The two boys were often in trouble with the disciplinary teacher and their Form Teacher in school. The eldest daughter never had any disciplinary problems as she was diligent, finished her assignment on time and was always above board.
The most common of the boys’ disciplinary problems were being ‘absent from school without leave’, meaning either they played truant or either their AWOL was being sanctioned by us, like taking them overseas for a couple of weeks. Both were probable causes.
Other disciplinary problems included very poor marks in their exams, dirty, creased and soiled school attire, bringing their Pokemon cards and comics, did not pass up their homework assignments, went late to school and went home early, standard white shoes caked in mud, forgot their name tags and a host of minor infractions.
Thank goddess that they were not involved in any mini school ‘triad’ gangs, drugs and cigarettes, pornographic materials, fighting and other serious offenses which might get them suspended from school.
Though Tiger Mom kept a closed check on their school’s attire and white shoes but there were always dirty. I guessed that they did it on purpose for it appeared ‘cool’ to their classmates. Even to this day, I still could not figure out how did they get to school late and how did they get off early before school was over (as reported by their Form Teacher) as there was a school bus that ferried them to and fro. Them kids might be very resourceful.
Now when the kids were in trouble at school, they would come looking for their Rabbit Dad and Rabbit Dad always had a card up his sleeve to make the problem went away or to hide the problem from Tiger Mom. Tiger Mom was better at solving problems.
A case in point was their thrice yearly report card from school. The eldest daughter was not a problem and she always presented her report card on time to Tiger Mom for her to sign. But the boys’ report cards were never signed by her. They would wait for me to come back from overseas to see the Form Teacher first. Only then would they present it to their Tiger Mom, as it was the LAW to show it to her. It would then entail a serious session of long reprimand and most often corporal caning from her rattan mace.
It was always the same old scenario with the disciplinary or Form Teacher.
When the teacher had his mouthful of rantings and I had my earful of words, I looked at the reports that the teacher presented to me. In their report card more than half were red marks on their class subjects. In their discipline report there were always some red bold circles on some hand written sentences which were suppose to draw my attention. I thought what irked the teacher most was that I always signed the reports with some nonchalance and never did enquire further. Then I just looked at the boys and said onto them, “Well, you have to do better the next time.”
And the next time would be another appointment with the teacher/s at their staff’s room again. Same Old Story….
There was an occasion when a mother of a student, who was Cal’s classmate (my second son), met me at the school’s canteen. Of course, she was not there to see the disciplinary teacher, she went there during the recess to bring home-cook food for her dear princess.
While I was waiting for the teacher we struck up quite a good conversation. On the long wooden table, she placed her thermos canteen and tiffin box in front of her while I placed my son’s report card on the table. She told me she came to see her daughter and I told her I came to see the disciplinary teacher. She would go to the school three times a week to bring home-cook food to her daughter while I would go to the school 5 or 6 times in a calendar year to see the disciplinary teacher.
She was preening her feathers while I was trying to hide my embarrassment.
After a while we went our separate ways.
On our way back Cal thanked me for seeing the teacher and enquired on our conversation. Cal told me that she was always at the top of their class in every primary school subjects. Her mother was always kind and gentle and often told her to choose her friends wisely.
“So are you one of her friends?” I asked casually.
“Yeah! No problem Pop! We are great pals. Though she is at the top and I am almost at the bottom of the class, I am no ruffian”. Cal used to call me Pop in his younger days.
Then again, Rabbit Dad had his own idea of bringing up children.
Category: 4 The Boys’ Disciplinary Problems