The exams have ended and the results are out. Friends have been calling to check on each others’ kids. Some of the kids have done well but being mothers, none of us are satisfied with the results the kids bring home.
Here I am, chiding a friend for scolding her son for getting only 70 for Science when he had failed the last two assessments, while at the same time scolding my own son for getting only 73 for the same subject.
Her excuse? ‘But he said the paper was easy and he could get above 80.’
My excuse? There are too many and mine are not excuses. They are justified reasons for scolding Aaron for not doing a better job. He’s not even in PSLE and I am already stressed out by his poor performance. He can be sure his December holidays are going to be filled with assessment books.
After all the complaints, the mothers start to compare their kids with the best in the class. Where is the difference between them and our kids.
‘The best boy in the class has a mother who is a tutor. He is sure to be absent from class three days before exams and never dares reveal his answers or results to anyone in class. But we all know because his position is in the top 3 every year.’ Says my friend whose son has just completed his PSLE.
‘The smartest boy in my neighbourhood is in RI and is taking a degree in music. He doesn’t play with the neighbour kids, calling them childish. He is only 13.’ Says another. I can imagine her shaking her head in sympathy over the phone.
Aaron had told me before that the best girl is his class last year goes for 9 tuitions. He requested to go to Learning Lab for tuition next year too as most people in his class who score well are attending tuition from there. I read that Learning Lab charges four figures – not that I can’t afford it, but I don’t want to encourage the dependence on tutors, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
After all the conversation, the mothers realise that even though our sons (yes, that could be the problem for all these complaints in the first place) are not at the top, they at least have a balanced life between study and play.
‘You know what, that top boy ever told my son he envies my son,’ said my friend to me, pleased at last for her son.
Childhood is ending soon for these boys and the mothers’ hope ultimately is for them to have a happy childhood, one that is filled with happy memories of play and fun, not just study and exams. So even as we complain and scold when the results are out, the boys are still allowed to be boys.