In the morning I would watch my younger sister cry to have me go with her to school. Did she know what school was, I wondered.
Mum would sooth her and make false promise just to have her be at peace. I was always told never to bid her goodbye as that would just act to grieve her soul. “Mum, When will I go to school?” she would ask. “When you are big enough like Jade, your sister, you will definitely be a school girl” mum would answer. My sister would continue insisting that she was big enough to go to school with mum ending the conversation that she would go to school the day that is to follow. Children at times forget very fast but this time round it was never to happen.
The following day, Ritz got up very early before me. Mum was quick to follow her to the sitting room and observe her moves. Going to school was her greatest wish at that moment. She knew that one must wake up very early. She had perceived the need for stationery as a basic requirement. So, the first thing to think of is stationery and quickly she picks my bag to remove a book.
‘This is what I am going to read in school,” She murmurs. Mum shoots from her hiding place and asks Ritz what she intends to do. “I am preparing to go to school mum, you promised that would go to school today.” She answers. “But you don’t have books.” Mum suggests.
“I have a book mum, one I took from Jade’s bag.” She says. Hearing about my book, I wake hurriedly knowing that a tag of war is underway. “Give me my book!” I shout. Ritz gets terrified and gives me the book. She then starts asking for one from mum and there’s no way to convince her that she’s not going to school.
Mum tries to convince her to sit down and have her cool down but all in vain. All that remains is to have dad give his opinion. Dad hesitates but on realizing there’s no way out, he decides it’s the high time Ritz goes to school. Hasty preparations follow and thank God, the school is just nearby. That’s Ritz’s big fight in ensuring she is taken to school.The conversation between her and mum on the way to school tells it all.
“What will you do when you get to school?” Mum asks. This is followed by endless answers. “I will see the teacher, read books, write my name, play with other children and then come back home. At home I will do homework with Jade.” Mum realizes her determination. Baby class involves playing a lot and learrning from social activities among children.
Of course there is no writing fir the first day. Ritz keeps wondering why but asks no one when she gets home. From the look on her face, she is unhappy. “How was school?” Mum enquires. From her answer, Ritz expected a wide expansive space for the school, many big classes, many teachers, many pupils and a big playground.
This was not the case. There was only one class for about thirty pupils and only one teacher. She also did not engage in writing as she had expected and this was the cause of her anger. “Mum, that was not school,” she said. “Jade’s school is big and has a big playground, many pupils and many teachers.
Jade reads and writes everyday and has homework on a daily basis. I want to go Jade’s school.” She added. Mum had to explain to her that she was just a starter and has to qualify to be at my level and be in the school I was in. it was tough trying to make her adjust and change her perception of what school was.
Finally, she got used to the situations of everyday and got to a time when reading and writing occupied much of what she was meant to do in school. She was glad when it came to doing homework and like many children do, it was her first focus whenever she got home from school especially because she had anticipated it.