You know the little boy – the one who talks like this, “Play wif mummee”, “Sit soh-fa and watch” – and who, until a couple of weeks ago, was just two years old – really quite little still.
Well, here in Dubai, he can start school next September, and while still a long way off, a school I’ve listed him for was hot on the case today.
I was in trouble for failing to fill out some paperwork I hadn’t even received and was catapulted back to feeling like a naughty school girl, caught kissing boys behind the bike shed.
“The deadline for the form was yesterday,” I was told firmly, with more than a hint of irritation. “You need to let us know within the hour if you want to proceed with your application. There are a hundred children lining up for the space. And as punishment write 300 lines, ‘I will never be late turning in my son’s paperwork again,” after school pick-up.”
They had good reason for telling me they’d offer the spot to someone else, because it’s hands down (depending on who you believe, of course) one of the best schools in Dubai. Parents wait years to get their kids in and we were just lucky that we got LB on the list when he was really little.
They’re used to dealing with mothers who’d bite their hand off for a place. “We’ve had tri-lingual Felicity on the list since she was a foetus and she loves nothing more than to make words with her spaghetti at supper and do piano practice before bed. A place will mean sooo much to her,” is the kind of response they’re accustomed to.
(The problem is there’s no spot for BB, you see, and for convenience and many other reasons I’d rather have both boys at the same school).
But after speaking to some mum friends, one of whom reminded me that they wouldn’t even let her put her son’s name on THE LIST, I rushed over there this afternoon to make sure LB’s spot wasn’t given away.
And, as I walked through the hallowed corridors – marvelling at the smiling, beautifully behaved children, with project work tucked under their arm, landscaped campus, huge green field, amphitheatre and proximity to my favourite coffee shop, I saw the future for a moment. I’d give up work, spend my days doing school runs, organise bake sales and fetes, and volunteer for field trips for both schools.
Ok, so given that my only-just talking three-year-old still has to pass an assessment interview to secure the spot – and I’m clearly not a mother who would find any of the above easy – I was quite possibly getting carried away. But at least we’ve done what you gotta do when it comes to school waiting lists in Dubai – we’re hedging our bets.
PHOTO CREDIT: Time Out Dubai