1st Day of School: Diary of the Absurdly Emotional

God, what is wrong with me? Well that’s a bit of an open-ended question, isn’t it? Where do I start, or more to the point, where do I stop?

My daughter just started school and I’ve been feeling very emotional about it, which is normal (I believe) but I’m less emotional, more emotional wreck or emotional time bomb; could go off at any second. Jesus, I’m ridiculous, It’s school, it’s around the corner from our house, it’s not like she’s moving to Australia or running away with the bloody Circus is it? So why does the thought of it make me want to grab her and never let her go?

As I think about that I’m visualising how that scenario might go:-
“Mummy get off”.
“But I just want a cuddle”.
“Urrgghh no thank you Mummy” (Yes my child is polite even under duress. Thousands of pounds of nursery fees well spent).
“But I want to go to school Mummy”.
“But I want to keep you close, under my motherly wing, where I can protect you”.
“From what Mummy?”.
“Oh, you know; learning, discovery, new friendships, new experiences. But it’s ok, only for maybe….25 years……”.

She’ll make that face at me, the one that indicates that she no longer understands what I’m saying and can’t work out if I’m joking or not. Then we’ll both laugh (at Mummy).

She is going to be fine, in fact, she’s going to be more than fine. This is not about her, it’s all about me.

It’s just, it’s the end of an era, isn’t it? Those pre-school years are so precious as there are so fewer boundaries (not counting work).

There are so many thoughts (mostly irrational, I know) whirling around my head:

She is so small, she’s just 4 years old for God sake! How can she go to school (who came up with that idea anyway?) It’s for ‘big’ children, isn’t it? Those that can successfully wipe their own bottoms & put on their own socks. And not those that throw themselves to the floor when refused access to the biscuit tin.

And all the new faces. It’s a whole new bunch of people to disagree with on whether you can be the Mummy, the Daddy, the Fairy or the Dinosaur.

Oh and then there is the poo obsession. Please please let everyone else’s 4-year-old be the same as mine. Every role play session ends with the Fairy/Witch/Baby/Dinosaur doing a massive fat poo, doesn’t it? Please say yes?

The ratio of adults to children is purely terrifying. What happens with P.E? I mean I struggle to get two children dressed in the morning and that’s at a 1:2 ratio, I’d estimate on most days 50% of my children leave the house looking respectable (woeful statistics people). How is this even possible at school, by the time everyone is ready surely the lesson is over? The combination of back to front shorts and shoes-on-wrong-feet must constitute a new ‘Reception Year Fashion Craze’.

And how the hell does one teacher and a teaching assistant manage to control thirty 4-year-olds for six hours a day. I can barely manage one and a 16-month-old for two hours each morning. It must be utter carnage?

Poor teachers….

Though having said that, most 4-year-olds are pretty hilarious, their take on the world is often refreshing & enlightening with a good dash of crazy. It’ll be a hoot for the teachers, surely? And then at the end of the day, there’s always wine.
Note to self: Buy teacher wine for Christmas, not crappy chocolates or a mug (my teacher husband receives a lot of mugs….).

OK, here we go.

Day 1: This is how it went….

Arrghhh F*ck it’s raining. I (clearly erroneously) hadn’t considered rain. This means a pushchair rain cover for the baby, an umbrella and a whole load of hassle I don’t need.

I just want to get there, just don’t want to be late.

We arrive, we park (easily! – have I got the wrong day?).

We get to the reception playground and wait with all the other tiny people in big uniform. *Breathe*. We made it on time. Tick.

OK what do we do now, can somebody tell me? *we wait*…..nothing. Am I supposed to just send her in on her own? Really? OK, we can do this. But can we? She looks terrified. I’m going to go for it, I send her in with the instructions of finding her peg and hanging her bag on it, then returning to the classroom.

I watch through the window, she gets to the cloakroom. She’s just standing there, why is she not hanging her stuff? She’s forgotten maybe? She can’t find her peg perhaps? She looks worried like she might cry. Sh*t. This tugs at my heart strings. Somebody help her! Please. SOMEBODY HELP MY BABY!!! Nothing….. *need to calm down*.

Right, I’m going in. I help her with her bag, her name tag was hidden behind another pristine looking school branded book bag. We go back to the classroom. I still have no f’ing clue what we’re supposed to be doing. This is a ruddy nightmare!

She is about to cry, if she does, so will I. I look around and spot colouring and a friend, bingo, the perfect combination. She settles, I leave, with no tears, from either of us. #win

Now, back to the other child (that I momentarily forgot existed), previously abandoned in the pushchair in the playground. Oh dear, how often a parenting win is followed directly by a fail.

It’s fine, he’s fine. Let’s go and get tea and biscuits, lots of biscuits. His little face lights up at the ‘B’ word (that I now realise I have said way way to soon……).

She survives, well she loves it. I survive and the boy forgives me for the abandonment (I imagine….).

Now to my next emotional challenge, which I can only assume is just around the corner.

 

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Mind How You Go….

For my Daughter, who starts school this September….

Open your book, it’s Chapter one,
a whole new world has just begun.
As you turn each page & breathe the world in,
remember I’m here, should you need anything.

Step out, look up, there’s much to find,
be bold, be brave and always be kind.
I’m excited to see you blossom & grow,
but remember darling, mind how you go.

