So you know the time trick of not fully realising you’ve entered a ‘New Family Phase’ until you’re actually immersed in one?
I’m not explaining it very well (blame the frazzled brain matter) but those of you with kids will hopefully know what I mean.
It happens when your beloved offspring start consuming actual food and not just milk, when they begin taking tentative steps and before you know it are running amok and when you head back to work and start putting them in childcare on a regular basis.
All things that you can prepare for as much as you like, but don’t really get in the swing of until you’re doling out pureed carrot, sprinting after escaping children and struggling with the ‘guilt’ of having to hand them over so you can earn money to feed, clothe and provide them with plastic tat.
Well so far it’s only been 10 days of real time and seven actual ‘school days’ but, as it turns out, starting school is the biggest parental culture shock so far.
The Neat Freak household, like so many up and down the country, has gone through what feels like a tidal wave of change in a really short space of time, and personally I feel like I’m just about treading water but still gasping for air.
So while Mini-me takes it all in her tiny stride, here’s just a few of the things I’m still trying to adjust to. Maybe some will strike a chord with the rest of you.
- How proud I feel seeing Mini-me all shiny and smart in her new uniform, carrying her book bag. How did she get to be so grown up?
- How amazing children are to just adapting to a new situation. Every morning we’re barely through the classroom door before Mini-me has put her book bag in the right box, got out her water bottle, said good morning to her teacher and is off to play like she owns the joint.
- How brilliant they also are at socialising with friends old and new. As it turns out I could learn a lot about ‘productive networking’ from my four-year-old.
- How, try as I might, I will always be the parent making her poor child jog along the pavement to get to school on time. Hopefully school will teach her better time management than I can.
- That some serious hair envy goes on at school, at least on my part. Every morning I marvel at the mothers who have managed to tease their child’s hair into a sleek French plait, while carrying their baby around in a sling, while I can barely get Mini-me to stand still long enough to manage a lumpy ponytail.
- How quickly you forget how blimmin’ tricky ties can be. Good job I also bought one of the ones on a string.
- That Mini-me will soon have actual homework that hopefully I won’t have to nag her to do. Is this the start of officially turning into my mother?
- That I’m really excited about becoming a reading helper and joining the PTA. Once a geek and all that…
- How I’m loving that Mini-me starting school is also a great excuse for me to meet new friends, and spend more time with old ones.
- That I’m also already excited about my little girl being in the school nativity, assuming they have one, and other productions.
(Ah the memories, of my sister being cast as a snow fairy – while I was a plain old boring snowflake – and then, to my horror, as the wicked witch in Gobbolino. It’s all coming back to me now…)