Back To School – Back To Reality.
Thank God the school holidays are behind us. They’re going back to school. Now we can get ready to celebrate ‘National take a photo of your kids in front of a door day’.
Of course, there is the depression that sets in now that the long sunny days are behind us (all two of them).
No more creating fun games on rainy days that involve reading the huge Facebook threads of people complaining about Grafton car park being painted.
But then something wonderful happens; the unbridled joy of knowing that someone else is now responsible for entertaining your child on a daily basis.
Going back to school is a scary time for all involved. New classrooms to get used to, new teachers to win over and homework timetables to get your head around.
The thing you’ve probably forgotten about is the panic. Yes, when the back to school panic sets in, you will know about it. It is the fear that creeps in, in the dark, lonely early hours of the mornings. It’s the panic that keeps you awake with night sweats and torturous visions of the ‘Did I’s?‘ or in this case the ‘Did you?’.
Let me explain.
Did you buy your child school uniform suitably big enough for them to grow into? (I go for at least three years, so the arms are big enough to wrap around all their new friends).
Did you make them walk up and down enough and squeeze their feet enough when we were in Clark’s buying the new shoes? – No? Phone social services immediately as you are a terrible parent.
Did you put the name tags on the inside of my child’s soul, pencil case, water bottle, eyelids in case you lose them?
Did you set every alarm clock in the house, knowing well that North Korea will pop by and turn them all off, sprinkling industrial strength sleeping dust around the air as they scale down the wall? The bright, forward-thinking amongst us will have to introduce a school night bedtime routine two weeks in advance. These people are not your friend.
Did you book in your little cherubs to after school karate, gymnastics, skateboard or crack making clubs? No? Start panicking now; the waiting list is longer than the queue for the loos at Glastonbury and your name ain’t on it.
Did you develop a wardrobe needs list for each child? Check for possible hand-me-downs from older siblings as you make your list.
However, if little Billy’s siblings are teenage girls be warned. Even in these enlightened genderfluid times, a five-year-old turning up with his PE kit in a Kim Kardashian handbag and an ‘ I Luv Love Island’ crop-top will raise eyebrows.
If that wasn’t enough to contend with, then there is the panic about fitting in. Nope not for your kids, but you and the cool kids at the school gates. The parent politics of the playground are tricky and need to be negotiated by the United Nations.
Did you organise all your phone contacts into different WhatsApp groups dependent on who has fallen out with who over the summer?- If not and you have organised a catch-up coffee, bring an emergency first aid kit to help with all the daggers that are going to be flashed your way.
Roll on half-term…