Everything’s changing but don’t be afraid,
discovering new things is how dreams are made.
It’s ok to feel scared, sad or unsure,
we’ll talk when you need to, that’s what I’m here for.

You only look forward, I understand that,
but Mummy can’t help sometimes looking back.
You see 4 years flew by at incredible pace,
how did so much time pass since I first saw your face?

Have your say and stand your ground,
don’t ever let anyone push you around.
You’ll sparkle & shine, this I already know
but baby please, mind how you go.

So this is it, off we go to school,
I know you’re ready but you look so small.
Ask questions, join in, but also listen a while.
Make friends, make memories, make everyone smile.

I’ll be thinking of you every day,
I’m right behind you if you lose your way.
There’s no limit to what you can achieve,
incredible things happen to those who believe.

Ignore Mummy’s tears, she’s silly as you know,
but do something for me, just mind how you go.

Mind how you go….

Love from Mummy xxx

Mind How You Go....

 
 

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Time To Be Brave And Make Things Happen….

I started writing a blog 8 weeks ago. Here are a few things I have learnt in that time, about myself, blogging and life in general.

The last 2 months have been an extraordinary personal journey of discovery for me. Yes, I started writing a blog, but that’s just one part of it. Something changed, I’m still not sure quite what, but it is good. I have stopped looking at other people and thinking “I’d like to do that” or “I’d like to be more like that”. I’m trying to make positive things happen for me by being proactive and brave. It’s slow progress but there is progress and that’s the only thing that matters.

I feel like this is my time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up…..

Things I have learnt about blogging in the last 8 weeks:

The blogging community is full of lovely people. You’d think people would be cliquey and possessive of their space, a space that as a newbie I just invaded. But they’re not. There are millions of blogs out there, which makes it feel like an uphill battle but everyone is very welcoming and supportive, it’s a great place to hang out.

You could spend all day on Twitter, I mean ALL DAY. Tweeting, retweeting, sharing, liking, linking, it’s exhausting!!! I have a day job so obviously I don’t do this ALL DAY but it’s key to marketing your blog and trying to get your voice heard. As a Marketer myself, I would say just spend the time you do have wisely, in areas where you know you can connect with people in your target audience. Ooh, look at me, giving out advice at just 8 weeks in…….. *rolls eyes*

Looking around you is good. My most favourite thing so far to come out of writing a blog is that it has forced me to stop and look around. I need to figure out what to say each week, so I do research but mostly it’s observational. I have started to put down my phone, turn off my music and watch the world. Watch people (not in a weird way), listen to conversations, notice things around me. It’s honestly wonderful, I highly recommend it. In the words of Ferris Bueller (…. I love this movie)

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Things I have learnt about myself in the last 8 weeks:

I love writing, I mean I LOVE it. I can’t believe that I discovered something new (out of nowhere) that I love doing. I encourage you all to try something new, anything, get out of your comfort zone. Do it and do it now. If that’s not enough encouragement for you then check out the Shia Labeouf video at the bottom of this piece (well I want you to read the rest don’t I). It’s not only hilarious but it might be just what you need right now!

A good opportunity came my way last week, an opportunity that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t of put myself out there and taken a leap of faith 8 weeks ago.

My inner monologue is VERY loud. Jesus, I thought writing stuff down would help but I think it’s made it worse! I do wish I’d pipe down sometimes. It’s got so bad that occasionally I can’t remember if I’ve had an ‘out loud’ conversation with an actual person or if it’s just the voices in my head.

….Wait

….Who said that?

Things I have learnt about life in general in the last 8 weeks:

If you don’t ask you don’t get. An old one but so true. This is about confidence and seizing the moment, something I’m trying to do much more these days. If you want some help or you think there might be an opportunity for you somewhere, go and ask about it. The worst thing the person can say is no. Then you’re no worse off than you were before.

I asked two friends this week to help me with some things for this blog, things that will take them some time to complete. They both accepted enthusiastically and were pleased that I came to them (for which I am hugely grateful). Me from a few months ago would not have asked this question, I would have felt like I was putting them out and asking too much. They are both very talented in their fields so this would have been a massive missed opportunity for me.

‘Winging It’ (to start with anyway) is totally ok. People think that just because you write stuff down and publish it, you must know what you’re doing and be a really confident person. I am not confident about writing at all but I keep going because a few months or more down the line I envision this changing. I’ve learnt that appearing confident is a big step towards actually feeling it. I’m also learning something new every day at the moment, which is exciting and massively rewarding. How many of you can say the same thing? When was the last time you learnt something new?

Know your priorities. Writing about my own journey & thinking about the future has reinforced for me that family is the most important thing, don’t ever lose sight of that, whatever crossroad you come to.

Last few (random) learnings:

Donald Trump needs to shut the f*ck up.

The song I have been joyfully singing along to for weeks now – “Angels On My Side” is Rick Astley!!! I literally had no idea until the other day! #HowDidIMissThat?

Oh and don’t eat yellow snow (but everyone knows that, right?)

Much Love xxx

Thank you to Dan @Don’t Believe The Hype for getting all Shia Labeouf on my ass and telling me to JUST DO IT.

Amazingly brilliant – Shia Labeouf JUST DO IT video

 
 

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