1. You rarely get to chat to your teacher and assistant to get to know them – there’s 30 kids, so it’s understandable. It all feels so rushed at the end of the day now. Nursery was so different; they couldn’t get rid of me.
2. You will only find out things your child has done through the day from chatting to other mums. This is also where you’ll do that “OH! You’re (insert child)’s mum! (insert your own child) has been talking about (him/her) a lot!” and realise you do know some things they’ve done, just not exactly what. “played”
3. Us parents are annoying. Every morning we stand by the gates chatting while the kids play. For some of us this may be the only conversation we have until midday, so we’re making the most of it. We are all louder than the kids. Some parents don’t stop talking when the teachers blow the whistle for the kids to go indoors. I would like to think of this as a reflection on how we all behaved at school. (for the record, I shut up immediately and stood to attention)
4. As an additional note to 3, often our kids don’t even realise we’re still there. On Monday I shall drop off and take a step back and leave. (then head to a coffee morning for that all-important chat) I have taken the day off as holiday.
5. Yeah, holiday. That thing from work you’d take whenever you felt like it, maybe for a hair appointment if you’re being really flash or your birthday. Those days are G-O-N-E. Unless you’re a civil servant. Now those 25 days are strategically planned throughout the year to minimise holiday club costs. (which are still a fraction of the cost that nursery was)
6. So far, no party invites. I am already planning a monthly trip into The Entertainer to stock up on emergency presents. (this is of course assuming H will be popular and be invited, as currently she tells me she doesn’t want to ask anyone their name, then lists several I’ve never heard of). The till staff at The Entertainer are very pushy. “Would you like to buy a birthday card madam, while you’re here?” “no thank you, I have plenty” “in that case, do you need any more wrapping paper?” “no thank you, the one I’ve selected is enough” “You can get a matching card to go with that” (slightly angrier me) “I Have Everything I Need Right Now Thank You” “oh do you need any batteries?” (inside I screech) “NO! WHAT ON EARTH DO I WANT BATTERIES FOR? I AM BUYING TWO FREAKING JIGSAWS! STOP STOP STOP STOP!” (outside I say) “that’s all, thanks”.
7. The letters. We have so many. I bought a few organisers from Tiger Stores a couple of months ago as they’re sturdy and cheap so I’ve got everything filed which is a start, yet every night we come home with more information, more paper. More things to read. Everyone is overloading me with things to read – school, work, the postman (though to be fair, his seem to be offers at the local supermarket so fairly pleasing to the eye and stomach).
8. You won’t find out until half term whether your child knows how to fold their PE kit. Gulp. I was at school last night and resisted the temptation to go and find her peg and fold it all up. I’ve seen her folding, it leaves a lot to desire. (makes mental note this is the next life skill she needs to learn) Think along the lines of washing in a machine. While it’s going round.
9. When collecting your child and lining up at school it is in fact like being at school which actually you are but you feel like you are, even if the teacher is way younger than you, they are in charge and you respect that and stand in line and be good. You are almost immediately whisked back to 38 years ago when you started school.
10. I never thought I would crave a book with words as much as I have. We were started on picture books and I rejoiced yesterday when H brought home a phonics book, as it’s exhausting for the parent to have to think about what they’re reading as well as read it. Don’t get me wrong, we read lots of books together – a minimum of four a day, three of those at bedtime. I’m tired too.
11. If that sobbing child in the playground who can’t find her friends and feels lonely is someone your child knows, put yourself in their position – make an arrangement for your child to meet them beforehand and walk in together. Four year olds looking lost trying to find their friends? Heartbreaking. Four year olds who were upset but have their friends and have big smiles? Heartwarming. It won’t be forever, but it’ll help the child – and one day it might be yours and you’ll feel helpless too. Half the time they all run off and do their own thing once they’re inside anyway.
12. Every school event will clash with everything. As long as you’re aware of this you can do it all, just have some gin handy – and a time travelling DeLorean.
13. You’ll start to forget all your old friends. Already H is forgetting half of our NCT crowd she’s grown up with, and it’s really sad. Fortunately there are lots of new friends so it isn’t all bad, it’s just sad the past is going away as quickly as it is.
So there you go. Reception 2014 mums, I’m sure you’ll find this extremely useful. Sniff. Do you have any more, if you’ve got this far?