Brat’s big school begins

The Brat takes after his father where change is concerned. And I don’t say this with a heavy heart. Easy going and goodnatured – he’s nothing like me. I get mad if my cheese is moved.

The Brat and the OA on the other hand, take it in their stride and it’s fascinating to watch him turn into this little person with hints of his father’s nature.

A few days ago we told him he was going to a new school.

X school ? says he, meaning his first playschool.

No, I say.

Y, he asks??  the summer camp

No, baby.

Z?  -the school he just left.

No… a new one.

Okay, says he nonchalantly and turns back to the imaginary aircraft he’s steering around the room. (I think we’ve also changed so many schools that we’ve broken down his resistance and his spirit! He’ll go anywhere we tell him to!)

I wonder if he really has got it and let it be. A few  more reminders and then before you know it, the first day of school arrived.

Cranky as hell I chickened out of going to school with him. I knew I’d start crying and I didn’t think I should upset the Brat if he was fine with it.

And so it came about that the OA took his son to school. We got up bright and early and I dressed him in his uniform. His first uniform. The straps on his dungarees were too long and I’d re-stitched the buttons, feeling rather maternal as I undertook the small task. Little feet put into black shoes, hair brushed, school bag slung on his back, I took a picture of him at the door.

As he walked away grinning eagerly and excitedly, I stood by the door watching him turn the corner and disappear down the stairs. The little voice chattering eagerly with his father, all the way down the stairwell until there was silence.

I called the OA in 15 minutes when I was certain that he’d have dropped the Brat off. Apparently he asked the OA if he’d be left ‘alone’ in class and why the OA couldn’t stay.

Because I have to go to office, baby…said the OA.

The answer satisfied him and he hopped out of the car and holding the OA’s hand walked trustingly into the huge building, the sprawling grounds and the huge thundering teenagers milling around him.

They entered the class and 15 out of the 20 children there were bawling loudly. Uh oh, said the OA – this might set the Brat off.

But the Brat just looked around wonderingly and then turning to the OA said – ‘Why are all these babies crying?’

And then he found himself a seat and settled in and began to steer his imaginary aircraft …

The OA getting a chance slipped away, informed the teacher and rushed off to office. I was a little worried when he told me that. I thought he should have told the Brat he was leaving. But the OA was positive the Brat would be fine.

Sure enough, when he went to pick him up, the rest of the class was still bawling while the Brat looked up and grinned wide. Then throwing his bag and bottle at the OA he said he wanted to go on the swings and before the OA could respond, was out of the door in a flash and on the swings.

This morning was his second day and I wondered if he would put up a resistance. Not a word did he say about his old school – just waved me a cheerful goodbye and went off holding hands with his father.

The OA says today he was stopped at the gate and relieved of the Brat. That bothered me because the classroom is quite a distance from the gate and the route is quite complicated. But apparently the teachers told the OA to sling the Brat’s bag on his back, hang his bottle around his neck and let go. Then patting him on the butt they said ‘Off you go.’ And he did. I guess he found his way despite having gone there yesterday for the first time, because he was in the right place when the OA went to pick him up.

I just heard this from the OA and I am so glad I didn’t see it. The sight of a little figure with a bag on its back and a bottle around the neck, trotting off down the dusty path breaks my heart. Not once did he turn around to look back says the father who sounded proud when he said it – while I smiled inwardly at the thought that the OA had stood there until he’d turned the corner.

It’s a good thing I tell myself. Maybe he knows we’re always standing there looking out for him. Maybe he knows we’re always watching his back. But whatever it is – there’s a little twinge I can’t explain away.

Bye bye little bird… Mama’s going to be waiting right here when you walk out….


34 thoughts on “Brat’s big school begins

  1. Next up– 1st standard girlfriend. Holding hands and licking the same pencil tops.

    Me: ewwww Perakath. licking the same pencil tops? blech. where’s that stake again?!

  2. Yeah, I remember all the babies crying on the first day of school (when I was in bigger classes of course, when I first started, I cried myself sick). I brat is so cute!! Oh and Happy Easter ya’ll.

