I hadn’t really anticipated what a hectic and draining week the first week of school would be. Little Z was very very excited and I was very very nervous. We didn’t know anyone at all there and we’d both be starting from scratch. Would he have a last minute wobble and suddenly shout to go home? Would *I* have a last minute wobble and suddenly shout to go home? Too much change too soon and how on earth had this come round so so quickly?
To my complete and utter relief Little Z absolutely loved it and I relaxed a lot as the week went on. It started as a couple of hours on Monday and built up hour by hour until he did his first full day on Friday. It turned out to be such a great way to do it and I think it’s really helped him settle in. The school has also had little things to involve all the parents and it’s helped us settle in too. It’s weird having to make friends with adults just because your children want to be friends. I really really am not a natural at doing that. There’s also been a lot of swift sharp lessons learned very quickly. Not quite a baptism of fire but enough to whip a naive adult into a “school parent”.
These are the things I learnt over the last few days and how to basically survive the first week of school.
1. Do not try to park in the tiny car park meant for school parents and definitely do not sneak into the staff car park because you saw a couple of others do it. You will get blocked in by another parent who thinks its ok to block you in for over 15 minutes as they’ll let their kids play in the playground. You’ll take it quite well. The other parent blocked in takes it quite a bit less well.
2. The teachers are absolutely lovely and will make every effort to include you in everything. There will be a mini quiz each morning. You’ll love it, at first. Your son will want to wander off towards the play area.
3. Even in your mid 30s seeing or even talking to the headmaster makes you slightly nervous. Little Z comes across a lot more fearless, proclaiming “we keep seeing that man everywhere!”. Shhhhh!!
4. Having school dinners after 20 odd years is very strange. The menu has changed quite a lot. The dinner ladies, on the other hand, evidently still all graduate from the school of “cut your vegetables up” and “try to finish your plate dear”.
5. Little Z thinks any grassy knoll requires him to roll down it. Mud is now attached to every uniform piece of clothing he has, constantly. We now have many more pairs of school trousers.
6. The school is not lying when they tell parents to check the book bag every night. I’ve already spent many a panicked morning in the car filling in yet another form or questionnaire to hand in promptly.
7. Kids make friends very easily. Adults less so. I haven’t made any friends or acquaintances yet and I, err, am not in any rush.
8. Parents love any compliment about their child, even generic ones. Please keep them coming.
By Friday afternoon I think it’s fair to say we were both very ready for the weekend. I keep wondering whether Little Zs wobble will come over the next couple of weeks once he realises he has to go in every day whether he wants to or not. For now though it’s very lovely to see him run off in a big rush to start his day.