I took the day off (oh no, not again!) to accompany YK for school registration. Initially I didn't want to tag along like a motherhen but when I found out that his friends are all going with their parents, I changed my mind. He may need my signature or even if he doesn't, I'll be there to provide moral support.
I know some people may already be shaking her head and clucking her tongue, "But he's turning 17. My son did everything himself, I didn't even have to lift a finger."
Well, let's just say not all kids are made equal. Not all parents are created equal too. I like to be involved and hands-on. Thank you very much.
So, we've heard the registration process can take up to 4 hours. With the help of technology, it shouldn't take that long. Then again, it is precisely technology that screw things up. I've been delayed at airports for hours all because the computer system was down. Two days ago, we had a blackout at our office and everything came to a standstill. My laptop was powered but without internet connection, I was helpless.
This brings me back to the pre-internet days when YK was still a toddler when I registered him at the childcare centre. He was only 20 months old but he adapted very quickly and loved going to school. That year, he celebrated his birthday with a cake as big as him. I have a photo of him with a shy smile on his face and eager kids crowding around, waiting to munch on the Mickey Mouse chocolate cake.
SK was different. He cried so much during his first week at school, we took him out soon after. He's the introvert and the signs were already showing from young.
When it came to registration for primary school, I was quite the clueless parent. Other parents were so well prepared with a clear intention of which schools are best for their kids. Some relocate their homes or start volunteering their time in the preferred school years ahead.
It turned out to be quite a traumatic experience for me. I was turned down by several schools in our neighbourhood and ended up before the principal of a boys school. He said the chances were bleak and I should apply for a place in the 'mediocre' school nearby. That was when I found the courage to tell him off. I was really quite pissed off with the system, so I had to stand up for myself and my son.
"Why are you pushing me off to yet another school? You don't think we deserve to apply for a place in your school? If we don't get a place here, we will be sent to that school anyway. But at least I am not giving up right?"
So, I went ahead and put that school as our first choice. We got a place. It's not a prestigious school by any means but I like the values and the school tradition. Both my sons studied there for 6 years.
By the time they were ready for secondary school, they had an idea where they wanted to go. So it was easier for me. And now, YK has reached another milestone. This time, the choice of school and course were completely his. He knows what he wants and I'm here to give moral support.