I was still in primary school when my parents decided to move house, shortly after they were married. They put our home on the market, while they were waiting for the new house to be built. The old house sold, before the new house had been completed, so all our stuff went into storage and we moved into a flat while we waited for our brand new house to be ready.
Our flat was on the second story, across the road from a primary school in the suburb of Dianella. I was going to another school at the time and our school holidays started a week before the school across the road from our flat. Mum was between jobs and was home most of the day, so I got to stay with her instead of going to a babysitter.
I watched the kids heading to school on the first day of my school holidays. They wore yellow, collared T-shirts and blue or brown shorts and skirts.
“Mum, the school across the road has the same uniform as my school.” Mum nodded at me absent-mindedly as she scrolled through the paper.
By the second day of the holidays, I was already bored. I watched through the lounge room window at the kids playing on the school oval and an idea formed.
“I’m going outside to play.” I called out to mum, as I quickly heading out the door in my school clothes before she could see me.
I snuck across the road, making sure that mum wasn’t looking out the window and headed into the school grounds. I hid around the side of the school, behind one of the large sheds, a spot that seemed to be safe from both teachers and my mother. It wasn’t too long before the siren sounded, signalling the beginning of morning tea break.
I made my way through the school grounds, looking for someone to talk to. I spotted a young girl around my own age, sitting on her own near the cafeteria and wandered over to say hello. By the end of recess, she and I had become friends and we agreed to meet up at the same spot for lunch.
I wandered around the school grounds and got my bearings while all the other kids were in class, then made my way back to where I had first met my friend once I heard the siren again.
We played on the playground beside the oval through our lunch break. I obviously had not brought any lunch and so she shared hers with me. I told her that I lived across the road, but I didn’t tell her that I actually went to another school.
She told me that she walked home from school, as she only lived around the corner and I agreed to walk her home, so that I could see where she lived, since she already knew where I lived. I wandered around the school again between the lunch break and the end of school, waiting for my friend. I knew which class she was in and so I made sure I didn’t walk past her room during class, as I didn’t want her to know that I didn’t actually go to that school.
By the time I got home, mum was in hysterics, wondering where I had been. I told her I had been playing on the play equipment across the road, but neglected to tell her that I had been ‘fitting in’ at the school. I actually felt as though I fit in with the school across the road more than what I fit in at my own school at the time.
The next day, I went back to the school. I met my new friend in the morning and then went home once the siren sounded, so that my mum wouldn’t get so worried about me. I went back over just before the siren sounded, signalling morning tea break. Once recess was over, I decided to stay at the school for a while, since I found an unoccupied classroom unlocked.
I helped myself to the crayons behind the teacher’s desk and found some paper in one of the cupboards at the back of the room. I sat down at the teacher’s desk (since it was the most comfortable seat in the room) and proceeded to write a story about a teddy bear that died in a washing machine.
Another teacher walked past the classroom and glanced through the open doorway as she passed, spotting me sitting at the teacher’s desk in an empty classroom. She came in and asked me what I was doing.
“Whatever I want. I’m just waiting for lunch time” I smiled at her. She continued to ask me questions, like where the rest of the class was, to which I replied “I have no idea, it’s not my class.” She then asked me where my class was and I laughed at her.
Before long, I was sitting in the principal’s office.
“What’s your name?” The principle asked me. He was an old man with a long, pointy nose and I was glad that he wasn’t the principle at my own school.
“And what class are you in Kylie?”
“That’s none of your business.” I grinned back at him and the two teachers that had come into the room with him. I wasn’t worried about him, because I knew there was no way I could get into trouble at this school, since they had no idea who I was.
They continued to ask me questions and I continued to give them smart responses. Then the lunch siren rang and I got up off the chair and made my way to the school cafeteria. The principle followed me, getting agitated and raising his voice at me. I didn’t care, I just kept going and met up with my friend.
When she saw that I had the principle following me, she became nervous and didn’t want to play. So I told her I would see her the following day and I walked across the oval and through the front gates of the school.
The principle continued to follow me. All the way across the road, through the car park and up the stairs to the door of our flat. Where he proceeded to tell my mum how naughty I was and that I would be suspended from the school and if there was another issue, he would have no choice but to expel me.
I roared with laughter, as I watched mum fighting back a grin, while she told the man that I was actually on school holidays and didn’t go to his school at all.
The principle left, no doubt with a little torn pride and mum tried to scold me for what I had done. Especially when she realised I had the box of crayons and packet of coloured paper in my hands, which I had taken from the classroom. As mum was telling me off, the corners of her mouth twitched and I beamed at her, knowing that even though she was angry, she thought it was a pretty neat trick to play on the principle too.
Once again, I believe this story would not exist if I had been given a sibling. I thought it was rather unfair that the kids of the other school were allowed to go to class and colour in and have play time and I had been forced to go home for holidays. I loved school (when I was little anyway, the novelty wore off more and more with each passing year) and in my opinion it was unfair for me to be forced to have holidays when other kids were still allowed to go to school. Not only that, you can’t tell me you never had fantasies of outsmarting teachers and principles of schools when you were a child? It’s like the ultimate power over authority!