We’ve made it through the first week at school! It feels like an achievement. I dropped E off on the first day and felt like I’d done something amazing by even getting her there in one reasonably smart piece. (I mean keep this achievement in perspective, you understand, it’s not like we’ve just made it out of Aleppo or something…)
She’s had a pretty good week, I think, all things considered. We have discovered that her knee high socks are actually thigh high (an Asda problem – she’s shorter than average but not that short) and her skirt is too big to stand up to running without a safety pin to hold it up but her uniform has held up in all other areas. Walking into school on Monday she was amazed by the number of people going but this has eased off now. They also have a complicated lunch system with a choice of three meals and corresponding coloured wristbands (green – meat, purple for potato or pasta and yellow for veggie) and she has to remember which wristband she wants. She’s made two pictures and a cardboard rocket and started doing letters and words, as well as numerous other things she can’t remember.
The teachers like her. I have remembered to pay her milk money. We’ve had an incident and two wobbles, both brought on by excessive tiredness. The incident was on her first day where she was knocked down in the playground and landed on her forehead. She was unclear about what happened when asked so they asked me to collect her. By the time I got there she was fine and ran home but the bump on her head is large. I think this has contributed to her finding the playground a little overwhelming and by Wednesday and Thursday she told me the same thing, that she had told the dinner ladies she wanted to go home.
Talking to me on Thursday about this she had her first wobble, and it was awful. She was visibly shattered and couldn’t stop crying while she told me how much she missed me, how she would tell the dinner ladies this all the time and she wanted to go home when she was in the playground. She was inconsolable and wept on my shoulder for ages. It obviously made me cry too, nothing I could say about being brave and promising to pick her up after school made any difference. Sometimes they just grab hold of your heart and wring it out. We put her to bed early and by the next morning she vowed to be brave “like Rey” (from Star Wars). “I will tell myself Mummy is coming to pick me up as soon as school is finished.”
I felt happier picking her up on Friday, having had my first day to myself, and remembering her happy face that morning. She goes into the classroom and settles in really well. I had a conker, a parcel and a chocolate cake waiting for her at home. She started crying as soon as she saw me. It turned out she’d drawn me a birthday card and it “got lost” according to the teacher, or it “got given to another child because the teacher was too far away to hear my say it was mine” according to E. A small drama, perhaps, but she takes these things to heart and sobbed, clinging to me for half the way home. This was difficult, mainly as carrying her, her school bag, a cardigan, a raincoat and a cardboard rocket is a little too much for me.
By today, of course, she’s forgotten most of it and has made me a new card. I know this all gets easier as she gets used to going to school.
And what of my new routine? Well, I decided as there were changes to how I did things, I may as well really make some changes so as well as a new working time routine, I also have new morning pages and a new running routine. For the first week I dropped E off having done work over breakfast, and did more work in the afternoon at home having picked her up. This worked fairly well, though I was very conscious of making sure my work was absolutely attended to, and as such felt exhausted and burnt out by Wednesday. Next week, E will be picked up on Monday and Wednesday by nursery and S can collect her on his way home. On this week’s evidence, there is a possibility that on a good day on the M1, he will be at nursery before she is. It’s almost worth him faffing about just so we get our money’s worth.
It’s early days but it does feel like this will work out, busy and hectic as these days should be. Fingers crossed.