The other day during my son’s orientation, I met the grandmother of one of his kindy classmate. I know her well because I see her around often. She sends and picks up the child and she is the one who collects the report cards and attends the school concerts etc. I hardly see the parents. They did not collect the report card, nor did they attend the year end concert.

So it was no surprise to me that it was the grandmother, yet again who was the one to attend the orientation. I do not know their circumstances but it is sad.

The grandmother was relieved to see me because she needed help to fill in the many forms that needed to be completed and submitted on Orientation Day. She sat beside me in the hall and I helped her to fill up the forms. She obviously did not know how to complete the forms.

The grandmother said the parents were busy……. again?……. on a public holiday? The grandmother often drives rather fast with a small frown on her face. She tells me that she can’t send the child anymore because this school is far and she has another small grandchild to look after. I can understand why she looks harrased.

I did not meet them on the first day of school but on the second day of school, it was again the grandmother who was there to make sure the child knows how to board the right school bus for her transport home.

Sometimes during school parties, the child comes to school not in a pretty little frock like all the pampered little princesses of today but in a school uniform because someone forgot to dress her up in party clothes. Once, she cried and told my son that her dress was not nice during a party.

Poor child. Poor grandmother. I really do not know the circumstances of the family so I do not wish to criticise anyone but what I know is, it is better not to have children if you can’t find the time for them.

In another case, once I saw a father come to the school to see his daughter. The teachers were at a loss about what to do. They had received strict instructions from the mother not to allow the father to see the girl. The man begged. “I am on leave today. I only want to surprise her.” The teachers were really at a loss. For safety and security they could not allow the man to see the girl. The man insisted that he is no stranger there to kidnap the girl. “I just want to see her.” He went and hugged the girl and left soon after full of apologies. How sad.

Again, I do not know the full circumstances. Neither do the teachers and they have a job to ensure the safety of the kids but what I do know is when adults quarrel, they should try their best not to involve the child.

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