Thursday, 26 April 2012

Awww... diddums

I'm not sure if it's the silly season for news or something, but I was a little taken aback by the story of the 6-year old girl "abandoned" and "in tears" because the school bus apparently dropped her off at the bus stop too early and there was no-one to escort her 50 yards up the road into the school.

As you'd expect, many of the comments on the article are from people vying with each other to tell the best 'hard times' stories of how far/how long they had to walk to school at her age back in the 'good old days'. That I can certainly relate to: at the age of six I remember my mother used to walk me to school (there was no such thing as the "school run" because very few people could afford cars and we certainly couldn't). I'm not sure how far away we lived: it was certainly an isolated house on the outskirts of the village, so maybe 15-20 minutes? At Junior School I went with the other kids on the 'School Bus' (a converted 3-ton Army truck) and at Secondary School I went on my own, first on foot and then, when we moved to Kenilworth, by bus. So my mother only took me up until the age of about seven. I knew where the school was, where I lived, and roughly what to do if there was a problem - which incidentally wouldn't have included the use of a mobile phone.

My mother was a "full-time mum" *what a ghastly expression that is?* until I was 11 or 12 when she went back to work, although only part-time. I was taught to be self-reliant and to use a bit of common-sense and initiative, so I don't think I'd have been "sobbing for a quarter of an hour" just because there was no-one else around. There again, in those days, school gates weren't commonly locked. I suppose we shouldn't judge too harshly, but part of growing up is learning to be a bit independent and coping when things go wrong without relying on everyone else all the time - while at the same time developing the good sense to stay out of real danger.

Oh, and what a lovely line in petulant pouting young Katie has got in the (obviously posed) photo there!

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