It was a very exciting morning, one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time: my first day at big boy school.
I’ve been asking Dad all summer when I’ll be able to go. We walk past the school a lot, whenever we go into town for a sneaky babyccino. (He has the babyccino, while I have the large double-shot skinny latte. Or is that the other way round?) I knew it was getting close when they did our sports day and leaving ceremony at preschool. Everyone got a book and a medal for doing what we normally did every day anyway: run around like lunatics outside. So that was nice. But anyway, that was so last month.
I’ve had two weeks off since then going to Legoland, playing with friends, riding my bike, swimming, chatting up girls in the park (don’t tell Mum and Dad that bit, okay?), that sort of thing. Mum has been busy buying lots of new clothes and ironing labels with my name into them. This morning she got me all dressed up, packed my book bag and my new Cars 2 lunchbox and took lots of photos of me. Then Dad came back from dropping Toby off at nursery and took even more photos of me. I think I need to talk to someone about protecting my image rights. I’m sure I’m being exploited. (I bet they’ve even posted photos on Facebook. Bloody cheek.)
Then we all walked to school. We got there and there were loads of other kids there, all dressed just like me in colour-coordinated teal gear! What are the odds?
We found my new classroom. Dad said I shouldn’t offer to teach my Introduction to Computer Hacking class just yet. (Maybe tomorrow?) I was all ready to go in and make a dignified entrance – and then it started. You know what I mean. The anxious, over-long, slightly embarrassing cuddle. The wobbly bottom lip. The eyes welling up with tears. Weeks of pent-up anxiety suddenly coming to the surface.
But it was okay. I put a reassuring arm around Mum’s shoulder and told her not to cry, that everything would be alright, and that I would be here for her when she came to pick me up later. Honestly, she’s so emotional sometimes.
At least Dad was okay. He gave me a quick hug, told me to have a great day, then went back to updating his Facebook status on his phone. Still, at least he didn’t take any more photos.
School was great. I made a new best friend. We did lots of fun stuff. I enjoyed tucking into my packed lunch. (Apparently I can order a hot cooked meal when I go in each morning. I’ll have to show Mum how to do that on the classroom PC. It’s dead easy.) We had more fun in the afternoon. It was just like preschool, really, only with more kids and fewer grown-ups for us to look after – less to worry about, more time for play.
Mum and Dad seemed quite relieved to see how happy I was at the end of the day. Honestly, what did they think was going to happen? Like I keep telling them, I’m all grown up and I’m a big boy now. Still, I was pleased for them. They’ve been worrying so much that to see them happy because I was happy made it all worthwhile.
The best thing about today, though? I get to go back and do it all over again tomorrow! Happy days.
Isaac Liew (aged 4¾)