Back to School

Mark Parenting, Popular 13 Comments

I suppose I should write the obligatory back to school post. As a parent blogger I think it’s in my contract. I also have a confession to make, but more on that later.

As of next week they’ll both be in school full-time. Sonny is already there, Luca however is still within the graduals stage.

A week in and we’ve just progressed from ‘finding the school on Google Maps’ to the ‘slow drive past the gates’; or so it feels. OK, so he’s now in until lunch-time but still, just how long can they drag this malarkey out for?

And as the fateful Monday approaches where I have a full five hour window between school runs, so Janet’s list writing becomes ever more frantic. She has more than one list. She has a list of lists. By the weekend I’m expecting a spreadsheet to drop into my mail-box. It doesn’t bode well.

I caught a glimpse of one of these lists. I saw duvet and laundrette in the same sentence. I saw decorating. On a section titled ‘deep clean’ I saw rooms I didn’t even know we had!

watching loose womenNow I admit to not helping my cause when she asked me to send her a photo of their first day.

Turns out she wanted to see them in their school uniforms, and not as I’d assumed, a photo of me spending some quality time with them there Loose Women and a cup of coffee? Because it’s all about the kids apparently!?

But now to the confession, for which I need to take you back a few weeks to the end of last term.

On Luca’s last day of nursery there were tears. Lots of tears. Parents and teachers exchanged gifts and hugs, and outside I discovered Urmston’s equivalent to the wailing wall. Now I admit that I don’t get it, although I may just be dead inside?

Nothing of their educational journey thus far has made me emotional to that degree. The closest I came to tears was when I had my last cooked breakfast at the local cholesterol café before the summer holidays.

That was until Luca’s first full morning. You see I’m used to tears from Sonny, he’s the emotional one. Luca has his mothers heart of stone. A stubbornness and cock-surity(?) that I assume comes from being the second child?

And yet, as he lined up on the playground with the older children towering above him, he looked frightened. For that brief moment he looked like the barely four-year old child he is. Wide eyed. Scared.

As they were led inside some of the children were in tears, some refused to let go of their parents leg, and I watched on as Luca took two big deep breaths before giving me a timid thumbs up. He was being brave and I’ve never felt more helpless and yet proud at the same time. There was a brief glimpse back with nervous smile, and he was gone.

Now I admit it. I welled up. I welled up and but for nearly getting run over by a car outside the school gates probably would have burst into tears. You see it turns out I’m not dead inside after all! I may be on an emotional life-support machine but still, there is definitely a pulse in there!

And it made me realise something else too. I treat Sonny and Luca the same. I bundle all of their emotions, experiences and expectations together. Everything Sonny has gone through I subconsciously think Luca has too, and it’s not fair.

Somewhere along the line I’ve forgotten Luca is a year younger, and a year less mature. I’ve forgotten that although he’d been at the school nursery, and despite his bravado and confidence, he was still going into big school for the first time. And I’d forgotten just how damn scary that can be.

So when I picked him up that afternoon we stopped at the shops. We bought a big bag of sweets, came home, and watched Sooty. Together.

And I listened to him tell me all about his day, as if he was the first child to have ever had a first day at school. And I also made a promise to myself. To never forget he’s the younger brother.

Comments 13

  1. Loved this post! Brought a smile to my face and I admit a tear to my eye – turns out I’m not dead inside either. So nice to hear these emotions from a dad too… The photo update for your wife made me chuckle – it’s the sort of ridiculous thing my hubby would do given the chance! I too am guilty of treating my kids the same, having the same expectations and demands on them despite them being 2, 4 and 6. Very insightful!

    @mumtomomme (twitter)

  2. Ha ha loving the photo of the 1st day ;-). Look on the brightside at least it wasnt launderette and jeans in the same sentence!!! Enjoy the new found freedom….

    1. Cheers. Before I met Janet the laundrette was a regular Sunday trip. I was taken under the wing of the ladies there who’d bring me a hot meal to take home and offer to do my ironing. Happy days, although never in my only pair of jeans, I’d not wish that on anyone!

  3. Now you made me teary (if you ask my husband that means nothing as I cry all the time but that’s true…) what a lovely blog post. I also lauged a lot:)

  4. Love this post! So lovely to see a Dad’s side of the story – it’s so often the Mum’s. Glad Luca is doing well at school and hopefully settling in nicely 🙂

    1. Thanks Lisa, he’s settled in really well, albeit I’m taking his labelling as a “chatterbox” as a positive rather than read between the lines!

  5. I’ve always suspected that you’ve had that softie side of you somewhere hidden… and glad it has resurfaced even for just awhile 😉 … My 4-year-old cried for about a week. Then one day, she just announced that she was going to be brave and not cry & she didn’t! She only goes half days though – she’s the youngest in her class & we’re going to leave it up to her to decide when she’s ready to go full-time. Part of me is hoping soon, the other part is still enjoying her company 😉

    1. Good for her! They do seem so young, especially when the youngest in the year. Both my two are August so some of the older ones literally tower above them.
      I also kind of miss them being at home. Until Sunday evening when I remember why I was so looking forward to them going full-time!

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