Remember when going back to school used to be all about getting a new pencil case? And new shoes. Although never the spangly ones you wanted, always the sensible black lace-ups from Clarks.
Well returning to school as the mother of Beaver is not like that at all. No one has even asked me what sort of pencil case I’d like.
Yes, Beaver is starting school in September and I have just allowed myself to look at what this means.
A LOGISTICAL NIGHTMARE is what it means.
How had I imagined that combining work and school wouldn’t pose that much of a problem? I thought I’d just get in a bit later and leave a bit earlier. Ha ha. If I did that, I’d literally get in, turn my computer on, reset my out of office before having to leave again. ‘See you tomorrow everyone!’
So as that is clearly not going to work, in true PA fashion I have drawn up a ‘Where is Beaver?’ school spreadsheet. If only to remind myself where she will be at any given time. She might still need a tracking device just to keep track of her movements.
There are columns for drop-off, pick-up, after school club and school holidays have been loosely planned for the next year. I imagine introducing a new bill into parliament would be less laborious.
It is going to be a massive shock to the system in more ways than that. Not only have we been totally spoiled by the comforts of nursery where you can drop off when you fancy and collect a little late. I have also just realised that school doesn’t give them breakfast. How on earth we are going to fit that in I have no idea. I’m thinking a muesli bar and banana on the way. Or going to work in my pyjamas.
Although if today’s school home visit is anything to go by, we might be out before we’re even in. I prepped Beaver, obviously. ‘Your reception teacher is coming to visit today. So be polite. Say hello. Sit nicely. And I’ll give you a Peppa Pig ice lolly when she’s gone.’
‘Yes of course, Mummy,’ Beaver said sincerely. And I believed her. I thought she would do it. It was only going to be a 15 minute visit after all. More fool me.
Two minutes before Mrs M arrived, Beaver fell off a footstool and bit her lip. As I mopped up the blood, I tried to stifle her wails. ‘Ssshhh, you’re ok, don’t worry. And the teacher’s coming, just calm down.’
Beaver did not say hello like we’d discussed. She clung to my leg and eyed Mrs M suspiciously. When we all sat down Beaver clearly thought her job was done.
‘Can I have my Peppa Pig ice lolly now?’ I glared at her. Oh good lord. This was almost as bad as the time I took her to the dentist and she strode in announcing, ‘I eat chocolate.’
Unfortunately for me, we were the last home visit of the day and Mrs M had more than the 15 minutes we’d been told we’d get. We had almost an hour. Enough time for Beaver to do her entire (crazy) repertoire.
First she got all her toys out and scattered them around the room. Then the dressing-up began. We had Snow White before a quick change into Cinderella complete with slutty, plastic dressing up shoes. Yes, you know the ones. I was waiting for Peppa Pig to make an appearance but thankfully she spared me that. She played the recorder (loudly), the drums (even more loudly) before finishing off with a little ditty on the wooden xylophone (also loud).
But the real low point was when Mrs M left and Beaver hollered after her, ‘See you later, alligator.’ Without pronouncing her Ts.
Thank goodness I gave her a pep talk.
I’d hate to see what she’d have done if I hadn’t asked her to behave.