Thursday, 19 June 2008

Big school

We’re going to have a walk round of Mac’s primary school on Friday 4 July. Mac is very excited and can’t wait for September to become a “big boy”. I’m wavering between elation that a) he got a place in the school we wanted and b) he’s finally able to leave the nursery that announces, a la PlaySchool, “ooh, children, look, this crayon is YE-LL-OWWW” and despair because my baby is growing up and he won’t need me soon. I’m sure every mother goes through this but I’m finding it particularly hard because I can remember my nursery and reception class days and my mum isn’t here to wallow with me.

On my first day at Consort Road Nursery (it’s now a clinic) I spent the first ten minutes hiding behind my mum, ignoring her suggestions that I go and “play with that little girl over there”. I was distraught when she left and, unbeknown to me at the time, she spent the entire morning sitting on the wall opposite the nursery. Crying. When she picked me up I said something along the lines of “I’m not going again mummy” and cried a fresh round of tears when she told me that I was. Obviously I grew to love it in time: overly diluted orange squash and a rich tea biscuit for break time, those little chairs that seemed so heavy and cumbersome to a four year old and that strange odour that can’t be explained but is mimicked in every teaching establishment in the country.

My primary school is now a housing development and they’ve attached a hideous yellow and steel thing next to it as a replacement. It’s not the same. I remember coveting and cherishing my own coat peg, casually announcing to family members that I’d had Numbers today in a weary voice (in pretty much the same way that I used to announce I had double maths followed by double history ten years later), moaning when the milk was warm instead of icy cold, colouring inside the lines of a picture and being given a gold star - girly swot that I was. 1977 was Jubilee Year and the school threw a party. I was dressed in a very flash (now classed as hideous) red, white and blue dress and, with the rest of my classmates, learned the words to God Save The Queen. Quite hard when you’re struggling with the three times table and “i before e, except after c”. We had a very enthusiastic band of Class Helpers: Mrs Norman, Mrs Coleman and Mrs Spencer. These angels kept the Reception class ticking over, wiped up tears, dabbed at cut knees and launched a full scale panic in the playground if it started raining. Watch this from Peter Kay (ignoring the obviously non-school setting) to explain why!

David has declared this a “rite of passage” and has booked the day off to come with us. This has rendered me tearful because he has acknowledged this monumental event in the life of our pride and joy. Although, as I heard him telling Auntie Ivy last night, “I’m not going so much for Mac but for Joanna – if only to carry the tissues”. He knows me so well!


Working mum said...

It is monumental, isn't it? We've just received the letter saying which class daughter will be in for reception class in September. I work in the same school so I'll drop her off and then go and cry in my classroom. I've warned my form it will happen - they're sixth formers and very understanding!

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for Mac!

Je ne regrette rien said...

your son sounds much braver than mine was. the first month of school I had to deliver him to the "Head's" office where he sat one on one with her for a spell before being delivered to class. This was after several days of screaming tantrums, clinging to my ankles like I had delivered him to Bluebeard's door.

All of it flies by in a flash, savor every second.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Working Mum - bless, I'll come and find you and we can blub together!

Sharon - thank you!

JNRR - he's brave now, nearer the time I suspect he'll join me in my wobbles!

Mya said...

I was in tears on Sprog's first day - he was fine, couldn't wait to escape my clutches! The child's tears usually come a few weeks in, when the novelty has worn off and the realisation slowly dawns that this is it, and it isn't optional.
It's lovely that hubster is going along with you - what a gent.

Mya x

Rowan said...

Hi there, I got to this blog following a meme tag and its made me feel rather homesick.

I lived in Nunhead for about 5 years; its where we bought our first house, its where we got married from, its where we had both our kids.

We've moved to N Yorks now, but just reading this post has made me think that had we stayed, I'd be doing exactly the same thing now re: schools and stuff :)

Bush Mummy said...

My eldest starts primary school in September too. I am desperately trying not to project my terror onto her. She's dead excited about it.

My youngest starts nursery too.. Here's to lots of deep breaths, lots of shopping and lots of wine..

Millennium Housewife said...

Just taken ours to her induction day, she tried on a blazer. Husband needed counselling. MH

Silvana said...

My only poppet starts in January. I can't bare to think about it! Too big, too fast!!

aims said...

How I remember those days! Blankets on the floor to sleep on - Miss Fish. That was her name! Honest!

Not wanting to nap while there was so much to do....good old days. Something like now.

dulwichmum said...

Oh sweetie, come over to mine straight after. I shall purchase a large box of Mr Kiplings fondant fancies specially for the occasion (each).

Mwah x

All about me

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.