As I logged into Instagram last week, my news feed was flooded with pictures First Day of School/Preschool/Nursery pics. Then the realisation hit me, Finley’s, Olivia’s and my world was about to change. Our daily routine of heading out to a play date or having the freedom to decide what the activity of the day was, was now over as Finley embarks of the begins of his school career. Finley started nursery school this week and while this part of his life was decided only a few weeks into his life, nothing could prepare me for this change two years on.
A few weeks ago, I recieved an information pack of school dates, the class time-table and the name and addresses of all of his peers within his group. I was excited and wowed by the activities he would be doing each day. Monday is Music & Movement, Tuesday is French, Wednesday is cookery, Thursday is ballet and Friday is sport. As well as the free play stations to do whatever he fancies whether that’s playing in the garden, painting & drawing, messy play, cars etc etc. Basically he was about to enter toddler utopia and Mummy was being made redundant. While a few of my Mummy friends were counting down the days until nursery started, I felt like a nuclear bomb had just obliterated our little life/my daily routine. I wasn’t ready for this, I had just got use to saying goodbye to the daily routine of being a working Mum. In a blind panic, I made lists of things to do and inserted lunch dates & activities for Olivia & I whilst Finley was away. Feeling more in control, I looked at the rest of the information….and there it was in big bold letters, the thing I needed to do in order to receive my severance package of more free time.. PLEASE LABEL ALL CLOTHES. Does any one remember this from their childhood? I remember my parents taking on this laborious task and then encouraging me to take part in sewing my name into countless shirts, sports knickers and Blazers. So I ordered 1000 sew on labels, I thought they would be useful for when he starts school. After sewing labels into 3 pairs of trousers, 2 t-shirts and 5 pants. I moan to one of my friends who suggested iron on labels. Why didn’t I think if this. Genius. So I ordered another 500. Whilst waiting for the postman to deliver my order, I told my best friend about my Great British Sewing Bee efforts who said I needed the ‘stamp’. My initial thought was how time has moved on since the sew on labels in the early nineties (that’s right folks, I’m in my thirties now)then I thought I’d give the iron labels a shot & surprise surprise, they didn’t work. They just shrivelled up. I needed the stamp but a brio will have to do until I can get my hands on a clothing tattoo stamp. With that drama out-of-the-way. I realised we were being visited by Finley’s allocated teacher from the nursery. So I spent all day cleaning/tidying the house before his teacher arrived, before forgetting to blow dry my maine of hair which I had been wearing curly and in turn made me look like an eighties throw back rather than a respectable South West London mother who was trying to fit in. There was only one way to remedy this so I opted for the South West London Mummy uniform – a Breton Top and a pair of skinny jeans. I’d just had a baby, I’m sure she would excuse the crazy hair.
The home visit was a success and Finley had already nicknamed his teacher. Feeling more comfortable about our impending life change and my new of role as “School Run Mum”. The day had arrived and I had already done three nervous wees in the space of five minutes before leaving the house. Finley’s school bag had been packed and repacked more times than I care for. As I drove to the nursery, I felt more & more nervous like it was my first day at school. We were told to drop them off and not say goodbye as it could upset them. I did as I was told and left with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Finley, seemed fine so knew he would be ok. As the days went on, drop off became more intense with tears from both of us. I became the Breton Stripped wearing Mum who would linger around, speaking to anyone – teacher or parent just to steal a few minutes to see if Finley was ok. At the end of week one, I was convinced that he wasn’t ready and decided to reduced his days from five to three. Then week two arrived and I decided Finley might benefit from showing my Mum (who is his favourite person in the whole wide world) his nursery. My Mum was all excited and encouraged him in a way only a grandparent knew how. Finley grew proud of his nursery and when the doors opened, he ran in and up to his teacher “Miss Rain” and gave her a big cuddle. He was beyond excited so we left without saying goodbye on the instruction of the headteacher. He was happy, which meant that everything was going to be ok. My Mum and I went home to discuss the whole thing and drank lots of cups of tea before getting back into the car for pick up. When we picked him up, he couldn’t wait to see us all about it. Hooray! He finally loves it.