I often feel a bit lost within my job as Mama. There are times I feel like a fish out of water, like I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. One of the times I felt like that was when I realised that I needed to make school applications for Leo and that he would in fact actually be starting school.
I literally had no idea what I was doing and I found myself in a bit of a fluster. HOW could he be starting school? Just how? It wasn’t something I’d ever really thought about (I don’t tend to really think to far ahead in general life… I’m lucky if I know what’s happening tomorrow) and I felt a bit overwhelmed. I kept thinking things like; does he need to take pencils? What if I get the start time wrong? What if I forget one day and think he’s still at nursery and I forget to pick him up? What if he hates the lunch he’s selected? How do I order his uniform? What does he even need?
Leo has been at nursery since he was 5 months old, three days a week. I know he will be fine in general. He won’t struggle to be left on a daily basis, he won’t struggle to make friends because he is fairly confident and he seems to really enjoy learning. But he’s my baby. My first born. There’s a part of me that wants to wrap him in cotton wool and never let him go.
We had lived in our new city for about 9 months before we needed to start putting applications in and we had no idea what any of the school’s reputations were. So we made sure we visited and made our own decisions based on gut feeling followed by researching the schools results tables (I know it’s only primary but you know, I want him to be in an environment where I think he will be pushed and encouraged and somewhere that has a decent record for achieving a certain standard with their children but that also has a strong ethos with regards to rearing well rounded human beings – pressure much!) and then we submitted our preferences. I felt sick. I wasn’t 100% sure of the order I’d requested and by the time I was sure I’d got the order wrong it was too late to change anything. Cue massive knot in my stomach until the morning of ‘the big reveal’.
One thing that really made me feel wobbly about the whole transition to school was hearing words like ‘our anti bullying policy’. Gulp. Immediately I pictured his gangly self in the corner of the playground being picked on. He is such a gentle soul, I couldn’t stand the thought of other kids picking on him. And then a few weeks later, we went to his graduation ceremony at nursery. I sat and I watched. I watched him play with his friends. I watched him stick up for himself and really get involved. I’ve since seen and heard him do the same whilst playing with the little boy from across the road. I’ve heard him disagree with things when he well, doesn’t agree. I’ve heard him have his own opinions. I’ve heard him stand up to someone when he thinks they’re doing something naughty. My little boy. Apparently not so little and in need of the mountain of cotton wool I’ve got ready and waiting.
D day was fast approaching and my stomach knot what not improving. Essentially what I wanted was to get our second choice. I felt after reflection that the first choice just wasn’t quite the right fit for Leo. But when I thought about our second choice I felt at ease and like it would be the perfect fit. And what do you know… It turns out we got our second choice. Sometimes I think things are just meant to be?
I struggled with ordering his uniform. That felt like a big step for me… And also… SO much stuff (let’s not even talk about the small loan needed to buy his blummin’ shoes). I ordered him little clothing labels with dinosaur pictures on so that he will be excited to find his coat or pick out his gym shoes in the sea of black pumps. We collected his uniform and he tried it on. Obviously I cried. He looked about 14… And so flippin’ proud of himself.
And here we are, a couple of weeks away from him starting. I’m still an emotional wreck. I’m predicting a mass of tears as I walk away from dropping him off for his first day. But I think he’s ready. I’m not ready. I’m not sure how my new routine will work; how will I fit in drop offs around working and ferrying Tayo to and from nursery as well? I’m sure I’ll work it all out and maybe I’ll slip up somewhere along the way but it’s all a part of the process isn’t it?
And I now feel a tonne better about what to pack in his bag after Amy shared this post all about what they need and more importantly what we need as parents on the drop off/pick up. I never even thought about that! Thanks Amy!
How are you feeling about your littles starting school? Is your first baby starting or are you doing this for a second or third time? Does it get any easier with each child? Are you feeling a bit out of your depth like me?