It’s September which means only one thing. School time.
Yes, it’s finally here, and N’s had his first day at school.
While many mums have found it really emotional and have worried about how empty their life is, I was taking it in my stride. Thinking it would all be fine (apart from the logistical issues). When it came to the week before and him having to say bye to his day nursery, it was really quite sad.
He’d been there since he was 11.5 months old, and all the staff got a big cuddle from him. It was so lovely to hear them say how much they’d miss him, and how they’d miss his cuddles. And one more recent member of staff said that he was really ready for school so that was reassuring to hear as well.
When it came to the day before I’d set out everything he would need. PE kit, trainers, wellies, coat, book bag, water bottle and uniform. Of course, because I’d bought shorts, the weather has turned really cold, so N’s been in trousers. Not that that’s stopped some children going in shorts.
Whenever I’ve asked N if he’s looking forward to school, he’s always said yes. But I’ve never been quite sure that he understands that he’ll have to learn as well as play.
On Wednesday, there was no faffing around like before nursery, moaning that he couldn’t get dressed. Nope, straight up and wanting to have breakfast sitting at the table with me. Usually he’d go downstairs and have whatever he wanted to eat before I was up, but this week we’ve had our breakfast together in pjs. Not something I particularly like doing, but it makes sense in order to keep N’s uniform clean until he gets to school.
Then it was the obligatory first day at school photos. Inside, our good wall doesn’t get enough light in the mornings, so we tried one place. Just not a great background. So it had to be outside the front door.
I had thought that N would let me take at least one nice photo of him smiling. But not. Not on his time!
He put up a bottom wiggling performance first of all, then a bit of Beyonce style arm pumping, followed by other dancing, and starfish impressions, all with silly face pulling.
I gave up, and decided to try again before we drove off. That was slightly more successful…kind of.
I’d taken the day off so I could do the first day drop off and pick up, so it was good to meet some more of the parents as well as see some of the former nursery parents and children we’d not seen in a while.
It did feel like going back to school myself. Not quite knowing what we were doing. But once the gate was opened, N was straight over to the play house to have a nosy and see what was what…with 2 or 3 of the other boys following. Maybe N’s going to be a future leader?
Then the doors opened and the teacher welcomed us in along with the few year 1 pupils who are in Class 1 with the reception children. The children have their peg, outdoor shoe box and locker with their house colour on them. So everything was put in its place, water bottle on the side, and N’s locker found.
It took N a while to let go of my hand, but as soon as his best friend walked in, he grabbed his hand instead and they went off to explore. It was really sweet to see. I do hope that he does make friends with others as well, and not forget his other nursery friends that he’d also been really close to over their last few weeks in the summer.
One last cuddle and wave and off I went, leaving him to it until time to pick up. No tears, no jolts of emptiness.
But, after my other plans for the day had fallen through I headed off to make the most of my National Trust membership. That’s when it really felt quiet and strange not having him with me, while other children were running around. I feel for stay at home mums who don’t have other children at home. They really must feel like they’re missing a limb once their children start school.
Day 1 was a great success. When N spotted me and was let out of the classroom he ran over with book bag in hand for a cuddle. The hardest part of the day was working out what to do with shoes. Obviously at home he has a spare pair of wellies so a pair can stay at school, but he only has one pair of trainers so needs to bring those home too. By day two he still hasn’t worked out that he’d be better leaving his school shoes at school, and wearing his trainers home.
What did he have to tell me?
He didn’t do anything apart from play out in the water
He had yorkshire pudding with his gammon (which someone else helped him chop up)
He didn’t go for a wee at all, or have a drink at lunch time (I sorted that out by making sure he knew when he should be drinking, and not to worry about missing things if he needed a wee).
They had assembly and he now knows the teaching assistant’s name and the headteacher.
He didn’t make any new friends, just played with his old ones. Although he did meet 2 new children (guess he doesn’t class those as friends then!)
But day 2 and I’m the one in trouble.
The school are now doing an early morning club (they don’t provide breakfast) which N will go to from next week for a few days a week. The other 2 days I have a later 9am start, so with the 8.35 school gate opening, I had thought I’d be able to drop him off and still get to work on time. But this morning I was told it was 8.45 which is when their playground opens. Of course they’d not communicated that, and that means I’m going to need to put him in early club each day. And I’d not planned for that with work.
So I hung around for a bit, then checked I could go, and legged it. When N was picked up to go to after school club, they gave them a message for me that it was 8.45 drop off. Slapped wrist. So guess that means he’ll be in early club every day for just the 15 minutes extra I need. But talking to another mum who does the same as I was hoping to do with her daughter, she said that nothing should have changed. So let’s see what happens. As long as N’s happy, I’ll have to work with it.
Day 2 response to questions
He still hasn’t made more friends, but tells me there’s only 4 girls.
He still sat on the yellow table at lunch (which was nice) but still not on his green table.
He had a drink at lunch and used the toilets.
His favourite thing was playing with the water outside.
He still hasn’t learnt anything.
He couldn’t remember why he had a sticker. Coming home with a toothbrush in his book bag, and a tooth girl sticker, I presumed it was a school dentist visit or something. So I’m not sure what that was about.
And surprisingly, after 2 days, his trousers are still clean and he could probably have got away with wearing his polo shirt another day at a push. There was me thinking he’d get through a shirt a day!