Sunday was the Abschlussfest for Jasmine's class. It's the end of term and the year 4's leave to start their new schools, so with a mixed year group class the year 4's are saying goodbye to primary education and the year 3's to their classmates.
As a year 3 mom I didn't need to help out but I thought in the spirit of integration it would be good for me (and then maybe I can pick up tips for next year, when I will be expected to play more of a role). The party was due to start at 3pm so we were setting up tables at 1. All was going smoothly, tables up, benches up, paper table clothes firmly stuck down with duct-tape* due to the unseasonal gale like winds - at least we were in no danger of anyone getting heat stroke or sunburn. The kids (belonging to the parents who were setting up) were playing either tig (fang as it's called here) or football. Julian fell over and cried out in pain, and continued to cry out...there was nothing obviously broken, but his upper arm hurt - a lot. Half an hour, an ice pack and several cubes of sugar later the arm still hurt just as much and he was shipped off to hospital, to return an hour or two later with the arm strapped to his torso, broken.
The party started with the cake buffet, coffee (or tea) and cake, lots of mingling and small talk being made - well small talk anyway, in this kind of situation the parents tend to find their little cliques and stick together, fine if you've got a clique, tough if you don't. Fortunately Rebecca's son is in the same class as Jas, so I was not alone, in fact later on at the bbq we had our own little 'ausländer'* clique, there were the English, the French, Polish and Albanian.
After cake we had the entertainment, the year 4's sang a song written for their teacher, the year 3's had another song to say goodbye and good luck to the year 4's. Then there was an almost cringey song/rhyme from two of the leaving moms all about Herr B and how wonderful the children (and the parents) think he is, before the pièce de résistance, a short film of interviews with the departing students about their two years with Herr B. This was very cleverly done and copied onto enough DVDs that every child got a copy.
Then came the bbq and at last the wine was opened, a good job really seeing as the fest wasn't even halfway through. I got home shortly after 10pm, having spent the last couple of hours sitting on a bench in the school playground with a fire burning and a guitar playing.
It was a good day, but did it really have to last so long? The problem stemmed from the fact that the parents were allowing the kids to call the shots, none of the kids wanted to go home if their friends were staying and so all the adults had to stay. Last year I ducked out before the bbq started up, thoroughly annoying Jas at the time and further annoying her when the following day she discovered just how late everyone had been there and what she'd missed out on, so this year I'd agreed to stay till the bitter end. We were both wrecked yesterday, I was running purely on caffeine and Jas on sugar (and coca cola), thank goodness the fest is only once a year, I need my 6 weeks schulfrei! Role on Saturday.
* a word that in my head is spelt 'duck-tape', but I'm sure it's not.
** ausländer = foreigner