. He sends them to parenting classes. Michael tells them they are indeed bad parents, and Ben tells Susan to give the boy some space.
Roger tries to explain that he has become Abi’s friend, and Susan tells him there is no excitement in being nice, that it is both boring and dull, and that Roger is too nice.Ben and Susan attend the class and meet up with Roy and Liz, who are regulars. They both support Arsenal. The headmaster turns out to be the counsellor much to Ben and Susan’s horror.
Susan sneaks Ben a note about the headmaster and Ben is called up to read it. Embarrassed Ben blames Susan. The headmaster picks Susan out as being a terrible parent, and Susan is very upset with Ben. Ben tries to explain that he is indeed the perfect parent and that Susan is the problem. He suggests Susan try and be a little more like Ben. A little more hands off. Susan takes this to the extreme and takes no notice of anything Michael does, lets the house go to pot and slobs out on the sofa.
Meanwhile, Roger is learning how to be a cool swine by studying Ben at work. Ben arranges to meet up with his new friends Roy and Liz at a football match and Roger arrives clutching a Vinnie Jones book, dressed up as a tough guy. He decides to take a tough approach with Abi but can’t keep it up.
Susan is fighting the urge to finally clean up her mess when Ben arrives home the worse for wear with a piercing. Michael sneaks in late and wonders why no one cares. Ben tells Michael he has an earring in and then throws up all over him.
The next day Michael wants to see Ben when he gets back from work. Michael fires him, on the grounds that he is now superfluous to requirements. Now that Susan is not doing anything either, there is no need for Ben. He is expendable. He give him a fob watch for his retirement present.
Susan makes Ben admit she was right all along, and Ben wants her to go hands on parenting again. Abi and Michael have a chat and she orders him back to school. Susan comes in and orders him back to school as well. Ben asks Michael for his old job back. Roger comes in and tries the hard approach with Abi, who slaps his face. Roger is delighted.
|Ben Harper||Robert Lindsay|
|Susan Harper||Zoe Wanamaker|
|Michael Harper||Gabriel Thompson|
|Roger Bailey||Keiron Self|
|Abi Harper||Siobhan Hayes|
|Mr. Howarth||Paul Putner|