During this period while I’m on maternity leave, I pick Coco up from school at 12.30 pm.
I love seeing my little girl’s face light up when she spots me waiting by the door, and the way she chuckles and sprints into my open arms, water bottle and bag trailing behind her.
It is a luxury that I relish and will be sad to see end when I return to work in mid-July.
Today, I hung around the welcome area while the teacher went to fetch Coco from the classroom, which is the standard routine. Near to where I was standing, a group of older kindergarten kids were queuing up for their lunch.
One of the little girls caught sight of me waiting and announced, her voice as clear as a bell, “Coco’s mummy! That’s Coco’s mummy!”
One by one, the row of tiny students turned to look and chimed in unison, “Coco’s mummy! It’s Coco’s mummy!”
I was surprised, no, absolutely floored that these kids, who were not in Coco’s class, knew who I was.
The sound of their childish voices chanting, “Coco’s mummy!” in unison was music to my ears. I felt a mixture of pride, gratitude and genuine amazement at being referred to as Coco’s mummy. My heart melted. My insides turned to goo. I felt like a celebrity.
Wow. I am known as Coco’s mummy.
It was a magical moment that I wanted to treasure forever.
Nonetheless, I was slightly suspicious of what my daughter had been getting up to in school, so much so that all the kids in school knew this tiny tot by name – and who her mother was.
Her teacher gave a tinkly laugh in response to my question and said, “Well, Coco’s very popular!”
I suspect that that’s a diplomatic way of putting things, as I’ve witnessed the nonsense antics that Coco performs when she has an attentive audience before her…
…. but for now, I’ll just bask in the sweetness of this moment, of being Coco’s mummy.