I can’t believe I am sitting here writing this. You know when you have a date in your calendar circled for years and years and that’s sort of what you are aiming for. Well for me that date was September 2016. I had it circled in my diary at work ever since I went back to work after maternity leave back in 2013. 3 years I’ve been working towards this date, knowing my life would change then, when I would no longer be in an office but I would be taking my boy to school! I always knew I wanted to be the mum who is taking and picking up her child to school, I didn’t want anyone else to do it. Preschool was different and I was grateful my mum to do it while I went to work. But big school, no I wanted to do it.
So when the first day came, I was shocked at how emotional I was! I was already feeling nervous and wrote my feelings down the day before. On the big day my husband worked from home as he wanted to take him on his first day too. I got up at 6.30am and made cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and made a fruit pot of watermelons, apples, mangos and grapes. I packed Pom Bear crisps and wrapped a mini chocolate muffin in clingfilm. I opened the top of a Dairylea cheese strip and then wrapped in clingfilm as I know he can’t open them himself. And then Tyler came running in at 6.50am going ‘Mummy!’ and hugging my legs. I put on trains on YouTube on the TV and gave him some milk. Then I quickly had some cereal before Honey Nut woke for her morning feed.
Then my husband woke and helped with getting Tyler ready, giving him his Rice Krispie Multigrain cereal and somehow getting his uniform on. That was a struggle! Then after a while he was going ‘I look so beautiful’ haha after we were going, “Aw look at you, you look so cute!” And he did, so so sooooo cute! After taking lots of photos, my husband was like, we have to go! Eek, it was 8.20am and raining and I had planned for half an hour for a slow walk to school. And it was really slow at first because Tyler was not used to walking with an umbrella! But once I looked at the time and realised we had loads of time to get there by 8.45am, we relaxed and took our time. He really liked the walk.
At the school I took him inside while my husband waited outside with Honey Nut in the buggy as it was really crowded and quite chaotic with all the parents. This was the only day we’d be allowed to go inside. I showed Tyler the loos, where to put his lunchbox and then into his classroom. A lady was handing out name stickers so I got his and stuck on the front of his jumper. He went straight to some drawers and starting pulling out numbers to play with. I said to him I’d pick him up at 3 okay? He said yeah. He was so not scared or upset or anything. Suddenly I didn’t want to leave him, not being able to see him or watch him play. I’m feeling teary just writing this, but the tears just started falling out of my eyes. I looked out of the window and saw my husband peering in and he made a sad face at me. I put my hood up, I was so embarressed I couldn’t stop the tears and said bye and left him. I didn’t want him or anyone to see me cry. I went to my husband and we both peered in and saw him playing at the whiteboard. I was proper crying now, I could not stop. I cried all the way on the walk home. We stopped at a builder’s cafe for a coffee, and even as I was talking to my husband, the tears were still falling. When we got home, I cried all through Homes Under the Hammer as my boy wasn’t with me. I was a mess, and you know what, I know it was irrational, but I let myself cry and wallow in my misery. I just wanted to let it out and then I’d be okay.
Why was I crying? I know school is what he needs, and it was much better for him to mix with other kids and learn and play outside than be stuck at home watching TV or his tablet while I was busy looking after Honey Nut. But I think I was scared he would not need me or like me anymore (why I don’t know!), and I was sad at how quick time was flying, how I could remember our days out when he was 2 like it was yesterday, I could remember when he could say just a few words in his baby voice, and now he was at school! I think it’s just how fast he is growing up, it’s scary! I was also sad that all our fun times would have to be at weekends and half terms, school holidays only. Monday to Friday would be just days to get through and I didn’t like that.
Anyway back to Tyler! On day 1 we decided to pick him up by car, thinking he would be too tired to walk back. Big mistake, we got the biggest tantrum ever as he wanted to walk. I felt so bad as I didn’t want to make him cry on his first day! We think the first day went well, as when he saw us, he didn’t run into our arms, he ran back in – so it must have been fun. My husband had to drag him out!
