Hello and welcome to the start of another school year. How were the summer holidays? Well, you’re alive aren’t you? So I guess it wasn’t as bad as you’re making it out to be.
The start of the academic year is a magical time. Everything is wonderful, shiny and new. Everything except your kids, who are the same, stinky old ones you had at the end of the school year. But hey, that doesn’t matter. You’ve got new books, new folders, new text books, new pens, pencils, erasers and enough labels to cover that big hole you made in the wall when you tried to drill a nail into it by yourself.
If you put a white acrylic frame around the labels it will look like expensive art that no one understands. What else is new? New uniforms! Yay! Unless the cost of uniforms in your school is the GDP of a small country. In that case, your children will be wearing uniforms from last year. (A tip: you know the 500 new sketch pens the school insists your child needs to competently finish assignments and project work? Find one that is the closest match to your school t-shirt and then colour it in. Brand new old uniform. Works like a charm.)
What else is new? New teachers to fear, resent and suck up to. New parents who you can spend the rest of the year sticking labels on (so don’t you go and use all of them to cover that hole, keep a few extra handy.) ‘Neurotic’ ‘Annoying’ ‘Pretends to be humble but is actually showing off about everything’ ‘Alphas’. ‘Helicopters’ ‘Ugh’.
New parents have lots of questions on the first day of school. I only have one: “Can you keep them for longer?” New parents, here are some questions I don’t think you should be asking at all:
1. You don’t need to know which section your child is in. Or the name, age, height, weight and AADHAR card number of their class teacher, subject teachers and class didi by 8:30 am on the first day. There is nothing you can do with this information. N.O.T.H.I.N.G.
2. No one cares which house your child is.‘Vivi is in green house.’ ‘Arnoo is in yellow.’ No one cares. If this was Hogwarts we would care. But it isn’t. So we don’t.
3. Why do you need the timetable on the first day? What will you do with it? When it’s 11 am and time for Yoga will you be doing pavanmuktaasan at home to feel at one with your 6-year-old? Read a book instead.
4. Stop asking what you need to label and send to school. No. You don’t need to label each of the 300 pencils. Doesn’t your LinkedIn profile say you have a masters degree in engineering?
5. Don’t ask dumb questions about homework. “Do we need to teach them the rhyme exactly the way it is in the Rhymes CD?” No, no. Feel free to experiment. Spoken word. Set it to Mohana raagam. Sing it to the beats of Shape of You. In kindergarten, your child’s GPA depends on it.
Dear parents. Your children will be fine. I promise. Just don’t interfere and get a life of your own.
(Psst… reserve the “B****” label for me.)
(The writer’s parenting philosophy is: if there’s no blood, don’t call me)