10 Things I’ve Learned about my Child Starting School

Starting School

Big Monkey has been at school for six weeks now. In that short space of time, here’s what I’ve learned about having a child in Reception Class:

1. Getting out of the house in any state other than ‘frantic’ is seemingly impossible. Trying to wash, dress, feed two small people who insist on randomly taking items of clothing off when they should be putting their coats on, gleefully  yelling “mummy, you’re a poo-head!” {which is apparently hilarious} and be out the door by 8.20am is not for the feint-hearted. I’ve realised it’s called the ‘school-run’ for a reason.

2. Choose your battles wisely. Big Monkey is insisting on wearing shorts, even though it’s freezing, because “my best friend Sam wears shorts, so I want to wear them too.” Ok, be cold, you win. JUST GET DRESSED!

3. Securing a parking place at drop-off/pick-up requires the timing and reflexes of a ninja. Leaving the house even a minute late can be deadly. Back off lady, that’s my unofficial regular parking spot.

4. Phonics is a whole new world. Pure sounds? Blending? Digraphs? Does no one use the actual alphabet anymore? And what are these actions that go with each letter? Yet here I am, pretending to puff out a candle on my finger, repeating “P, P, P” like a phonics-pro.

5. It’s like being back at school yourself. Learning new routines, school rules, navigating the playground and trying desperately to remember the names of parents you say hello to every morning…and you can’t ask their name yet again, because they’ll think you have dementia.

6. Be prepared to basically know nothing about what your child gets up to during the day. What did you do at school today? “Nothing.” What did you have for lunch? “Poo-poo.” Ok…who did you play with? “Stinky-pants!” Fine. I give up.

7. Still waters run deep. Otherwise known as, hold-it-all-together-at-school-then-erupt-into-a-crazy-person-when-you-get-home. It’s like setting foot inside the house triggers the beast within, and my once calm little school boy is now howling hysterically on the floor because he wants to take his shoes off, but doesn’t want to do it himself and doesn’t want me to do it either.

8. I’ve totally underestimated him. In amongst all the “poo-poo head” comments, he’ll suddenly recite a poem he’s learned or point out an ‘M’ for ‘mummy’ {which is phonetically pronounced ‘mmm’ in case you’re interested} or draw a picture of himself with arms and legs in all the right places. Proud mama.

9. This school malarkey has been a journey for us both. I didn’t quite realise how anxious I’d been about him starting; worrying in case he didn’t make friends, couldn’t find the loo or was upset about leaving me. None of which happened, I might add.

10. There’s nothing quite so heart-melting than seeing your baby in their school uniform. I wish I could bottle his four-and-a-half-year-old innocence and enthusiasm for life, all neatly bundled up in his little school shirt and jumper, and hold onto his infectious grin forever.

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