Day 2 was harder and I was nervous as this would be me taking him on my own. And it was hard. he wanted to stay in bed. I had a feeling he might have thought school was a one off! I told him we’d walk past the bus station and then he was excited to go. But at the school I had to pick him up and take him in, and the teacher held his hand as he just didn’t want to go. When I picked him up, I asked him if he liked school today and he said ‘No! The children hurt me, they hurt my arm!’ My heart dropped, what?! There can’t be bullies in reception?! They are all so tiny and cute. Then I thought maybe there was a collision when kids run into each other in the playground. So I asked if it was an accident. And he said yes, a girl was crying and the teacher came. Phew!! But in the split section, I was so worried, had I put Tyler in the wrong school?! But he was so happy, he skipped all the way home, telling me the children were naughty at lunch and someone had a angry lunchbox. I think he meant an angry bird lunchbox. Then he said they watched Peppa Pig. I was like what, on TV?? He goes, yes on a GIANT screen! And they gave them milk and carrots and raisins to eat. It all sounded fun.
Then when we neared home, he suddenly needed the loo and had an accident. I asked him if he’d been to the loo, and he said no. I asked why and he said he was scared of the loo at school! I felt so bad, he’d been holding his pee in the whole day on Monday and Tuesday 😦 So the next morning, I told his teacher and she said they usually go after they wash their hands after lunch but maybe he didn’t go. So she said she’d make sure he went. And when I picked him up on Day 3 and I asked him if he went to the loo, he proudly told me yes, and a teacher helped him, and he took a white tissue and he washed his hands. He seemed really happy too.
That day after dinner, I took him and Honey Nut to Windsor. I timed it so we got the 6.40pm train there, walked along the river while the sun set, and got the 7.30pm train back in time for bedtime (skipping bathtime that day). It was so lovely, the fresh air and walk was good for us all and he sang ‘Old MacDonald’ all the way along the river. My plan was for the walk to tire him out. This could be a weekly thing until the clocks go back and it’s too dark.
The walks in the morning and on the way back have been really enjoyable and I think that’s what Tyler likes too. We get have some time together, it’s relaxing, I don’t have to worry about driving and trying to find a space and get us in and out of the car. I am so so relieved we can walk to school. He skips, he walks backwards, he stops to watch cars, he counts houses, it’s like a mini adventure everyday. Honey Nut loves it, she’s just looks out of the buggy at the sky or at me. We saw a recycling truck (which is red in Slough rather than green – weird) and all the red bins were out ready for collecting which Tyler found fascinating. There were stones on the pavement from someone’s driveway, and he goes ‘Are these from the seaside?’ Um, yeah! Well maybe they are. He’s so fascinated by simple things, even running in a zigzag.
He’s watched Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol everyday on the giant screen, had lunch, and milk, played with a tow truck which had wheel that were stuck, play with a fire engine, and they’ve sang songs. That’s what I’ve got out of him this week. On Friday he was trying to put on his uniform himself and was going ‘Come on!’ when I wasn’t ready! He’s always so happy to see Honey Nut when we pick him up, running to the buggy and going ‘Oh hi Honey Nut!’ and then hugging my legs.
It is a bit scary trying to get out of the school as there’s like a billion mums and kids squeezing out at the same time, I don’t know how children don’t get lost! Tyler holds on to the buggy. I haven’t made any mum friends yet, but everyone has eyes on their on kid only and then wants to get out. I’ve seen a few that walk the same way as us, but they are all in a rush whilst we are walking at a more relaxed pace, which is how I like it. The main thing is that Tyler is happy, and I’d say he likes his new big school. He still says he wants to go to his little school, he does miss it, still singing the songs they used to sing there. I know preschool will always have a place in his heart, but I know he’ll get used to big school. They watch Peppa Pig at school – where else does that?? As for me, I’m okay now, I’m going to try and enjoy my 6 hours with Honey Nut.
How has your child’s first week at school gone? I hope it was gone well 🙂