Finding our feet

Woah, Momma! The last few weeks have kicked our little (or ample) butts. And I know I’m not the only one feeling like this. Grade 1 and Grade RRR started off with a bang, I couldn’t be prouder of our two beautiful children that marched proudly into their (separate) schools armed with smiles and confidence. Mine? It was more ‘chemically’ induced.

I feel like we’ve had the last two years easy. The kids would get dropped off at school at 6.30 to be fed a warm, freshly made bowl of porridge. Now, since Oli needs to be fed, it’s easier they both just have breakfast at home in the morning. My sweet husband has adopted the role of serving a hearty breakfast to task, and when we wake up at 5.35 it’s always to the smell of scrambling eggs, sizzling bacon or sausages and the pop of the toaster. Breakfast is eaten at the dining room table before they’re ushered (yep, sometimes I feel like we’re herding sheep) into the bathroom for teeth, toilet and then time to dress. Oli is thrilled to put on his uniform everyday, and wears it with pride – all day long. Seriously, it’s supper time and I’m still asking him to remove at least his school shirt.

Having your kids in separate schools (and we have this for another three years!) – yoh! Daddy does the morning drop off unless he’s travelling, first Soph (who hasn’t battled with separation anxiety again like I thought she might without her big brother and protector there), then in the opposite direction to Oli’s school. The traffic around this school is insane at drop off and pick up let me just tell you, and getting a parking in front of the school gates is akin to winning the lottery for me. Two schools, two sets of rules, finishing times, extra murals and calendars. Above and beyond what Soph is already doing, she’s now started ballet classes, something she has been begging us for for the last few months, and it’s time to choose what Oli wants to do.

Teacher’s at our Pre-Primary are mostly there roughly between 6.30 and 7:00, so if you need to have a quick chat to your teacher, no problem. Or there’s the Whatsapp route and Whatapp Class Groups. I was always able, and felt free, to chat to my kid’s teachers via Whatsapp if I knew I wasn’t going to see them face-to-face. I still have that, with Soph’s teacher, but I don’t think I’ve said more than ten words to Oli’s teacher in two weeks. A friend, who was in my exact place last year, warned me ahead of time about this. I just want to know he’s okay, had a good day and is settling in, without corresponding via the reception or writing a note in his homework diary. Welcome to big school! Grade One orientation evening I walked out feeling like I needed a stiff gin – it’s like I’ve gone back to school, quite literally, and I am properly petrified of being summoned into the Principal’s office. My husband on the other hand, is building quite a good relationship with him, although I secretly think he’s petrified too, as he sees him all the time at the gym.

School has finishing an hour early up until today, which, as manic as it made my day feel, helped ease us in. And by us, I mean the parents quite naturally. The kids – oh heaven’s they’re fine, great even, they’re playing with their friends – old and new, soaking up all the information they’re learning like sponges and living their best lives. So, when I say we’re finding our feet, I should probably clarify, I’m finding my feet. I feel like I’m juggling five too many balls right now, but I will find my feet in 2019.

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