I saw this status on Facebook this morning and it was just so apt for today what with my baby starting school and my big boy joining the Red Group. I still find it hard to believe that both my children are in the education system for the next 16 years or so. I was just pregnant the other day, hell, I was in high school just the other day (ok 13 years ago wasn’t just the other day) , and now I have two children in school.
Hannah has been ready to go to school for the last six months, maybe even longer. She has wanted to join her brother at school probably from the time she started talking, so there was great excitement leading up to today. So much excitement, in fact, that I hope she isn’t disappointed. Like maybe school is this magical, fantastic thing in her mind when really it’s just play, eat, sleep, you know? Nah, she is going to love it! Yesterday we laid out their clothes, because I wanted to avoid any fashion wobblies on the first day. So we ooohed and aahed over what to wear, in the end Liam was laying on the floor with his head in his hands begging her to just make up her mind already – really the psychology behind a girl and fashion fascinates me? Liam took all of three seconds to choose his Spiderman top, a pair of shorts and his striped underpants. Hannah took about half an hour to choose her outfit and even then, she still wasn’t sure. We packed their new school bags and went over the school rules: no biting, no pinching, no hitting. No whining, and telling tales, and PLEASE PLEASE no crying for every little thing. No bullying and if someone does something you don’t like, you tell Teacher. Liam must look after his sister and she must look after her brother. Pep talk #1 done. As you can tell, these are MY rules and not really the school rules but they take me more seriously if I say these rules come from Principal Ruth, rather than Mom. Everyone was in bed by 7h30pm and although everyone was excited, I still had to battle to get them out of bed this morning – they even slept through the alarm which was blaring around 6am because the hubby went for a jog and booby trapped us in the house (another story for another day).
Our adjusted morning routine went well… although I foresee Hannah’s hair being the biggest time stealer. This morning I was still brushing it while she ate her porridge, and while she walked up and down testing her new shoes. Need to improve my skills and forget the fancy hair styles for the school week.
When we got to school, she confidently walked through the gate behind her brother and hugged Mrs P, the administrator, like she (Hannah) was part of the furniture. We took Liam to his class and she didn’t waste time finding a seat and starting a puzzle, while we greeted all the staff. When I called to her to join me at the door, I saw the hesitation and the tears well up as she looked from Liam to me because she didn’t want to leave him. But those big girl panties obviously work well because she pulled herself together and off we toddled to the Yellow Group. After much hugging and lots of hoopla over choosing her locker, she was happy to find a space and start a puzzle. She looks older than most of the children in the baby class and most of them are still in nappies, but Principal Ruth and I agreed that she would start in the baby class and we’d consider bumping her up if need be. She kissed me goodbye and whispered “I love you” in my ear and that was it!
No tears from either of us and I feel so much more comfortable about her first day than I did about Liam’s first day all those moons ago. Probably because I know the school and the teachers and I know Hannah will flourish there.
A side note about Liam: that child is a real star. He is so unfazed about life and change and upset, he just gets on with it. We took him to choose a school bag last week and he was totally besotted with a bag on wheels, so we bought it for him. When I got to work on Monday the first newsletter from the school had arrived and in big bold letters it stipulated that bags on wheels were not allowed this year. Apparently they had lots of tears last year from toes that had been bumped, trodden and plodded on by wheelie bags and they were quite a distraction – go figure. I felt so bad to break the news to Liam, but he patted my arm and said “that’s ok mom, take it back to the shop then.” He is still a whiner and a crier of significant NOTE, but his heart is in the right place! He is so protective over his sister and this morning he was giving her tips about school in the backseat. Very cute. He loves school, he was excited to see his little friends and his teachers and I barely got a wave as we left.
So yes at the start of this academic year, my prayer for my kids is that the rest of their lives, will indeed be the best of their lives. Starting school is probably one of the biggest and most daunting experiences that a kid will endure, like your first day at a new job X 100000! Pretty big deal, huh?
Hoping you and your little (and big) ones have a great academic year too xxx