Whoever said school days are the happiest days of your life must have been insane. First off because getting up at sparrow’s fart cannot make anyone happy unless they getting up to catch a flight to the Caribbean. Even though my school days are far behind me watching my children suffer the same ignominy has brought back many of the feelings of sheer helplessness and impotence.
The first day of school was survived by all. Just. So it was great to see their friends. Small boy aged 9 got in trouble for missing a choir session on the day I was released from hospital. Not just a stern talking to, but ritual public humiliation. Breaking my child’s spirit for something out of his control fills me with ire. Father went this morning and read them their fortunes.
My school mornings were fraught with panic that I would be late, which I inevitably was. I’d be hauled up in front of the school and “made an example of”. It didn’t matter that I tried to get my mother’s breakfast ready early, pack the car for her and turn on the engine to warm it up. The fact that I didn’t drag her into the car at gunpoint and force her to leave made me a weak and spineless child. As a result (combined with the inevitable horror of swimming lessons) as I watched the clock tick later and later I’d end up throwing up all over her car. I am damned if my children will suffer the same.
Small girl aged 5 has a new teacher. She doesn’t look old enough to drive let alone vote. How weirdly ageist and judgemental I have become. Still, I hope that under those blond bangs and innocent demeanour is a spine of steel. My daughter can sniff out weakness and exploit it in a fraction of a second. She already tried the crocodile tears yesterday and I saw her watching keenly under her lashes to ascertain the reaction. The teacher seems very sweet and hails for Durban. Small girl’s father spent a happy few minutes this morning trying to get her to say “Fush”. He arrived back home energised from the encounter.
Small boy aged 9 didn’t tell anyone about his motorbike because he didn’t think anyone would believe him. Small boy aged 6 seemed to be the only one who took everything in his stride. Thank god for small mercies. The upshot is I arrived home last night exhausted from day 2 at work to find Small girl tearstained and distraught, her oldest brother lying in the bath like a beached whale drowning himself in sulks and small boy aged 6 watching TV in an exhausted state of near coma. Small boy aged 9 had a migraine, my unfortunate legacy, and once happily drugged into sleep took over my kingsize bed. Coupled with books that have to covered (necessitating a trip to Carlos at the Spar for plastic wrap), school lunches and bag packing I ended up dreaming about school all night long.
The sound of the alarm going off in the darkness this morning did not fill me with sweet joy. I took a page from Small girl aged 5’s book and batted my eyelashes at her father who kindly did the school run so I could collapse back into my own bed for one more blessed hour’s sleep. I did achieve one thing yesterday in terms of maternal duty. Small girl aged 5 informed me that she has no desire to follow in my footsteps and go to Roedean, but rather she wants to go with her best friend to Auckland Park Primary. I duly went over and completed an application form that will no doubt go nowhere. The fact that the action was largely futile is irrelevant, at least I can tell her I tried.
My colleague is currently cutting out about two hundred Minnie Mouse’s for her niece’s 1st birthday as well as creating 50 odd colouring in books. The birthday is about 3 weeks time. My son’s birthday was last week and I have yet to even harbour thoughts about the party, which has morphed into an afternoon with some pals riding his bike. Yippee. I can handle that.
Damnation, my boss has given me the evil eye about time sheets again. I guess it time to fire up those creative juices and get imaginative.
Yay! Auckland Park Primary just called to offer Small girl an assessment! Is her happiness worth an extra 45 minute commute? Maybe the boys can take the bus.