Well, everyone said that the first half term of Reception year would whizz by, and it has. In reality, it hasn’t been half as bad as I was expecting, and the adjustment from pre-school to actual-school has been smooth.
There are some bits that have surprised me, though.
The school run is mental…
Now, three days a week she goes to breakfast club at 8am. The drop off for this is relatively calm, because only about 20 other kids go to it. I assume the remaining 180 pupils have good, decent parents who have the time to give their child a bowl of multigrain stars in the morning. Oops, sorry, there’s my fat working mum guilt hand doing the typing. It still doesn’t sit well that I pay someone else to feed my child so that my husband and I can be at our respective office desks by 8.30am, but there we go.
On the days when I do actually take her to school proper, Jesus fucking Christ. It’s like Piccadilly Circus along the school road. More children than I’ve ever seen in my life, on foot, scooters, buggy boards and bikes. Parents and grandparents in varying states of dress. It has to be said, there’s no sense of urgency and the default mode is dawdle. I do not dawdle anywhere. I rush. I am busy. Am I the only one?! Yes, I am THAT mum who will ram the back of your ankle with the pram because the school run is not all I fancy accomplishing today and I have places to be.
We have a system called ParentMail, which is a communication app backed up by twinned emails. I’m used to this sort of thing from our nursery days, but BLOODY HELL. I remain completely overwhelmed by the sheer level of events, news, updates, reminders and demands for various monies. I love that my school is on it – but one particularly heavy week saw about ten different messages. Cake sale, school trip, check for nits, bring in a photo, you’ve forgotten to do this form, yada yada. I’m still waiting for it to ease off a bit but I’m kind of resigning myself to idea that this is it. Oh! Sometimes they send a cheeky text message too, so as to really cover all the bases.
Refer to earlier point about communications and then quadruple it. I can’t do the PTA. I don’t have time, and I feel shit that I don’t have time. I follow the school’s specific PTA account on Twitter, but that’s all I can handle. Lol! Twitter lingo bants there because I said ‘handle’.
Uniforms are a double edged sword…
Those iron-in name labels really fucking mug you off, don’t they? I call bullshit, they do not survive a tumble dryer. And yes I did iron them properly. It’s a Sharpie all the way from now on.
But overall, a school uniform is the bees knees. It takes away all guesswork and arguments, no more matching up outfits at 6am and wearing out the knees of their good jeans. Uniform all the way.
I never see her…
Sad but true. I don’t know how to funny this one up: it’s pretty bad. The mornings are just a write off for quality time, and the afternoons / evenings are quickly filled with reading, cooking dinner, and all that other banal shit. In theory I should be seeing her more, but I think it’s because I’ve “lost” her on a Friday. It’s still my day off, and she’s only not with me from 9am until 3pm, but it still feels like a very concentrated three hour window before we commence operation bed.
Her sister misses her too. Our entire equilibrium is a bit off and we’re still finding our way, frankly.
You thought the “he said she said” nonsense was bad at pre-school? This is next level. From the second I pick her up, reams and reams of anecdotes and half truths fall out of her mouth. Admittedly I just agree in the right places and only half listen, because I don’t really care what James had for his tea on Sunday.
Also, just don’t bother asking what they learned at school. You’ll get something closed and non-specific, like “letters”. She can write her name now, and she couldn’t in August, so that’ll do. Phonics also makes my brain explode.
So far, so good (I think). It’s a bloody mile a minute though, right?
-SJW October 2017