In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
Schools reopened last week and it was back to the grinding stone for the young ones.
It is a time of tears for toddlers starting nursery school, and those starting big school. It is heartbreak and worry time for parents.
I remember my daughter's first day at nursery at three-and-half-years old. Though looking slightly bewildered, she does not cry as I leave. I quicken my pace and don't look back, half expecting her to let out a huge scream.
My work day is torture. By 11.30am, I have called the school twice. They reassure me that she is playing happily. I double check if they have my phone number. They do.
My stomach turns cartwheels all day. A psychologist friend, who likes to wear her psychologist's cap all the time, remarks that the mother is more nervous than the child.
I assure her that my fear is rational. My daughter does not speak a word of English. Her class has four black children out of 11 white ones. Even if the other three black kids are not coconuts, they might speak a different African language. As I mechanically go through the paces at work, I wonder why some Einstein had not discovered a way of fast-forwarding time.
At last it is 4pm. I will deal with speeding fines later, I think, as I almost speed like DJ Sbu from Pretoria to Joburg, trying to get to my "miserable child". I screech to a halt at the nursery school, park askance and leap out of my car. My hand is already reaching for the buzzer though I'm a good metre or so away from the gate.
The 30-second or so wait seems like an eternity. I curse my short-sightedness as I scan the busy playground for little red shorts and a Tweetie-Bird white top. Nothing. The gate buzzes. I barge in. A record holder in a walking race would have been left choking in the dust.
Then I see her, happily playing in a sandpit with two white girls and a Chinese one. She looks happy. A huge sigh of relief. Literally. I make a mental note to draw on this moment one day when I need enough breath to blow out sixty candles.
I smile wryly and go to the teacher for feedback. Just like that, I have been robbed of the highly-anticipated drama of the first school day and separation anxiety.