Working Mum: The dreaded school prize giving
COMMENTby Tabitha Ronson
I have come to dread the end of term prize giving ceremony at Master A's school.
Every year, I excitedly take my place in the school hall, eagerly anticipating the swag load of awards with which Master A will be honoured.
Every year, I leave bitterly disappointed, having celebrated the achievement of almost every other child other than my own.
As the ceremony progresses and I watch the awards coming and going, my shoulders begin to slump, my original lightning-loud claps begin to fade. I've come to learn not to look at Master A; I can't bear to see his chest puff up in anticipation when the prize category is announced only to deflate when another name other than his is called out.
When the service is over, I have to put on a brave face, hide my dismay. I go over to congratulate the award-winning children and their hugely smug parents (who can blame them).
I then walk over to the star of my show. He always puts on a brave face. He gives me a big beam smile and says the same thing: "Maybe next year, Mummy." I give him a huge hug. "Yes, definitely next year."
Yet the plaudits never come.
Throughout the school year, I receive regular updates about his progress. I'm told he's a well behaved little boy and likeable. His work is consistently good and in sport he's a team player. In fact, he is a thoroughly good egg. And that's why he doesn't ever get an award.
He's not The Most Improved or The Pupil Who Has Tried The Hardest To Work In A Group. These are given to the children who struggle, the ones who it is felt will continue to make steps in these areas if they are given an incentive, like an award at prize giving.
It's Master A's prize giving tomorrow. Some of the mums have received hints from the teachers that "it might be in their best interest to be there". I'm not one of them.
I will take my seat in the hall though - if only to be able to hug Master A at the end and say: "Yes, definitely next year."
Working Mum, already wanting tomorrow to be over.