Last week saw my precious boys first official day at your pre-school. I dropped him off on Thursday lunchtime and walked home feeling like I was missing an arm. At 3pm I excitedly came to pick him up and asked you the inevitable question, “How did he get on?”
Your response was: “Good as gold, we hardly knew he was here!”
With those few words my heart sank and have haunted me ever since. Your words confirmed one of my greatest fears about my little man entering the education system. I’m a teacher, I know what happens to the good kids.
They spend their school days sat next to the naughties being the good influence. They’re the kids who quite often don’t get spoken to by the teacher because they can be trusted to get on with things without causing a fuss. They don’t go on the reward trips because the little sod who acts up every lesson gets a positive point every time he remembers to bring a pen. They’re the kids who everyday do exactly what is asked of them without ever hearing a Well Done from anyone.
In that moment, I realised something. I don’t want him to be a good boy if it means you never noticing him. I don’t want you to have to look up his picture before Parents Evening to make sure you know you’re talking about the right child.
I fear for my little boy as he gets closer to school age. I watched him at your preschool visit as he desperately tried to get your attention to show you his picture. I watched him with his hand up so enthusiastically to tell you what words began with a B, but you were distracted. Busy telling the boy on the other side of the circle to stop throwing flour.
I fear that over time his enthusiasm will start to wane. That hand that shoots up so high right now will gradually begin to droop until one day it stops going up at all.
Let me tell you something about my son. He’s a people pleaser, he’s trusting, he’s bright (or at least I think so), he loves football and animals. He can recognise and name almost every airline that flies out of Manchester Airport. He will tell you all of this himself if you give him the chance to.
I know you are busy and I know it’s difficult when you have 20 or more kids to look after (believe me, I know). There will always be some that demand more attention than others, but that little boy is my world and he is certainly not invisible. Please don’t forget he’s there!
A Worried Mummy