Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fast entry

I'm wondering if I can come up with anything interesting to say in the 10 minutes before I got to pick up J from school.

It's the final week of a less than full day. He gets picked up at 2pm. Today I had to leave him at the door of the school for the first time after a few weeks of taking him right into the classroom. It seemed to go okay -  no floods of tears, but he wasn't that pleased.

From next week he'll be doing a full day, until 3.15, which will help me and the wife out. He arrives home so early that it's tough to know what to do with him at the moment. Half the day is still available and he has no shortage of energy. I don't know what I'll do with him toady as I'm on duty while Mrs Holiday does some work. The park maybe. Not craft please - AKA making a massive mess in the house and then leaving me to clear it up. No TV - save that for when real desperation kicks in.

So, no, nothing interesting!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Starting school

I can remember my first day at school very clearly. Decked out in a tweedy jacket and shorts combo getting my picture taken on the doorstep with my best pal John.

Taxi: the school chariot
The thing I remember most about the day though was the reaction of another young boy, William, who was so freaked out that he ran away as we lined up in twos to enter the class. Well, we were only four years old, and the lining up was being done by a stern, uniformed janitor who everybody was still terrified of years later.

Dropping J off for his first day was an odd occasion. He's a confident and very sociable child, so I wasn't really expecting any problems, even though several of his nursery friends were off to a different school. He's doesn't really have a problem making friends, but I had underestimated how little he likes change.

As we arrived at the school to take him in, one of the classroom assistants was handing out name stickers. He usually only has one volume - booming - but this dropped to barely a whisper when she asked his name. I hadn't really got the requisite lump in my throat until then. Not when he reluctantly appeared for the first time in his full school uniform (complete with hastily shortened trousers - one leg each from me and Mrs HH), and not when we packed him and his brother into the bike trailer that is now his school taxi.

But the hoarse whisper really got to me and I was quite upset on the way out, especially as he had been unusually clingy that morning. I'm sure I wasn't alone. The first day of school is one of the classic growing up milestones. Lots of parents looked more anxious than their children on that day. I don't know why we were all fretting so... they were only in class for about two hours.

That was almost two weeks ago now, and it's safe to say that the school is still bedding them in fairly gently. This week he's staying for dinner and finishes at 2pm. It will be another week and a half before he's staying for a full day. I suppose it makes sense. Some of the children there are tiny and there are a few who still seem fairly upset by it all. Luckily for us J seems to be getting on okay, especially now that dinners are on the cards.

And that's another change from when I was at school. I never looked forward to my school meals. Lumpy tatties and gristly mince. Yuk!