Your child starting school is a milestone in their little lives. Here in Scotland the dust is just settling on Tom moving on from Nursery and into Primary 1.
What have I learnt?
- Not to be smug when Day 1 goes without a hitch. Kids don’t all react in the same way when starting school. Yes some cry on the first day. Others, like mine, are balls of hyper on Day 1 and crying by week two when the tiredness from all the learning and realisation of the day ahead hits them and all the first day criers are trotting in merrily.
- There will be people who roll their eyes if/when you post the ‘first day of school’ pictures on social media. I used to be one of those people. ‘Who cares if your child is starting school?’ ‘What’s the big deal?’ I’ll tell you the big deal. This is a HUGE milestone for our families and we want to shout about it. Even if you don’t want to listen! I for one am one of those parents who could burst with pride and to be honest I could post 100 pictures of that day. So some folk might hate it, but hey, I might hate you posting pictures of your dinner every day of the week but you don’t see me passing comment!
- The level of organisation required to be ‘school parent’ is akin to that of the Prime Minister’s PA. There’s the buying of uniforms, gym kit, outdoor clothes, painting aprons, school bags (just to carry a water bottle and snack?!), then labelling said kit (or in my case scribbling with the kids’ colouring pen on two labels….which I’m now regretting since his coat went missing on his first full week and we’ve yet to get it back!), the curriculum meetings, signing up for after school activities and having the appropriate clothing and equipment for these activities, stay and play days, homework…..homework?! the signing up for classroom apps to be kept informed of important information, the discussion of the choice of school dinners in advance of the day, show and tell days…oh the list goes on and on. I’ve failed miserably at pretty much all of the above, and I work as a PA in my actual paid job!
- You can feel jealousy when you see all the new nursery children going in to YOUR child’s nursery. It’s perfectly normal. Ah who am I kidding, I doubt very much that it’s perfectly normal, but it happened to me. It was like seeing an ex with a new partner. How dare those Nursery Ladies move on with a new set of children without even a second thought for mine?! I’m not going to lie, it felt like a betrayal. I’m moving on…slowly. Chocolate helps.
- Trying to glean information from your child about their school day is as easy as trying to get your son to pee in the toilet and not up the wall! The standard responses I’m met with are ‘fine’, ‘good’, ‘can’t remember’ and if I’m lucky ‘a cheese roll’. Why can they always remember their lunch, never anything else? Oh unless they’re filling you in on another child being naughty. I always get these stories in great detail.
- That pinning all my hopes on the sage knowledge from others that ‘school will tire him out’ to solve our bedtime issues was utterly pointless. It’s true actually, it does indeed tire him out. However, for my child tiredness manifests itself in the kind of hyper that makes an excitable puppy look relaxed. We’ve not managed to figure out a way to manage this as yet, but as soon as we do I’ll you know. Until then our electronic babysitter (iPad) is working wonders.
So there you have it. We’re three weeks into the term it’s been a heck of a learning curve. I’m sure by Primary Two I’ll be a know-it-all.
Has your child started school this year or are you an old hand? Any words of wisdom to add? Let me know. And together, come next year, we can chew the ear off all the new school parents with all our knowledge!