‘My son called himself too smart for this school. I was ashamed’

A child who suddenly bellows swear words across the schoolyard or a smart rascal who is quickly seen as a braggart. It’s not that easy, raising that.

Melissa (43) mother of Dominiek (15), Valentijn (11), Olivier (8) and Lidewei (5):

“My eldest son had just turned six and was attending Waldorf school. We parents were a bit outside the group because Dominiek is gifted and you are quickly seen as a braggart. We were invited to come and see our children’s work at the parents’ evening. They were learning letters, while at that age my son was already reading Roald Dahl himself.

Nice couple, my parents

Everywhere I saw stamped sheets hanging randomly. Pontifical in the classroom was my son’s stamp work: ‘My name is Dominiek and I’m too smart for this school’. I was ashamed, knew that there would be talk about it behind our backs.

“I knew that would be talked about behind our backs”

There was also a drawing of him, showing his family’s hobbies. He had drawn our family and added: ‘I like to draw, my little brother likes pumas, my dad likes to nag and my mama likes to lie’. Just in my defense: I was heavily pregnant with his second brother at the time.”

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What a bitch

Linda (38), mother of Daniel (8) and Nathan (7):

“Until recently, we lived on a farm. Something that sounds idyllic, but as soon as the weather warmed up, the flies came into our yard in their thousands. We preferred to keep everything closed to keep the insects out, but with two young children that was practically impossible. Swatting flies almost made it a full-time job in the summer. A frequently heard remark in and around our house was: ‘Cunt flies!’

I don’t normally swear. The boys are allowed to say a few things, such as shit (because chips make me itch) and a cunt or fuck once in a while isn’t a big deal either, provided it’s not at school, with grandma or other kids. They adhere to that. Except last summer.

“Look mom, they also have those cunt flies here!”

In the schoolyard an annoying fly buzzed around Daniel’s head and my toddler roared: ‘Look mom, they have those cunt flies too!’ I burst into laughter, but also wanted to sink through the ground. Fortunately, most mothers around me could laugh about it.”

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