Yesterday the new High Schoolers at my son’s College got a day at school by themselves before the rest of the rabble joined them today. This is probably because half of them were crapping their pants and the other half balling up a fist to wipe away un-manly tears -and they definitely didn’t want witnesses.
From the start, being a parent to a new Infants school kid (around 4-5 yrs old) is pretty tragic. Even the most upstanding citizen is transformed into a pathological liar….
- “You’re going to LOVE school, it’ll be great” … when you’re really thinking…( OMG 13 years of homework, you POOR thing!)
- “You’re going to meet so many great new friends!” (You have no idea how many dickheads there are in the world).
- “You’re going to learn all this cool, new stuff!” (Why, the frick, did I have to learn long-bloody-division, do the Macarena, or do a project on Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edward (Fartin’) Barton.
- “Your new uniform looks so grown up!!” (He looks like a massive idiot in those clod-hoppers and way-too-big shorts and shirt that cost the price of a condo in Paris!)
- “You won’t even think of Mummy, you’ll be having so much fun” (trying to draw a letter ‘d’ the correct way around, over and over and over again, while managing the cramp in your tiny little, baby hand, -sob!)
Love the incredulous look you get, after a week at school, and they’ve ‘done that’, and you say they have to go back again after the 2 days off. “No. You can’t be serious” …the look says, tears welling. (sob, again).
And you feel soooooooo mean, sending them back to Colditz with their little library bag and devon sandwich, for another week of hand cramps, pee’d pants, snotty playmates, hot, concrete assemblies, and hell – sitting next to girls!
There’s no way around it. The first seven years of school is a real eye-opener. The things you CAN be honest about might help – how they’ll probably get to make a papier mache pig money box, wear a hat full of eggs in the Easter bonnet parade, learn to play Hot Cross Buns on the recorder and get a free toothbrush from Healthy Harold….all vitally important aspects of the education of our young.
Which brings me back to the High Schoolers – there’s no point in lying to them now. They’re devastatingly aware of their tragic circumstances, ANOTHER six years of incarceration, horrendous mathematics, assignments, homework, report cards, NAPLAN tests and exams, school lunches, bus queues, uniform ties and correct hair cuts, and ANOTHER round of dickheads to get used to.
The new High Schooler is literally crapping himself. No more, the naive youngster all shiny and pink cheeked. In his place is a white faced, clammy being, with a too-big uniform and a too-short haircut, trying to lug a school backpack the size of a small minivan. He knows, with absolute clarity, that he’s the krill in the food chain.
Yep – this anxiety ridden human of yours is perfectly aware that he is not going to have fun. He’s going to be bottom of the dung pile. Lower than snail sh!t in a wheel rut. He’ll be relegated to the frontest of front seats in the school bus, having gotten on dead last by being cut in on 76 times in the bus line. He knows he’ll be judged by the bigger kids, on his height, squeaky voice, face, body fat and sporting ability. Handball squares won’t be available to the likes of him for …oh….another 3 or 4 years. He wont’ be able to take yummy little string cheese sticks or Twisties to school any more for fear of teasing. Mum won’t be there to pick him up. Oh God, he’s going to have to do maths in a MATHS class!! A class JUST FOR maths! Oh God, oh goddogoddogoddo GOD!!!
I still have traumatic nightmares about Cos, Sine and Tan….and
fuc functions of x. Who THE fricking hell invented quadratic and differential equations anyway, and what kind of sadistic, warped mind wanted to do that to teenagers? What was their game? To provide fodder for mental health professionals for the next 5 decades? I nearly have an aneurism just thinking about it.
Yep, First days of high school are pretty bad. It’s the fear of the UNKnown. Not knowing if that pretty lady teacher is going to be your worst nightmare, not knowing how to open those lockers, not knowing how to get dressed into PE gear without everyone looking at your Y-fronts (note to self, do NOT wear the Ninja turtle or Cammo print undies) ….Not knowing what’s going to happen when you can’t do your homework, when you forget your woodwork apron and when you …heaven help you….forget to hand in your first assignment. They probably hang you up by your balls and flog you in the quadrangle!!!
All those first dayers – the poor little souls are clustered around eachother simultaneously shoving shaking hands in pockets in an attempt to look unfazed, and crapping their pants.
Their first half day consists of the receipt of unintelligable timetables, blindly following any kid that looks remotely like he knows where he’s going, buggering up the combination on the locker until he’s sweaty, nearly crying, and late for class (wherever that is, because everyone he was following has disappeared), and praying to the Dear Lord Above to deliver him from this Evil. Then, hallelujah, it’s recess. At least he recognises his lunchbox. It’s like The Enterprise has beamed him into an alien world of Tall People with very loud voices. Form a Huddle….there’s safety in numbers, so all the Year 7’s congregate in a scrum in a futile attempt to get to know eachother – which is pretty hard if you refuse to introduce yourself, ask any questions or look at the other kid in the face.
They nearly wet themselves in fright when the ‘bell’ goes off, right above them, to signify the second half of the day. They laugh very loudly to cover up their terror and go to do battle with their Fort Knox lockers. Confusion turns into a catatonic daze when they’re introduced to a vicious squadron of teachers. How the heck are they supposed to remember all their names?
It helps if your librarian’s name is Mrs. Piss. (as reported by #1 son). “It DEFINITELY is”, he swore, hand over heart. “She told us herself!”. Poor, Poor Woman. The boys were delighted. Later I found out, in print, that her name was Mrs. Pearce. Oh God, my son is calling the Librarian Mrs. Piss TO HER FACE!
Finally, it’s home time – the ensuing Bus chaos makes WWII look like a church picnic. Tension, if you can believe it, escalates even higher turning your child’s ears a frightening shade of puce …”what if I miss the bus? what if I get the wrong one? Where’s my bus pass? how will I know where to get off? Will I get a seat? and the big one…Will I get an old sandwich thrown at me???”
……..and, on his arrival home, knowing all this perfectly well, I have the gall to say with a cheerful smile “Hi mate, did you have a good day??”