Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Big school - destiny awaits

So in just two days time, child number 1 will be entering the world of formal education. He's starting Big School. It's going to be an emotional day for both of us. I was in tears just looking at him in his uniform, which I finally managed to convince him to try on and remarkably it all fit him (well fit in an everything-is-too-big-but-will-last-him-for-several-years kind of way).

My son isn't overly fond of trying new things. His trial sessions were fairly fraught. So I've been trying to gently ease him into the notion that very, very soon he'll be heading off to school from which there will be no escape for at least 14 years (poor sod). Obviously I haven't told him that part. I think he thinks Big School = a fun day out, a once off, like going to Legoland. I fear that the novelty of it all might wear off after day two when he realises that he can't just stay at home (I'm not cut out for home schooling I'm afraid) and that he does have to wear the uniform every single day.

So in my bid to make school seem lovely, which it will be, we've done things like:
  • a pretend walk to school with him leading the way and being allowed to scornfully tell his younger brother that he's too small to go there
  • we've bought Lightening McQueen pencils and eraser to put in his new school suitcase even though I'm fairly sure we don't need to provide pencils. I needed an incentive to get him to agree to carry the school bag. He wanted a Power Ranger bag. Instead he got a navy blue one with the school logo on it. Not quite the same cool factor.
  • we've been onto the school's website. For a teeny tiny village school (only 45 pupils) it is incredibly high-tech. We've been told that the children will each be given a user name and password so that they can download their homework from the website. Things certainly have changed since the days when I was at school and a computer was the large box in the 'media centre' that was largely used to catalogue the library books. The school website has fun animated little creatures on it for each class, with the names of the children (first names only) in each class listed. My son's name is up there, along with the 6 classmates starting with him. We've gone through the list pointing out which kids he already knows. He's now obsessed with the website and nags at any opportunity to go back onto it.
  • We've looked at the school dinners menu to determine whether he wants to have packed lunch or not. He wants packed lunch. I want not. I think the school meals sound fab and had I known it provided such sumptuous faire, I would be down there on a daily basis ordering a take away.

So we're pretty much set. Except for one small thing which I forgot. Name tags. I have them. I've just not done anything with them. I don't sew. In fact I do nothing that requires fiddly little things, using hands or anything needing patience. I have the iron-on variety. So this evening my joyous task is to iron little lables onto about 8 shirts, two pairs of trousers, two pairs of shorts, seven pairs of socks, two sweatshirts and a school bag. As I have lost the instructions on how to do this, I think I might end up with an iron featuring blobs of melted plastic and clothes bearing scorch marks.

Tomorrow night, I get to create the perfect first day at school lunch box. This takes A LOT of thought. It has to look tempting (ideally with lots of colourful, cartoon infested packaging) but must be healthy, should look organic, be filling and easy to eat. Hence the fact that I'm leaning towards school dinners.

And then on Thursday, I get to march my wee man to his academic destiny, where hopefully he will learn how to spell a word other than pig (because that and his name are his current repetoire). Wish me luck.

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