As part of the class’ curriculum on ‘Communication’, Matthew’s class organised a barbecue.
The entire exercise was elaborate, and I think the children had many discussions in school to devise the plan, and organise who was supposed to bring what.
The process, through Matthew, went something like this:
1. Verbally (read: very excitedly) informing us parents there will be a barbecue in December 2012.
2. Verbally (read: again very excitedly) telling us they will be visiting a postal office to send a letter to the house.
3. Carefully bringing home a slip of paper, and telling us that it is very important we write our house address on it, on the same day.
4. Carefully bringing the slip of paper back to school the next day.
5. Writing and drawing up a permission letter that will be personally posted by the children during the visit to the post office. The letter was posted on a Friday.
6. Volunteering to learn to open the letter box in the same evening.
7. Asking us over the weekend why hadn’t the letter arrived yet. There are no postal services on Saturdays and Sundays.
8. The letter finally arrived on Monday! Pranced all the way home, and couldn’t wait for us to open the letter that was addressed to “Daddy and Mummy”.
9. Excitedly showing us the letter, and kept asking if we would circle “Yes” to allow Matthew to attend the barbecue.
The excitement died down a little after that. But Matthew has been opening the letter box ever since, and sorting our letters for us. Occasionally he would ask why doesn’t anyone write a letter to him.
About 2 weeks before the barbecue, Matthew came home telling us we were in charge of getting marshmallows and drinks. The Man then instructed him to follow up with several questions to clarify in school, such as the types of drinks to buy, how much to buy, and if anyone else is also getting drinks.
Matthew, bearing the characteristic trait of being highly responsible, as a firstborn would exhibit, remembered all the questions and had answers for us.
There are probably many firstborns in the class, for Matthew soon came back with a list of items for the barbecue and the classmates responsible for the items. And he specifically instructed us to only buy ice lemon tea, crysanthemum tea, and green tea.
Matthew’s neck grew longer and longer waiting for the day of the barbecue to come. 1 Dec 2012 finally came. Matthew woke up at 6am in the morning, and was distracted and out of sorts the entire day. It got so bad we threatened to not bring him to the barbecue if he continued. We left the house at 3.30pm to run some errands before heading to the party. Since then, Matthew would ask every 15 minutes or so, “What time is it?”, “How many hours to 6pm?”, “Are we going to be late?”. Exasperation is the understated word of the day!
Finally, we arrived at the stated venue at 5.15pm. Teacher Jasmine was already there, having already wiped all the seats, and the nearby playground dry from the earlier rain. Matthew and Megan headed straight for the playground.
The Man and I got down to business of helping to start the fire, something we used to do in our younger days together. Oh, all the wonderful memories of starting fires, grilling food for the parties came flooding back, and we grinned from ear to ear as we relished the chance to relive the youthful activity.
More families and food started arriving, and the Man and I occupied 1 barbecue pit to start our work. What fun we had! Some of the parents were also commenting that they have not had been to a barbecue since their schooling days. It was a happy atmosphere. Meanwhile, the kids were going wild at the playground, and laughter permeated the smoky air.
We were so busy with cooking, serving, and rounding up the kids to give up their play for a while that we didn’t manage to take any photo except this:
Teacher Jasmine with the sweaty, exhausted kids. Thank you for organizing such a wonderful party! We all enjoyed ourselves!