I thought a lot about how Piran would feel starting school. I was worried about how overwhelming it might be (not too bad actually) how tiring (oh. my. god). I worried that he might struggle to make friends, that he might be shy. Before he started he only knew two other children in a class of 38.
I didn’t spend much time thinking about how it would affect me. It certainly is a shock to the system. The amount of information that I am bombarded with – texts and letters and information on the website. Permission slips and money for this and that. How you organise school dinners. And in the middle of all this information I completely feel set adrift, that I know nothing at all about school. Piran is not forthcoming with information at all. The most I get out of him is what he did in PE (Diggle trail, beanbags and scooters). He will tell me if they had an assembly or not. That’s about it. I have volunteered to go along on a school Autumn Walk next week I hope that will help me get an insight into what happens once those doors are shut. I am so used to picking him up from nursery and hearing from them how his day was that the lack of feedback is so frustrating and hard. I keep trying to make myself believe that no news is good news.
I am feeling my way at the school gates too. My gut reaction is to stand in the corner, wait for Piran to come out and then bolt. I am doing my best to ignore that and make sure that I talk to at least one or two people at each drop off and pick up. I am slowly picking up the children’s names but no one introduces themselves really – we are all Piran’s mum and so and so’s mum.
Piran has had a few issues adjusting to such a lot of people and getting used to the fact that people can sometime be a bit more boisterous and in his face than he would like. He had a falling out with the little boy he used to go to nursery with, and we spent a couple weeks trying to broach the subject with him and get to the bottom of what happened. Many conversations and texts / chats between myself and the other boy’s mum and we have got to the bottom of it I think. There is a truce and they seem to be happy to play together again, although I think Piran does prefer it after school when the mums are around. I couldn’t believe less than 2 weeks after starting school I was having to give him advice and send him off for the day with no indication of what the outcome would be. Gentle questioning sometimes worked but really I am having to let go and just trust him to sort it out himself. He’s just 4, it feels far too soon for all that.
I am slowly adjusting to the routine of school. I suddenly understand what people mean when they say they are really glad the weekend is here, or that they cannot wait for half term. I myself am counting the days because it will be so nice not to have to bargain and cajole and repeat myself a million times trying to get them both sorted and out the door with a million coats and lunches and book bags and water bottles, scooters and helmets. I am literally a pack animal, they refuse to carry anything most of the time. I find that I get incredibly stressed when it comes to getting out of the door in time so I have changed our routine, getting Piran dressed and ready as early as possible. It helps. Kate can be a pain though and I really don’t want to spend every morning shouting at them all. That is a work in progress that is for sure.
I thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to work other than my sewing and self employed blog bits. I feel like I spend all my time just moving people around. If I had to work as well I think my head would explode. I am sure that I will hit my stride and then it will be Christmas and we will all get out of practice and have to start again. I am going to have to adjust my plans to take into account wet weather / cold weather clothes too aren’t I? At this rate I will just be putting him in his uniform at bedtime and letting him sleep in it ready for the morning.
So, does anyone with older children have any pro tips for me? I would love to hear your experiences with your little ones starting school, or a heads up on what to expect next!