Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Bedtime Story (19/9/2018)


Having to wear a uniform was always something I hated at school and it's something I dislike about my job, too.  I am someone who wants to embrace individuality, so this story is my own small way of doing just that!

You can also listen to this story as a podcast.


"I Don't Want To Wear School Uniform!"

Matthew would not take off his pyjamas.  He sat down on his bedroom floor and refused to budge.  "I"m not wearing it!"

Mum rolled her eyes.  "You haven't got a choice," she explained.  "It's your school uniform."

Matthew folded his arms across his chest and shook his head from side to side.  "I want to wear my dinosaur t-shirt."

Mum strolled to the chest of drawers and took the t-shirt out.  "Maybe you could wear this under your school shirt?"

"Then nobody would see it!"  Matthew protested.  "I want to wear my dinosaur t-shirt, my blue jeans, my light-up trainers and the baseball cap Uncle Darren got me from Florida."

Mum took a long, deep breath and stared at the ceiling for a moment.  "Matthew, you are going to be late for school.  You'll get into trouble!"

Matthew's eyes widened.  "Oh, I should wear my "Here Comes Trouble" hoodie, then!"  He declared, rushing to the wardrobe and throwing open the doors.

"You can wear your hoodie over your uniform whilst we walk to school," Mum told him.  "But you can't wear it all day.  You have to wear the same as everyone else!"

Matthew stuck out his lower lip.  "But that's boring.  I don't want to look the same as everyone else!"  He rummaged through the wardrobe and tugged out a shirt, patterned with bulldogs.  "I want to stand out!"  He cried, thrusting the shirt at his mother.

"But you do stand out," Mum insisted, throwing her arms into the air.  "You're the only boy with red hair in your class!  You have more freckles than anyone else!"

Matthew shook his head.  "But they don't say anything about me," he huffed.  "If I wear my own clothes, I'll be properly different to everyone else, won't I?!"  He grabbed a jumper out of the wardrobe and held it up.  "See, this jumper was knitted by Gran!  And it has a lightning bolt on it.  That's really cool!"

"It is cool," Mum agreed, nervously checking her watch.  "But you can't wear it to school.  Now, get your uniform on and..."

"I want to wear the shorts I got on holiday," Matthew said, suddenly.  "You know, the ones with the sharks on?!"

Mum clapped a hand to her forehead.  "Well you can't," she snapped.  "You have to wear your uniform like everyone else!"

"But I'm not like everyone else," Matthew replied, sounding just as frustrated as Mum was.  "I'm me.  And I don't feel like me when I'm dressed exactly the same as all the kids in my class.  It's not fair!"

Mum sank onto the bedroom floor, cradling Matthew's school uniform in her hands.  "It doesn't matter what you wear," she told him.  "You are you.  What you look like isn't what makes you stand out, Matthew."

Matthew frowned.  "But if you look at my school photograph, you can't tell anything different about anyone," he told her.  "We all just look the same."

"You're all dressed the same," Mum agreed.  "But that doesn't make you the same as people, does it?  It's what's inside that makes you all different.  It's what kind of people you are that makes you all stand out!"  She managed a smile, in spite of her worry that they were now running seriously late.  "You stand out because you make people laugh.  You stand out because you're friendly and kind."  She stood up and crossed the room, picking up Matthew's school photo.  "Your friend Rebecca stands out because she's brave and feisty," she added.  "And Harvey stands out because he's clever and brilliant at sports."  She put the picture down.  "You are all different, even if you're dressed the same."

Matthew's expression softened.  "But... You still can't tell by looking, can you?"

Mum laughed.  "Do you really think just wearing a knitted jumper with a lightning bolt on it will tell people everything they need to know about you?"  She shook her head.  "We have to talk to each other.  Find out what makes a person tick.  People are much more than what they look like, Matthew."

Matthew sighed and took his school uniform from his mum.  "I suppose I'll just have to wear this, like everyone else then," he said.  "But Mum?"

Mum held her breath, wondering what on Earth he was going to say next...

"Can I really wear my dinosaur t-shirt underneath my school shirt?"

Mum laughed.  "Of course," she told him.

And with that, one little boy who was definitely not the same as all his classmates, hurried off to get dressed.


THE END




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