02 Sep 2020

So yesterday was the first day of school for our kids and, I have to be honest, it was a mix of emotions.

On the one hand, we were really looking forward to having some downtime away from the little monsters cherubs. But then again, the house feels empty when they’re not here.

Our youngest is in pre-school, so he is only there part-time at the moment, meaning we only really get the mornings to ourselves. But that’s enough for me to get some peace and to do some work, and for my wife to get some stuff done around the house.

First day nerves

On the run up to the big day we had lots of regression in behaviour from our oldest. He was walking and talking like a baby, making an unholy mess at meal time and generally acting like a child much younger than he actually is.

We expected this, as anything that makes the little fella anxious tends to make him regress to a baby-like state. It’s all part of being a parent to a looked after child (side note - the A-Z Of Therapeutic Parenting really helps here). I struggle with this regressed behaviour a lot more than my wife does, so it’s been a challenging few days for me. I just try to bear in mind that he’s not doing it deliberately, but that’s easier said than done at times.

Because of the regressive behaviour, we thought that handing over the kids to their respective teachers on d-day to be really bad with meltdowns, tears, screaming and goodness knows what else being the order of the day. Unfortunately I had to work, so my poor wife was having to go it alone.

The morning of

The the morning of the first day of school and our oldest is regressing really badly - the worst we’ve seen actually. Not only that, he was doing things like getting dressed reeeeeeeeally slowly - again the A-Z came in handy on how to deal with these kind of issues.

We got them ready eventually and my wife lobbed them into the car like two live grenades, ready to go BANG at any second. There were tears, nerves and lots of anxiety - both from us and them!

However…

Once my wife got to the school, our oldest completely changed his tune. He just wanted to get there and get going. Maybe it was because the anxiety had turned into excitement, or maybe he just wanted to get it all over and done with. Who knows.

Once at the school gates, the little fellas held it together well. I think this is due to the school being very accommodating by allowing us to visit a few times during the holidays. This made things familiar for both the boys.

Anyway, oldest monster cherub heads into school, on the verge of tears and no doubt full of trepidation, and our youngest immediately broke down in tears. Not because of school, but because his older brother was leaving him. :-(

My wife took him round to the pre-school entrance and she said he just looked overwhelmed and stunned. Like a deer in headlights - poor little guy. The teachers know our situation and we all agreed that they would call us if things got too much for them. But, we’re so glad to say, there were no phone calls.

Good job, boys!

The lunch time de-brief

A few hours later our youngest returns home and immediately heads up stairs to give me a full de-brief of what happened during this epic 3 hour adventure of his. He hopped onto my knee and with a face covered in dried snot, filled me in:

I cried and cried and cried. I played with…[silence]…I can’t remember her name, and then I saw [oldest son’s name] in the playground and cried even more because I couldn’t get to him.

Sounds like a pretty horrid day to me! But he had a smile on his little snot ridden face and when I asked him if he was looking forward to going back tomorrow, he said yes.

WINNING!

The afternoon de-brief

Another 3 hours goes by in the blink of an eye thanks to a number of incredibly boring meetings in work.

The oldest monster cherub returns, bombs it up the stairs and hops straight onto my knee to fill me in. This time I’m on a call, so I make my excuses and end the call - this is far more important.

My teacher sat me next to Philip. I hate Philip, he says I eat poo. I got a Batman sticker for my coat peg and I played with the whiteboard markers!

(side note - Philip isn’t the kid’s real name)

I look down and his brand new school jumper is covered in black marker which, for the record, did NOT wash out.

Brilliant

Our oldest continues…

I had a tuna sandwich for lunch, then me and Philip played football outside. I love Philip, he’s my best friend.

I later found out that our oldest has been invited to Philip’s upcoming birthday party. This is all too much - our monster cherubs are right little social butterflies - well done boys!

Day two

My wife said that today was more of a struggle to get them into school. Again, there were no tears, they were just reluctant to go in for some reason. I’m sure that’s par for the course with a lot of kids though.

Our youngest returned and reported that he “cried and cried and cried” again, but his face was covered in far less snot today, so that’s progress.

We will see what this afternoon brings when our oldest comes home, but for the most part I think the return to school has been a complete success. Especially if you consider that most kids haven’t been in school for around 6 months due to COVID.

Anyway, that’s my story of the kids return to school.

Until next time dad, out.