“Right then!” says our new teacher at big school, as we all fall into those teeny tiny plastic chairs made for little bums. “I just need to run through a few quick questions about her, all pretty standard stuff, but it helps us to build a picture, you know?”
“On her first week, we’ll do a learning about our new friends session, so can you send her in with a special toy, or a photo of it if it’s too special to come to school. Oh and a photo of her as a baby, if that’s ok?”
“Does she have any allergies or illnesses that we need to be aware of? No? Fab.”
“Did she hit all of her milestones on time in her early years? Yes? Super!”
“Did she have a speech delay? Excellent. How is she vocally now? Ah lovely, we like a chatty one!”
“Any attachment issues, is she clingy at all? No problem, we expect a little bit of that in the first couple of weeks while it’s all so new, but it sounds like she’ll be just fine.”
“Anything else you want to tell us about her? Ok, we can absolutely keep an eye on any thumb sucking, don’t worry. Yes, we’ll make sure she knows she can ask for help with her number twos if she gets in a flap. Yeah, they all get very tired during the first week, we’ve had children literally falling asleep in the corner after lunch before. It’ll be fine, don’t worry.”
“Ok great! So nice to chat to you, and we’ll see you next week!”
As I walk home, I think that yes, actually there are so many things I want to tell you about her.
Her favourite film is Sing, only she calls it The Big Sing. Thanks to Sing, she’s just discovered Taylor Swift, so we’re listening to 1989 a lot.
She says “sure sure sure” when you ask her to do something, like some sort of salesman mad keen on securing his commission.
If you offer her a drink, she’ll always chance her arm and ask for a lemonade or a coffee.
If she gets the smallest graze on her knee, she will not dunk that knee in the bath for all the Haribo in the world.
She doesn’t like chocolate cake.
She’ll announce that you have a baby in your tummy, if you’ve had a big dinner.
Her favourite ice cream flavour is Bubblegum.
If you give her your phone, she’ll take 1,000 photos of her own feet. No kidding.
She’ll do three squiggles on a piece of paper, then take another sheet and do the same, and repeat this until you can hardly see her beneath her pile of “art”.
If you have smudgey make-up or happen to wear mismatching earrings to work, she’ll tell you. After about six hours.
She has the memory of an elephant.
When she cuddles you, she pats your back at the same time.
She cannot count past 14. It goes 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 14, 25.
She gives her toys ridiculous names. For example, the rubber hatching dinosaur thing called Cracker Babes.
When she talks to her toys, and she thinks you can’t hear her, she puts on an American accent.
All of these things you’ll see and hear for yourself. You’re so lucky.
My daughter is starting big school. And she’s perfect.
-SJW September 2017