  3. After all the reading about the brat and bean, it seems like we are all sending the brat to school with a heavy heart. Hope his school years are a lot of fun!

  4. awwww. congrats to you mad momma for cutting the first apron string! I cried along with the cloudy gloomy skies that accompanied both my babies’ entry into big school! WHEW! Just imagine, soon you’ll have to let go of them to whiz about on two-wheelers….eeeeeps! hope Brat’s classmates stop crying soon:)

  5. reading this post brought back so many memories. its funny that now that dad is gone i remember so many things so vividly- dad used to take me for my dance classes every thursday morning, dropping me on the way to work. and that used to one of the best trips of the week- he used to buy me chocolates and frooti so that i could have them when class ended. mom used to get hopping mad that dad was spoiling me silly, but it never deterred him from repeating this every week

  6. Its tough seeing your kids walk to school all dressed in their school uniforms. I remember crying on his first day when I left him in the class while Betu was all smiling and excited. Even he asked the same exact question as to why others were crying?

    On second day he was getting a bit uneasy with such loud bawling by other kids. He told me it scares him. I felt so helpless at that moment.

    Good going Brat. And you kiddos give us Mummas the strength instead of the other way round. A big tight hug for that!

  7. Let me tell you what happened this morning. I dropped the boy off, and he wouldn’t even let me help him up the incline at the gate. Because, you know, my role ends when I lift him down from the rickshaw.

    And for some unaccountable reason, I stayed a few moments longer , just looking at the kids playing. He didn’t know I was watching but he looked around, searched me out — he never does normally — and waved goodbye. Like he hadn’t done it properly the first time, which is also what I had thought!

    I guess your Brat, like my Bhablet, is not going anywhere much. They just like to think they are.

  8. I’d read something in a Reader’s Digest story once, that’s stuck with me ever since.

    It said that Good parents give their children two things, Roots and Wings. Roots to know where their home is and wings to fly off and practice what has been taught to them.

    And after reading this, I’m glad that you’ve given the Brat this. That he has has a safe haven to come back to, when he wants to spread his wings, soar away, explore new worlds and fly farther.

  9. I read the earlier school admissions ordeal and couldn’t believe that one has to go through so much. I don’t think I want to move back at this rate.

    To think this is it…this is going to be his alma mater…there’s something so monumental about it, and full of heart twinges. I can understand how you feel when you imagined him walking away on his own. I feel that way everyday when I see Winkie running to the busstop, to catch the bus, crossing the little road on his own and joining the bigger set of kids standing there. When I see that, I can’t bear to look away.

    Hugs, and here’s to a great new cheerful beginning. He will shine and sparkle wherever he goes, this amazing child.

  10. Aww..Good Luck to you first! Sounds like you need it more than the Brat – and may he have a wonderful time at school ad return when he’s an old man of 30 (:-D) to bore the current crowd with tales of “when I was in this school X years ago” 🙂


  11. I’ve got a lump in my throat just reading this post. It’s such a scary thing to let go of your child into the big bad world. You’ve been nurturing him and teaching him your ways all this while.. and now he’s going to have so many different experiences which can’t be controlled… all the best to the little man! :o)

  12. He is such a brave, trusting baby! May he never need to change.

    Why do we call him the Brat?!

    Me: I wonder too !! A bloggy name change seems to be in order… Give me some time to think of a new one

  13. aww!!
    don’t we get to see a pic of the brat in his first uniform? you could blur the school logo or whatever from the uniform!

  14. I agree with unmana ‘Brat’ is a misnomer- there is no evidence of him being a brat, EVER!
    The ‘twinge’ is that mommy feeling when your intestines start knotting up and your heart contracts and you have difficulty swallowing- happens to me everyday while watching my mite go off to his class from his school gate, and when I see by brat return home from the end of the lane lugging her heavy bag on her lean shoulders.

  15. Pingback: And the student becomes the teacher « The Mad Momma

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