So your little one is packed off to school for three hours of settling in.
What do you do?
Well, if you’re me you’re working two days and on your day off for one, so that’s easy. You drop them off (which takes a minute to walk there, approximately ten seconds to drop them off and another minute to walk home again) and you sit and start working, clocking off five minutes before pickup.
You set some washing going, you set a loaf of bread making and you put on some strong coffee while having some valuable internet time. (this applies to the day off, obviously)
Then you sit and listen. If you’re lucky you’ll hear the school bell. They’re heading into their class. You can drift off with music or something and come back to earth when you hear the sound of children playing – that’ll be their break time then. You can hear your child’s day, it’s almost reassuring. Whistles being blown (is someone misbehaving?) and children squealing and screaming in play, the kind of scream you once heard at home in octuplicate or more.
Then it goes quiet again. Another coffee. A bit of internet. You’d set this time aside to blog but now you’re there you’ve nothing to blog about. So you waffle into a window on the internet in the hope it’ll make some sense, when actually you should be making hair appointments while you still have the chance (but you aren’t motivated).
H brought home her first reading book last night – one which we look at the pictures together and describe what’s going on. I had no idea I’d feel so tired describing a book without words. I’ve had a day at work and when you could switch off and read words and talk about the book, this time you’re continuing the teaching – I was shattered too, and we only did two pages.
At least the settling in is only for a short time. I can see why they do it now – it’s a massive inconvenience for parents who work, but seeing how tired H is right now as there’s so much to take in and learn – and that’s before they even get to the curriculum – it’s a good thing. New people, new rules, new routines. So much new. A new overload. A new letter in the book bag every night.
It’s a bit like starting a new job. You hit the ground running but it’s exhausting – remembering people’s names and learning what is the done thing (I wish they’d give us a piece of paper with school staff faces on it so I would know who I’m talking to).
I keep thinking back to this time last week and our last day together, lots of cuddles, having to ‘let go’ of my girl as her life starts to happen, and I can’t help feeling like a part of mine is ending, and almost like you’re grieving that end. This is normal, right?