It could be because it’s the last week of term, but I feel like I have a mild form of dementia this week. I’m forgetting all sorts of school-related things. And, boy, do the kids let me know about this!
“Mum, you forgot everything today!” my oldest told me, as he burst through the door yesterday afternoon, the indignance chipping away at the edges of his voice. “My reading book … the zumbathon … money for Tanzania Day.” Never mind the equally long list of things I did remember.
“Well, you are nine now, big boy. It might be time you started remembering some of these things for yourself?” I suggested hopefully. He looked at me aghast, as though I’d proposed chopping him into little bits for dinner. DH glanced up from his chair in the corner, enjoying the distraction from his airplane manuals, and raised an amused eyebrow.
The thing is, there’s just so much to remember, isn’t there? Your child will need: an iPad for Arabic; an oversized white shirt for science; a costume for Book Character Day; a 3D model of the Ruler’s Court (okay, I made the last one up, but I know any mums reading this will relate!).
My friend A, who is frantically busy setting up her own company at the moment, told me she had a chicken bone soaking in vinegar in the kitchen for a science experiment on calcium deficiency, and had just bought plastic juice bottles to make lungs. “Tomorrow he needs recyclable materials to create artwork for the theme ‘a sustainable and happy society’ … and that’s just for the little one. Don’t get me started on the older brother.”
I gave her a wobbly, sympathetic smile, knowing that this is what I’m in for next year.
In our household, having two completely different schools makes the remember list even longer. I’d go so far as to say it adds a bi-polar element to our school situation (the result of a waiting list as long as your arm) – and this morning I found myself cursing my inability to stay on top of things.
It was Jeans for Genes Day at Son2’s school, necessitating the wearing of denim and a 10dhs donation (which had to be in 10 dirham coins, not a note, as they were going to use the coins to fill the outline of a pair of jeans). A great cause, and I was all for it. We picked out his coolest jeans. He pulled them on, and buttoned up his blue and white stripy school shirt at 7am this morning.
Big mistake – when we get to school, all the other kids are wearing T-shirts with their jeans.
Son2 bursts into noisy, guffawing sobs and runs away. I’m feeling mildy annoyed that he’s having such a dramatic reaction. But then, the teacher goes off to see if there’s a spare T-shirt, and half the class pours out the door like flood water, to stare at my son, who’s hiding round the corner. “A-ha, you’re not meant to be wearing that,” trills one classmate, pointing.
My words, “It doesn’t matter!” fall like rocks in the morning air.
And I feel so bad – so horribly bad – that I go straight home, pick up a T-shirt (his brother’s, another brain freeze) and drive it back to school.
Bring on the Easter holidays! (Now, if someone could just tell me where I put my car keys … )