Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The secret club

Almost from Betty's first day of starting school (six weeks ago) she has been nagging us to let her go on the school bus.

I had reservations, mainly because I thought she was too young.  I felt that she needed her mum or dad to walk her up the playground to her classroom, hang her coat up, put her book bag in the right place, and make her squirm by trying to sort her hair out, wipe the porridge off her face, and kiss her goodbye in front of her teacher.

To make myself feel better, I reasoned that Betty taking the school bus would mean I would avoid having to awkwardly manoeuvre my people carrier in amongst the Range Rovers and BMWs in the miniscule school carpark.  I also wouldn't have to face thin and glamorous mums every single morning and afternoon, who all stare at my greasy hair and protruding stomach and probably wonder whether or not it is safe to congratulate me on my impending birth (it's not).   

This school bus is pretty tame - it's a little minibus, and the journey from our house to the school is about two minutes, along a country road, including a Postman Pat-style railway bridge.  So after a lot more nagging from Betty, and Tom telling me she would be absolutely fine, I finally agreed. 

Betty has been going to and from school on the school bus since Monday - my innocent sweet little girl got on the bus at the end of our driveway at 8.33am, and then got off the bus again at 3.33pm about ten years older.

I have been finding cryptic notes written by older kids, in Betty's book bag, which mainly consist of random letters or pictures.  When I ask Betty what they are or who wrote them, she tells me she is in a secret club with five other children, and I am not allowed to know what they say.  Aside from the secret club, one note was clearly meant for me and said: 'Can S come to my house for tea?'  When I asked Betty who 'S' was, she told me that she is her new best friend, but is NOT a member of the secret club. 

Using my best detective skills I have worked out a couple of their rules; whenever Dolly tries to enter a room, Betty barricades the door and says: 'You can only come in if you call me Princess'. Trousers are also a big no-no - Tom, Dolly and I all got chastised for this. 

Tomorrow the whole school are going to Cardiff to visit a Hindu temple.  Betty has been worried because a member of the secret club has told the other members that, inside the temple, they will have to walk barefoot across fire and do yoga in front of everyone.  It broke my heart a bit that this evening Betty was frantically searching for my yoga dvd so that she could practice. 

Sadly, Betty is no longer a member of my secret club - the club where its members would make play dough, play with Megabloks, paint pictures of rainbows, and watch Peppa Pig - instead she has been poached by some six year olds.


Maxine said...

Oh no! This breaks my heart a little bit too. Bless her for trying to root out a yoga DVD. I instinctively dislike the 6-year-old leader but then feel guilty because they're only 6. It's a fear of mine that my daughter will go through a much more extreme version of this in her teens. I dread it.

Hope Betty realises that mummy's club is far better soon. xx

nappy valley girl said...

I have to say I love the school bus system here. I am dreading having to do a school run of some kind in future years, when we will be back in England. This way I can just step out of the house half dressed, put them on the bus, and be back inside with my cup of tea five minutes later. The Littleboys really enjoy it too (although I feel sorry for the bus driver, it is a zoo on the back of that bus).

Vera said...

Beneath your witty words, I feel a big sadness about the growing up, and away, of your daughter. It is a feeling that all loving and caring parents will feel. It shows that you care. That you are doing your best. Your daughter is a bright spirit, and well done you for letting her be herself without too much hindrance.

Emma @mummymummymum said...

Oh bless her for looking for your yoga dvd! You are so brave. I don't think I would be ready for Z to get a bus to school just yet. :-)

Sparx said...

Don't worry, it won't last! Mum's will always win.

It's great that she has a club - the daughter of friends of ours went to a school that none of the other kids went to and she is really really struggling to find friends and fit in; Betty is very lucky. Just play it cool and pretend not to care (then root around in her bag when she's asleep!!!).

Unknown said...

Thank you for your lovely comments!

Betty has fully embraced the bus - she positively loves it!

And altho she is a member of another club now, the older kids are so lovely to her! :)