Friday 8 September 2017

Ready for school

This week, it's been hard to not see a flurry of starting school photos appearing across your social feeds as children across the country have kindly posed in front of a door or fireplace at the request of their proud parents for that first school photo - and I will be no different come Tuesday when Ethan starts reception.

It's a proud moment in every parent's life and a big step. It's the first time that his future is determined or constructed by someone else, in some way. It's the beginning of formalised teaching and learning and tests. It's the start of the next decade and more of his life.

Many parents I know have felt nervous or anxious about this moment. About the changes ahead. Remembering their little ones as just that - their little ones. How time flies. They've grown up so fast. I can't believe that they are starting school.

But you know what? I can believe it.

Ethan has grown so much in the past few months and having been at preschool for three and a half years - two and a half as full time - he is ready for this next stage. At least, I think so. I am sure that I will wobble on Tuesday morning and have a lump in my throat when I see him in his uniform for the first time, and when we drop him at the school gates. No doubt. But it won't really be from nerves or feeling worried about how he will do. I think he will thrive and love school life. I am also sure that there will be hard days, where we're running late on the school run or he's decided that he doesn't want to go to school that day. But he will have a great time and I do think he is ready.

His teacher came to visit us yesterday and he was so thrilled to have her at our house, and is really on the countdown to school. We have his uniform, labelled, and ready in the cupboard. We have our checklist of things to remember for those first few weeks. And his school bag is ready to go.

The lovely people at Smiggle - the impossibly bright children's stationery store - sent Ethan a new dinosaur backpack, complete with big, thick cushioned straps, bottle holders, lots of storage and of course, a tail and spikes down the back (£26.50 which is a little more than I would usually pay but the material is very sturdy and it looks like it will stand the test of time, and school!).

And of course, Ethan was very excited to receive this, and the new water bottle (with snakes and ladders print, £8.50 each) that will come in handy too. I'd love to take him in store too, once he's settled at school, to pick out a pencil case and a few things.

I know that with Ethan, he likes to know what is coming up and having things like this ready helps him to feel prepared. I'm hoping we can establish a good morning routine and that mini meltdowns can be avoided - particularly when it comes to getting dressed or brushing his teeth. He can be fine one day and then do everything he can to avoid brushing his teeth, so, in an attempt to try and make things go more smoothly, we've been trying out some new things sent to us by Sainsbury's.

They have a new oral care range, OraCare, for the whole family and for children, they have a mild minty toothpaste and a berry one too (for just £1 each), which I think makes for a good alternative if your little one isn't keen on the taste and this is part of the reason they try and resist it. He also has a new dinosaur toothbrush, which makes things a bit more fun, so I hope that this will help Ethan to get through his morning routine with ease - and us out the door to school quickly!

I try my best to be organised and like to be prepared so I am doing what I can to get ready for the start of school, as it makes a big change to our daily lives. The school run is my responsibility, with breakfast clubs and after school clubs needed most days this term due to my own work timetable. It's going to be a busy few months as I will also be a student on the side myself, so each day we will have a timetable to follow and I need to do my best to keep things on track. I know that if I don't plan in advance, I'll fall into bad habits of buying food at work, eating rubbish and relying on a takeaway more often than I should come the evening, when I'm tired and can't be bothered to cook. So I'm planning to plan ahead as much as I can to make life as easy as possible.

I'm enjoying these last couple of days with my little man before this all begins. Then it's on to the next big adventure!


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