Back-to-school nightmares start NOW!

It is that time of the year again. When you have to squeeze into old, old shops with hundreds of other parents and school kids buying school shoes, uniforms and bags. Also the time to queue up at school bookshops, buying school books. Then, off to Popular and such to buy stationeries. I hate this! I simply hate it!

I know, I know, we have hypermarkets which sells everything under one roof. In aircond comfort somemore. But buying from hypermarkets doesn’t feel the same. Each year, I will still get squashed in Hin Lee along Jalan Magazine buying school uniforms “cap racquet”, school shoes “cap pallas” and school bags from Swan. Any other brands or shops just doesn’t feel right. You just need to step into the shop and the apek-apek taukey will know exactly what size fits your kids. There is a carnival like ambience in that old, Chinamen shop.

With 3 school-going kids, our pocket is badly koyak. We had spent more than RM500 so far. And each kid only get a set of school uniform plus some hand-me down textbooks from the older brothers. This does not include stationeries yet. That makes me wonder….. how can our normal rakyat afford 5 children? Does the person who encourages the rakyat to have 5 kids know the cost of sending them to school, albeit with bantuan pinjaman buku teks (free textbooks), bantuan makanan tambahan (free food for poor kids) and the occassional donated school bags and shoes? Shudders…. I cannot imagine having to spend that amount of money if say, our monthly wages is around RM1,000. My part-time helper told me how worried she is during the end of the year especially when the Chinese New Year falls in January. New clothes, new school stuffs plus angpows. So to those of you with employees, helpers, poorer neighbours, needy friends etc – have a thought for them. Give them a bigger angpow, bonus, year end treat, whatever.

Anyway – glad that all the school stuffs are almost complete except probably the kids will scream at the 11th hour that they missed buying one miserable eraser or pencil. Usual. Usual.

Glad that I don’t have to deal with any separation anxiety for another year or two. My kids are going to Form Three, One and Standard Three. Yippee!!! To those moms whose kids are going to kindy, nursery or Standard One – start the simulation now. Drive by the school now. Get the uniforms out, take the books and play ‘so exiciting, kenot wait to go to school’. Be prepared for lots of tears and screaming. And yeah, be ready to face the most hurtful reaction too. My #1 son threw my hands away and disowned me before reaching the primary school gates in 1996. Awww…. I was so broken hearted becaused I dressed up to the nines in red jacket, 3 inches shoes, feeling so proud, took photos, felt like a peacock because my little baby is finally in Standard One. What an anti-climax. But that’s the price of love. Ready to let go and let the kids fly and soar on their own.