So it’s been about a week since the schools went back. This means various emotions have been felt by parents everywhere. These have ranged from pure unadulterated joy and relief to guilt and feeling it’s the end of the world. For those that have almost lost the will to live and become numb to life, it’s just another day of wandering round the house like a zombie or sitting underneath the desk at work rocking backwards and forwards. Here’s a brief guide to the different scenarios you might be facing. See if you recognise yourself.
Some of you might have sent your precious bundles of joy to nursery for the first time. This means they’ll spend the next couple of years with a permanent crusty nose. This is generally down to two things. The fact that snotty noses seem invisible to most staff and that they will be subject to every type of germ imaginable on a daily basis. It all helps build up their immune system so don’t stress about it too much.
It also means that every time you drop them off your heart will break a little as you leave them screaming for you. If you’re really unlucky they will have mastered the art of speech and in-between the cries you’ll also hear a tortured, “Mummy / daddy, don’t leave me.” “It’s fine,” the staff will tell you later, “They stopped crying seconds after you left.”
You know the truth though, they cried the whole day and as a result are somehow permanently scarred. The years of therapy later in life for their abandonment issues will all be traced back to this moment and the guilt will never leave you, hanging on like a particularly persistent leech. Well, that’s what the more neurotic of us feel. To be fair, Jade did actually cry every single time we dropped her off at nursery.
We were prepared for it again a few years later with Katie but she went the other way. Every day she’d run in without saying goodbye or even turning round. This is course meant us feeling she didn’t love or need us any more and that we’d somehow failed in developing a good, strong relationship with our daughter. Of course, deep down we knew it meant she was confident and self assured but in moments of weakness and sleep deprivation the negative scenarios always surfaced.
Big school, how exciting! Well, for them it might be. For you it’s usually a mix of pride that they’re growing up and sadness that your constant companion over the last few years is suddenly not there. No more watching endless repeats of Peppa Pig together, still looking for answers to the many unanswered questions. Why does everyone live on top of a near vertical hill, why has Miss Rabbit got 37 jobs and many more. No more watching Frozen and Trolls on a constant loop. No more spending the whole day clearing up after them because they still don’t understand the concept of tidying up after themselves. Seriously, how difficult can it be? Actually, scrap what I said earlier, it is exciting and it means you can spend your solo days in pyjamas drinking Blue Nun, eating cheese and watching Jeremy Kyle. Oh the unbridled joy of it all.
This is a biggie. Your babies have gone from being big fish in a pond to minnows in the ocean. Going to school on their own is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s all very scary and I admit the day Jade started year 7 I was in a state. The reason for this stems back to my first day at Park High School in 1982. My Sixer at Scouts was in the year above me at school and had promised to look after me when I started. Everyone knew that getting a bog wash was a thing and this terrified every single boy and girl starting school.
My first ever playtime I see my Sixer and say hi. He shouts “Bog wash”, and then precedes with 3 of his mates to carry me screaming to the toilets. The hold me upside down over the toilet, pull the chain and then……….put me down saying, “Only joking mate, welcome to Park High.” It might had been funny had I not almost wet myself in terror and been crying the whole time. Looking back I think I’ve just highlighted the moment any chance of me becoming the cool kid was well and truly demolished, one tear at a time. Having the most ridiculous bowl haircut known to mankind probably didn’t help either.
I can’t even go there. I’ve got a few years before I freak out about this so in the meantime I’m going to bury my head in the sand in blissful ignorance.
Until next time……