It’s been one whole year since I acquired the accolade of “School Mum”. A year since I turned up in the playground for the first time, laden with bags and children and a sizeable Rufus bump. I was potentially (definitely) more nervous than Daisy was. Was this her big year? Or mine? Let’s face it, it’s been an education for us both.
- Firstly, teachers are scary. Even though you’re probably older than them now. Even though you probably have loads in common. Even though you’re a strong, confident person; successfully adulting your way through life. Once you sit down opposite them, in one of those tiny plastic chairs at parent’s evening; you’re a wobbly kneed, clammy handed, inarticulate four-year-old all over again.
- You will do a lot of homework over breakfast on a Monday morning. No matter how good your intentions might be, you will forget it and you will get sweary when you’re halfway out the door and someone mentions that they haven’t done their phonics worksheet yet.
- Homework is, however, an exciting opportunity to witness the startling progression your child is making. You shipped them off to school, barely able to write their own name and three weeks later, they’re annotating Wuthering Heights*.
*This might be a slight exaggeration.
- On the subject of the above, you’re expected to do some too. There will be numerous projects throughout the year that require some parental input. Fancy dress days, model making, bag decorating. And you will put undue effort into these things because there is no way you’re going to let the playground Pinterest Mum show you up.
Handy hint: Start the year prepared, get to Hobbycraft and invest in a glue gun (you’ll thank me for that one).
- Speaking of the playground, it’s been about three decades since you were last in one, but the dynamics are exactly the same. The cliques. The mean girls. The cool kids. They’re all still there, only now they plan boozy sessions at the local, instead of pyjama parties. And it’ll still leave you wanting to cry to you Mum when you don’t get invited.
- There will always be someone in a Range Rover that parks on the yellow lines outside the school gate. It’s ok to silently hate this person.
- The school nativity will crack even the most hardened of souls, wide open. Bring tissues. You will weep, I promise.
- You will be handed approximately 74645749569 bits of recycling, under the guise of “models”. These will usually be cereal boxes with a milk bottle sellotaped to the top and if you don’t guess that it’s actually a pony on a surfboard, your kid will be mortally offended.
- The first time your child climbs on board a coach for their debut school trip, will be one of the most terrifying moments of your life. You might even be tempted to follow them in your car. You might actually do it. No judgement here.
- You will spend all term waiting for the school holidays and all school holidays waiting for term to start again.
- It will be easier to whittle a life-size replica of Michelangelo’s David out of discarded loo roll inners, than it will be to get your child to tell you about their day.
- The year will go by in a flash (except for those hours before bedtime when they’re incredibly tired and incredibly grumpy. They will last for 9000 years).