In a few days’ time my firstborn starts school. I’m quite emosh about it, probably more than I thought I’d be.
But I am putting aside the emotions of the occasion, as quite frankly I don’t have the bloody time. Why? Because the whole process means I have had to morph into some kind of secretary, personal shopper and socialiser.
Firstly the paperwork. Jeeeesus. It began last year, school visits to plan and organise, school place application forms to complete, acceptance emails to write. That was all before we knew which school. Then when we did the flow of letters, notes, messages and yet more bloody forms was like the scene in Harry Potter when the owls bombard the house with letters. It’s been endless.
I don’t even understand how I’m supposed to sign up to Parentmail, which will no doubt be another method of communication I have to engage with on a daily basis, all FOR MY FOUR-YEAR-OLD. Oh and then she’ll also have a daily communication book that goes back and forward to school I’m supposed to write in. FFS.
Secondly the stuff. Book bags, PE bag, PE kit, new plimsolls, new shoes, branded sweater, branded cardigan, pinafores, skirts, tops, wellies and raincoat to stay at school. It’s a wonder we haven’t had to flip a coin over which one of us would sell a kidney to afford it all. My parents bought the £50 shoes (Mum and Dad – if you’re reading and want to make the new shoe thing ‘a thing’ with the kids I’m more than happy!!!). I confess we still haven’t got the plimsolls, raincoat or wellies. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I am THAT mum. Bollocks.
Oh and the name labels. I’ve discovered we’re all a type. I’m in the modern iron-on camp. I’ve invested in ones with a ghastly Hello Kitty symbol and pink writing. But there are the traditionalists among you – the ‘sew on, embroidered’ types. Those of you who are buying for life. My friend said the other day “these will last him forever”. I’ve yet to meet a ‘tag labeller’ or an ‘ink stamper’. Maybe they’re an urban myth?
Thirdly. The pre-social-school-events: summer fair, parents’ evening, playdates. I may need a new wardrobe soon just to fit in. Oh hang on, we’ve spent all our pennies on branded items most people tell me will be missing or be stolen within the first term despite the labels.
As soon as the school announcements were made over which one, I noticed divides too. People sizing up who was in the X school clan, which mums were at the Y school. I did it, hell I even wrote a little list on my phone. I’m spending the next 7 years with these bitches, I need to know some are on my wavelength.
Look – the sofa cushions are all nice on the sofa
Fourthly – the biggy, the most pressured and quite frankly something that has ruined my night (drinks with a friend cancelled), and pretty much my day tomorrow. The home visit. Yes, tomorrow, my daughter’s teacher is coming round to, well, I guess size up my child, me, our house, whether they need to ring social services, I dunno. It’s totally put me in a spin. I may tell Mr MF their feedback was largely based around the need for a statement rug in the lounge (I’ve seen one, I want it). The visual stimulation will probably help my daughter to learn!
What the lounge usually looks like
I’ve acted like the fucking queen is coming round. I snapped at Mr MF earlier – that’s what my mum does when she’s in ‘entertaining mode’ as my dad calls it. Another step towards becoming her. And I’ve spent the last 2.5 hours tidying, cleaning, sorting and mainly hiding crap that lurks over the floors, sofas, kitchen, leaking out into the ‘communal areas’ of our home to make it look like a total shitpit everyday. In case you’re thinking “I bet it doesn’t look that bad”, well let me tell you that my mum acknowledges every time she comes round that it does indeed look like a shitpit. If she doesn’t say those words she tends to say something along the lines of “darling, I couldn’t cope with the mess, so I gave it a little tidy.” Bless her!
Mr MF even got involved. The stairs are usually covered in stuff. Stuff to go up, stuff to come down. Stuff the kids have put on it, stuff I’ve put on it. Toys, washing, crap. Mr MF picked up every last little bit and rehomed it. Beautiful:
Hmm, the stairs are clear
I might even bleach the sink in a minute, but I’m having a 10-minute break because the floor is wet as I mopped it. The last time it was mopped was when we had a cleaner – which we don’t have anymore since we moved *weeps over keyboard*.
I’m still wondering whether I should bake a cake, get some wholesome, yet educational, activity out for the children. I’m already geared up to tell them the TV has broken 30 minutes before she arrives. That way, any tantrums can be passed and they won’t ask to have it on. If the boychild asks for Paw Patrol while she’s here, I’ll pretend it’s a wonderful imaginary play game we do. That’ll go down well – or she’ll think I need meds.
Anyway, must crack on, might even rearrange the toys.
Wish me luck!