Not only have I had to contend with Miss C starting “Big School”, which is in itself terrifying on so many levels (as thoughts of “where has the past five years gone”, “my baby is all grown up” and “oh my god, I’m so old” scream through my head), but she has to get there on the biggest school bus I have ever seen. Enough to freak any expat mum out.
The concept of putting a child on a school bus at the age of 5 is completely alien and something it’s taken me a while to get my head around. In the UK, I would have walked or driven to school with Miss C until she was at least 10. In Singapore it’s different, you send your children off on the bus (often even if you do have a car). That’s just the way it is. I’ve seen children as young as 18 months being strapped into their car seats and bussed off to preschool. There are literally hundreds of buses from all the schools and preschools all over Singapore picking up and dropping off at the condos each day.
Tanglin Trust School is no different and we don’t have a car. At 7.13 every the morning, the big pink bus chugs and rattles up the steep hill to our condo. Miss C clambers up the huge steps with her big blue backpack on, looking like she’ll topple backwards at any instant. It’s like she’s entering a world of giants, where everything is enormous.
The first time, I fought back the tears as I saw her tiny pink face peering through the glass window as she waved goodbye. It was hard saying goodbye like that. She was smiling, way braver than me.
The thing is Miss C loves taking the school bus, especially as it’s pink. And, I’m one proud Mummy.