Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Starting School, part deux

So remiss, I am. Slap my wrist, I should. Told you about Thing One's new school, I didn't! Why am I talking like Yoda? Freaky new grammar there.

Day One

jess-uniform She's quaking, although she's trying not to show it. No tears, just complete and utter fear. Me, not her. Spent all day nibbling my nails. Arrived to collect her 20 minutes early. Watched the gates erupt with black-blazered swarms at 3.15. Watched the hordes disperse. No Thing One. Butterflies in stomach multiplied. 3.25, texted her. No reply. 3.30, called her. No reply. Phone on silent, she's forgotten to switch the sound on after class. Images of abduction, bullying, and other horrors. 3.35, ready to storm the gates. 3.40, eye up the trees, gauging their use as battering rams. Wonder where to get an axe. Child comes flying out the gates. "Oh, hi mum." {Giggle} "I got lost and couldn't find my way out!" Time spent outside school: 45 minutes. Huh.

Day Two
Sent Himself to collect her, couldn't face sitting outside for hours again. She arrived back all smiles. "Hello hon, had a nice day? Who did you sit with at lunch?"
"No-one."
"Oh. Who did you hang out with at break?"
"No-one."
"Oh. What did you do?"
"Just walked around by myself."
Stomach swoops down. My baby has no friends! Damn stupid admission system sending all her friends to School B while she has to go to School A. My heart breaks, but I plaster a smile on. She's not fooled.

Day Three
She's going solo today, on the bus alone. I ask her 4 times if she has her bus fare. I almost ask her a 5th time, but she stares at me witheringly. "Oh, mum, don't forget I need colouring pencils for geography." What? First I'd heard of it. We have thousands of pencils at home, can't she just take some of those? No? Wants a new all matching set. Fine, whatever. "Oh, and a new swimming costume, my one is no good, I need a blue one." Fine, whatever.

She turns up at home at 3.50pm, first bus trip safely completed, a smug smile on her face.

Day Four
"Mum, don't forget I need high-lighters for history." What forget? You never told me! Fine, whatever. Don't forget your coat. "I won't!" And she flies out the door, coat-less. It rains cats and dogs all day. I call her at 3.20, 3,25, 3.28, 3.30, 3.34, 3.40 and 3.44 to see if she wants me to collect her since she has no coat. She never picks up her phone. What is the point of buying her a mobile if she keeps it on silent?? She arrives home, dripping wet, at 3.55. "Mum, I need an umbrella to keep in my locker." Fine, whatever. Take your damn coat to school next time.

Day Five
Getting into the swing of things now. She comes home absolutely caked in mud. What on earth? "Oh, it's from playing on the field with Jane and Sally at break. And can I switch to packed lunches since Jane brings one? Mary and I are entering the school inter-house competition! Can Sally come for tea? I sat with Jane during lessons and she is so funny, and Jane said.. and Sally.. Jane.. Mary... " My baby has friends! The relief. All is right with the world.

"Oh, mum, for Art I need paints and scissors and 2b pencils, and and and and..." Fine, whatever.

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