Saturday, 30 August 2014

"Don't kiss me Mummy, I'm a big boy"

Tonight I've been sewing labels into my boy's school clothes. I had no idea how distressing the entire operation can be until I started - it made me question whose idea it was to get sew in rather than iron on ones. I blame Hubbie.

The preparation for his start at 'new nursery' has included getting his haircut last week. The lovely Emma came to our house to do it for him and he was ever so proud of his 'big boy' haircut. I also had my hair coloured and cut. There is no way I'm going to be the frumpy mum at the playground drop off.
Not an official photo :) 

Then yesterday we went for his uniform photo with my lovely friend Lucy at the studio where she works. My boy was great at posing with his book bag, cap on, cap off and with Jiggles bear as well as some cheeky 'naughty schoolboy' photos. It's just as well we had them done as he came back today from the park with some impressive scars from a fall when he was out on his scooter. He really does look like 'Just William' now.

In the next few days I'm going to find a convenient space for his clothes and shoes so that he doesn't have to rifle through everything to get ready in the mornings. I also have to write his name on his scooter as we will be walking to school and he can leave it there until I go to pick him up. I have it on good authority that nail varnish is the best way to label a scooter.

So that's my to do list for school. Well, it's not strictly school, it's 'new nursery,' but it is very different from what he was used to before and it's a bit of a change for me too. I'm sure you will have seen many posts about the trauma of sending your child to school for the first time. The tears as you leave them in the playground. The disbelief that they are starting school already. The realisation that they will be fine and it's you that is getting all upset about this. Yes, yes it's stressful and yes, yes, it's all very emotional, but let's be honest it's not like you didn't know it was coming and it's not like you don't have a choice. If you really have an issue with sending your child(ren) to school you can always choose to home educate.

I used to think home educating was for weirdos and hippies, or those pushy parents who believed their children were geniuses who shouldn't mix with boring and stupid average kids. Then I met and talked to parents who home educate and I realised that I may have been a teensy weensy bit prejudiced. I've spoken to some lovely (and very normal) parents who have chosen to home educate and I've even done a radio show about it. What I realised from talking to those who do is that I wouldn't be suited to it at all. Well, I knew that already, but it turns out to be for different reasons than I had originally imagined. You see I thought I didn't know enough to home educate, that I wasn't clever enough, but the reality is that I don't want to spend 24 hours a day with my son. I love him, he is my pride and joy, but if he and I spent all day together every day there would be all out war. I want him to go somewhere else, to mix with other people and to come home and tell me about what he's been doing while we've been apart.

You see me and Hubbie both had very conventional schooling in state schools. It wasn't exactly a bundle of laughs being at a state school and getting picked on for being a bit too smart and later full on bullying which I do not want my son to ever experience. What I do want is for him to have a space that he can be whoever he wants to be in. You see however bad it was at school it was away from my parents and their authority and their expectations of me. I didn't get to school and fold over the top of my skirt to make it shorter, or backcomb my hair or put on make up in the toilets before lessons. I did, however, have an alternative personality from home and it equipped me for what life would be like on the 'outside.' My parents wouldn't have done that. They were very protective and wouldn't have wanted me to go anywhere or to talk to anyone they didn't like or do anything they didn't approve of. Being at school was - for me - an escape. A form of freedom that I could not have had any other way. 

So, when I take my son to school next week I will, of course, feel emotional. I won't, however, feel guilty, because that is his space to be who he wants to be and to find out what he likes and what he is like.

Just bear with me while I cry a bit and look at photos of him as a baby and cry, "where did the time go ?"
There he goes off into the world... 


  1. Well balanced attitude there. (Am I normal then? )

  2. Am still thinking where did the time go and he's in year 2. Feel like life is on constant fast forward but great to see their development and thirst for knowledge. Am sure you will enjoy him and his company even more with his new found curiousity about the world. A little mini me I'd say!!! X

    1. it's amazing how they adapt so well to new situations isn't it ? I am so proud of him as I'm sure you are of yours too xx