There’s been a milestone mummy moment at Crummy Mummy HQ. It involves starting school, starting nursery and having no children at home at all for the first time since Violet was born almost 17 months ago.
This week Bluebell started year six, her last year of primary school; Max started year two; Marigold started school for the first time and Violet is now going to nursery.
That means I’ve now been there, done it, and got the t-shirt three times when it comes to starting school, and each time I forget there are so many things they just don’t tell you about starting school. Things you won’t find in the books, and things they won’t tell you about at opening evenings, either.
So, for anyone with a little one starting school too, here’s a fun tongue-in-cheek post on 7 things they don’t tell you about starting school.
7 things they don’t tell you about starting school!
1. The first day isn’t really a day
If your local education authority operates a ‘staggered start’ system, the first day isn’t really a day. It’s more like two hours, including traveling time getting home and back again to pick them up. And depending on where you live, the staggered start can go on for weeks. Which is a total nightmare if you’re a working parent. No sooner have you dropped them off, it’s time to go and get them again.
2. There’s lots of paperwork
And no matter how much you read and re-read all the bumf they give you, the chances are you’ll still mix things up and get them wrong. Like arriving at the wrong gate for pick up even though you could swear that’s what it said in the pamphlet. So far I’ve managed to get something wrong with all three. Perhaps, when it comes to Violet, I’ll finally get it right the fourth time around.
3. It’s a baptism of fire when it comes to the school run
Especially if you’ve got older ones already at school. On the day of writing this post I will travel to and from school eight times: once to drop them all off in the morning and drive home again, once to pick Marigold up at 11.30am and drive home again, once to collect Max at 3.10pm and drive home again and once to collect Bluebell from netball at 4.15pm – and you guessed it – drive home again. That’s eight school runs in one day, which is basically death by school run.
4. You’ve got absolutely no idea what they did when they were there
Because according to them they did ‘nothing’. And when you try and delve a bit deeper they just shrug and still say, with emphasis this time, ‘nothing’. Or at best, ‘play’. And unlike nursery, where you get more updates, photos, and pings than you can possibly keep track of throughout the course of a day, you’re none the wiser until parents’ evening a few months later.
5. Your WhatsApp messages will go into overdrive
Whether you like it or not becoming a member of the class WhatsApp group – and the breakout WhatsApp groups – is inevitable. And while some mums (and dads) will use it sparingly and only if strictly necessary, others will use it Every. Single. Day. And not only will they use it every single day, they’ll use it ten times a day. Or more, if you’re really unlucky. I currently have 83 unread messages in Marigold’s class WhatsApp group (I daren’t count the ones in Bluebell’s and Max’s too, but I’m pretty sure collectively there’s more than one hundred). In addition to death by school run, there’s death by WhatsApp group too.
6. Velcro fluff
Forget Covid 19. If the fluff that rapidly accumulates in the velcro of shoes, coats and bags isn’t a public health hazard, then I don’t know what is. It’s best not to look at it too closely, and definitely don’t pick it out with bare hands.
7. It’s all a bit of an anti-climax
What with the staggered start, which is barely a start and more like a glorified play date, combined with the umpteen school runs and paperwork to fill in it can all be a bit of an anti-climax. All that extra time you thought you’d have now they’re finally at school? I don’t know where it goes either.
Have you got a little one starting school this term? Can you relate to any of the above? I’d love to hear about your experience!