Last week I posted an open letter to my son as he prepared to start school. It has now been a whole week since said letter. I thought I would give an update as a lot has happened. There have been some revelations, lots of questions and tears. Illness and a few “wobbly” moments. (These have been from both Charlie and myself I might add.) So what have I learnt in our first week as parents with a school child? Well, the first thing is you get a LOT of emails. Which I don’t mind too much at the moment, as I am one of those parents who likes to know everything that is going on. However, I can imagine this may get a bit annoying after the first few weeks. There is also homework. I think this is more of a test for us parents as to how we will cope with the coming years.
The main thing I have come to realise, is that perhaps it wasn’t in Charlie’s best interest for me to of “mothered” him so much.
I decided to start childminding when Charlie was eighteen months old. This means that he himself never went to a childminders or a nursery. My husband and I never parcelled him off at weekends to the Grandparents. (There were the odd few nights of course but not on a regular basis.) I thought we were doing the right thing by making the most of the early years and being there for him the whole time. But now I am not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I never disagreed with people who did all those things, I just felt an attachment that I needed to be there with him. Is that selfish of me? Maybe, as he has found starting school very hard.
It doesn’t help that he is a sensitive little boy, something I think he would have been anyway regardless of me being there or not. I have learnt, since having our second child, that I shouldn’t beat myself up too much over this. It is just his personality and every child is different. Charlie is very clever and is a happy child. He just needs that extra reassurance and familiarity. Which is why I think he has found school hard to settle into at the moment. During yesterday’s teary battle of not wanting to go to school, I asked him “Why?”. He said: “Because it’s all new.” Quite a mature answer. I admit I breathed a sigh of relief. It wasn’t because anyone was picking on him or he didn’t like something. It’s because it is new. Fair enough.
So there have been tears every morning so far. A quick Google from my husband on how to help with this and all the results came back the same: he will grow out of it. Fingers crossed!
Also, both Charlie and I have been ill this week. Yep, Charlie has had a day off school already because of a throat infection. Being the great mum that I am, I was all set to send him in on the Monday despite him spending the weekend on the sofa, feeling sorry for himself. But when it came to it, he really wasn’t well enough. Took him to the doctors, where he received his obligatory sticker, and was told to wait it out. Of course this started a new worry. How much school would he be missing at this vital settling in period? Luckily, the Champ was fine the next day, so despite his protest, we sent him back in. I was in bed by eight pm.
This starting school malarkey is hard.
And while it feels like Charlie’s classmates all love school and breeze in every morning, I know that we have to be patient. Because it is all new. But he will get there.
Thank you as ever for reading. How have your little ones been getting on? Or does this bring back memories for you starting school? It has surprised me how many people I have spoken to, can remember their first day at school! I can’t remember my first actual day, but I do remember being sent off on a mini bus every morning, as my mum and little brother waved goodbye. I wonder how I felt? It brings me comfort that I was brave enough to do that on my own: so Charlie is fine me leaving him at the school gate…