Ever since Russell started playschool, he hated going to school. I guess, it's because there's just too many rules to follow and he didn't like them. I had to bribe, praise and threaten almost everyday before he would put on his uniform. Once out of our home, the 8 minutes walk to school became 20 minutes feet dragging, nature curious examining outing.
Once in the preschool, he was mostly in his own world scanning the classroom walls with his eyes of signs, pictures, drawings, colours, writings ....everything on the walls. I remember, he found a little crack on the laminated cupbies and it had peeled slightly. My little curious cat fiddled with it and pulled the entire piece out! His teacher was shocked.
Every group was given a box of pencils and erasers for their school work. Maybe he was just bored, but he chewed up every single piece of erasers in the box. Well, yes, his teacher was shocked.
There were also stories of him tickling, poking and kicking his classmates sitting in front of him. Threatening to smear saliva and mucus on his classmates which sent the children screaming and scrambling to get away. Oh, and once his teacher called me because he stuck something up his nose so far up and had to be sent to a neighbourhood doctor to remove it! I was shocked.
The only time he looked forward to school was when there was an excursion. Without fail, he always got himself lost from his group which drove the teachers looking for him frantically. Thankfully, he was always found, looking at something lost in thoughts. On excursion days, they would be taken to a picnic spot for their lunch before heading back to school. One time, they went to East Coast beach and guess what? He was the first one to run straight into the water and sat down to enjoy the waves washing up to his body, fully clothes. A few other kids followed suit. The teachers told me they were shocked at first but join in as well!
There was a year end concert every year in his school and the children would practice very hard in their performance. Every year was the same story, he refused to join in the rehersals, prefering to loiter behind everyone else and his teachers would tell me in advance that he may not perform on the actual day. However, on the day of the concerts, he always had big smiles and performed like he really enjoyed it! Yes, I was impressively shocked.
His teachers had also stopped telling him to pay attention in class whenever he looked lost in thoughts. As one teacher put it, "We let him be because we realised that he was actually paying attention eventhough he didnt look like it!" You see, in this school, after the general lesson was taught, the teacher would have a one to one session with a child at the back of the classroom while the other children were doing their given paper assessments. Apparently, he always knew what was taught. Oh...but he really, really disliked writing assessments. He would be the last one to leave the classroom after school because he had refused to finish them earlier. Yes, I was always one of the last parents to leave the school premises because of that. Russell has always been slow when it comes to writing and eating so I wasn't shocked.
My little slacker.
One day, he stopped to read aloud what was written on the signboard for that week's notice which was placed at the entrance to the classrooms. His school's principal was standing next to it greeting the children as they streamed in. She heard him and was so impressed because he was the only one so far to have done that.
Oh my precious little Russell, so unpredictable one day and totally adorable the next. I thought most little boys are curious and intelligent like him. Little did I know there is a name given to someone special and different like him. Read about it here.