Cheeky KoKo called me from school when I was driving back to the office last Fri. He had barely finished telling me that he got stuck in school without transport because his classmates gave him the wrong information about an extra tuition class when the call just dropped, leaving me confused with the where, how and when (Arghhh…. Sooooomebody should just do something about boosting the payphone signal in school!). Moments later, the little one called me again from another pay phone and this time we rushed through our exchange of information with me assuring him that I was already on my way to his school to pick him up.
Cheeky Koko was overjoy to see mom (read: reckless super-speed mom driver) to the rescue so quickly and just as we dashed for the school gate, he remembered about one of his classmates who didn’t have any money left to call his mom and asked if I could loan some coins to this kid, to which I gladly said yes and we went back into the school canteen to look for his classmate.
While passing the little boy RM1 worth of coins, I also asked him to call his mom from my mobile just as well. After a few attempts of calling straight into the voice mail, I asked the little boy if I could send him home instead because his mom has switched her phone off or was out of reach but he declined because he and his family had just moved to a new home on that day and he could not remember the direction to his new home.
After assuring me that another friend who stayed on the same street as he did had not mind getting her mom to help send him home, the boy ran off to call his mom again, which I supposed was another failed attempt because she could not be reach.
Poor boy! So my little brains quickly made up this note-to-self thingy, an assortment of must-have stuff inside my kids’ school bags that I think all parents should neatly stash in a little pouch and label with a huge “EMERGENCY” word across the front:
1) Coins to make calls. Some public payphones need about RM0.50 to start a call to a mobile line, and would go up at a rate of RM0.20 per minute thereafter, so prepare tonnes of it in a little emergency pouch that your kids will only access in case of emergency.
2) Bandages. I was clumsy as a kid and still am this day, which explains why this is a MUST on my list.
3) Toilet or tissue papers. For nose bleeding and for the profound reason that nature DOES call when one is in school.
A note about making calls from school:
1) There are always the oh-ohs of growing up. There are reasons those gizmo called a cell phone is created and hence why you purchased it. So please make sure your kids remember your mobile number. Most importantly, try to switch ON your cell phone during school hours so that your child can reach you in case of emergency.
2) Teach your kids where to locate the payphones in school and teach them how to use that to dial a call as well.
3) Schools will always allow students to make emergency calls to their parents for free, so make use of that if your kids can’t find anyone else to help or have used the coins (item no.1 from the emergency list) to buy the latest Pokemon card/candy already.
With some detailed preparation, I think it ain’t difficult to avoid panic attack such as this, but let’s start with switching ON your cell phone, will ya, dads and moms?
Photo Credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnsoax/4691861272/”>johnsoax</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>