Child 1: “I HATE YOU! I don’t like you!”
Child 2: *raises hand in a “talk to this” style*
Parent of child 1: “OI. Do you want a smack? You SHUT IT!”
Child running away from parent.
Parent of child: “OI! C’MERE YER LITTLE SHIT!” She looks around. “Oops, I mean, YER LITTLE SOD!”
Child running across grass.
Parent of child: “GEORGE! STOP BLOODY RUNNING AWAY AND GET YOURSELF ERE NOW!”
I have no idea if this is acceptable to hear for most parents and children out there. The above were three different incidents, albeit small incidents, heard at Noah’s school in the space of 2 days. I have watched children run out in front of cars in the car park, whilst the parent stood by and shouted (rather than actually chasing them, or even better, keeping a hold on them in the first place).
On Noah’s first day, he told me of a little boy who was spitting at him. Obviously I asked him if he mentioned it to the teacher; he had done. The child had continued, but apparently stopped after a little while. Another child in the playground, every single pick up and drop off, is riding a scoot-bike (no pedals), and repeatedly rams into parents and children. He’s hit Isaac numerous times. The mother, stood very close by, does nothing to stop him.
Maybe, just maybe, I set my standards too high. Maybe, I expect to much of youngsters at school (all of the above incidents were with children who could not have been older than 6). Maybe I am indeed a snob, and should learn to accept some kind of regular way of life.
The thing is, I can’t tolerate what I’m seeing. It grates me. It leaves me cold. It makes me cross. I scream repeatedly on the inside. Every single morning and afternoon, I literally run in and out of the school as fast as possible with the boys. I know, I know, we can’t live in a bubble. They have to “experience real life”. I get that. However, there are things I do not want my children exposed to, because it is not a way of life. Not in our house. Not ever.
I knew I had a sinking feeling about the school when we first took Noah, and at the time I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. As we have completed the first week, and starting the second, my desperation to get him the hell out as soon as possible, is making me physically sick. Every single day, I hope and pray to the Gods of The County Councils, that they will phone or write and say that a space is available for Noah at one of the nearer schools. All of which, are gorgeous and lovely and perfect.
I know and trust that Noah is an incredibly sound and level headed boy. I know he has a surprising amount of common sense, and he knows what is right and wrong. But that doesn’t make me feel happy knowing he is exposed to the crap such as that above. I shout and swear a lot. A whole lot. But NEVER, NEVER in front of my children. Or in front of other people’s children. Or in the goddamn school playground; an environment supposedly safe for parents and children alike. (In theory.)
A letter arrived today confirming Noah’s placement on another waiting list at a nearby school. The three schools near us – he is now listed for them all. We have reached the point where there is nothing, nothing more I can do. The school run will continue to try and grind me down, and through the winter I can only hope I make it through without being crushed by depression. I hang on desperately to the fact that I’m booking my weddings next year, with some booked for 2014 already. The hope is getting the boys back into private education by 2014/15.
I just want the absolute best for them. And right now, what I’m giving them sure as hell is not good enough.