Working Mum: Form captain's badge is more than just a symbol

By Giles Broadbent on July 2, 2014 1:24 PM |



By Tabitha Ronson

What is my world coming to? Once upon a time my only worry was which handbag I was going to purchase come pay day, torn between a Fendi Penguin or Gucci Brevettato.

Now I'm having meetings with a school head over standard issue metal accessories.

Master A was given the honour of being Form Captain for the week. This title comes round once in a school year and is a chance for the appointed child to walk with a swagger because not only do they have a role to play but a badge to prove it. Just like being a Det Con or FBI agent.

The problem was Master A wasn't given the shiny red Form Captain badge when he took over the role on Friday.

It did not materialise on Monday or Tuesday as, according to Master A, it was being held hostage by the previous Form Captain.

"He's told me, Mummy, that he is going to keep it. It's not fair!"

Life's like that - but how do you begin to start that conversation with a six-year-old. My son remains obsessed with superheroes, particularly Batman. So insignia to him aren't some kind of meaningless cosmetic affectation but a genuine reflection of status and responsibility.

I don't get fazed if someone forgets to send me a card on my birthday; I don't worry if a friend cancels on me at the last minute; I'm not troubled if I fail to win a raffle prize.

However, these things are a big deal to a child.

As adults are we let down so much that in the end we fail to care. Is not worrying simply a mechanism to mask a mountain of disappointment?

I placed myself in Master A's shoes - and fired off an email to his headteacher.

Yes, not having a badge to wear when you're Form Captain is a trivial matter - one should be happy and confident in the knowledge that you just are - but to have your moment in the spotlight removed by a selfish individual is not tolerable.

Working Mum, learning more about the values in life through Master A than I have in my own lifetime experience.