School Stories #16:The day I forgot to pick my son from school

Last week, I caught a stomach bug and was throwing up through the night.

I was exhausted and weak and drifted in and out of sleep the whole day while the kids were at school.

The hubs was away and I asked my sis-in-law to pick Kate up.

At 2pm, while lying in bed, I could hear the familiar noise of #4 and #5’s school bus dropping them home.

I tried hard to think.

What day was it today?

Tuesday? Or Thursday?

It must be Thursday.

It was the week before CA1. Was there CCA?

I strained my ears to pick up their voices.

Normally, if the both of them were on the bus together, there would be a commotion as they race each other into the house, shouting, “Me first!”

But if it was just one child coming back, there would be silence.

In my foggy state of mind, I heard some voices and convinced myself that they were both safely home.

Waiting in vain
The thought of having to drag myself out of bed to go downstairs to check if the both of them were home seemed like a herculean task at that point in time.

I drifted off to sleep.

I must have slept for 3 hours.

Suddenly, my phone rang.

I woke up, looked at the unfamiliar number, and croaked into the phone.


“Is this Mrs Wee?”

My hair stood on end.
Having been slightly energised by the nap, my mummy instincts kicked in.
Something has happened to one of my brood.


“I am Mrs Ong, the VP. Your son is here with me in the general office and he seems upset.”

I started blabbering, “Oh gosh! I’m so sorry! I was sleeping. I was not well. I’ll be there right away. Please tell him to wait for me at the general office.”

I tried to think. How long must he have waited?

He ended CCA at 4pm. It was now 5pm.

Poor boy. He usually waits for me at a designated spot just outside of school.
He must have stood there for what seemed like an eternity as the other parents’ cars drove off one by one, leaving him all alone.

Without a phone, he must have felt helpless and afraid.

We have a no phone policy for the younger kids, but it is something we have to re-look.

As I was rushing out the door, Kate asked me what was happening.

She had come into my room earlier to look for me but I told her that I was really sick and could not attend to her.

Yet the next minute, she saw me up and about, frantically grabbing my car keys, dashing out the door.

“I forgot all about your gor gor! He is still waiting for me in school!”

She trailed me with her million questions as she followed me into the car.

As mums, we can somehow summon our inner reserves even though we are running on empty.

I reached his school, and as I drove past the playground, I spied a boy who looked a lot like #5, playing with 2 younger boys.

I quickly parked the car and walked towards the playground.

Yes, it was my son.

Thank goodness he was happily playing with some new friends he found at the playground.

He ran towards us and scooped Kate in his arms. “Mum, can we play at the playground for a little while?”
I am constantly baffled how boys get over things so quickly. My girls would have been fuming.

Of course I had to oblige.

“Just a little while ok, mummy is not feeling well.”

As I waited in the car, the hunger, weakness and light-headedness came flooding back. Physically I felt really awful.

But the emotional roller-coaster was over.

My son is safe. All is well.

Back home, I asked #4 why was there a commotion earlier when she was the only one alighting from the school bus?

“Oh, my bus mates were shouting bye to me.” 

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore