The simple answer is, well out the window. As each second passes, that is one second you could have been doing something amazing or in my case sleeping or watching my next Netflix binge.
The summer holidays seemed to pass quicker than The Flash and soon Mini Me’s first day back at school approached us. In years to come I may have to scream her name from the bottom of the stairs as she tosses and turns in her teenager bed or I may still have this kid who reminds me more and more of Rory Gilmore each day. She missed school and it saddened me that it may be due to the lack of fun we had during the summer but I also knew she missed her friends. A screaming, slapping, hair pulling, PAW Patrol obsessed little brother is only fun to play with in short bursts. That is: when they try to build something with his MEGA Blocks and he decides to demolish it with a full WHACK of a football. This led to frustration, tears and the need for sleep (and that was just what I was feeling.)
We woke up half dazed to the highly irritating, high-pitched jingle on Luke’s phone which told us (but not Little Man) that we need to get up. Mini Me, (hearing this) ran in with her uniform on, buttons done up and all.
‘Mummy! Look!’ I gazed at her through blurry eyes, ‘I have been dressed since 6 O’clock.’ Say what, now? This kid is crazy.
Turns out an hour prior to the alarm jingle which I’ve now decided is more annoying than the ‘Crazy Frog,’ Mini Me decided to get dressed and spend an hour watching kids on YouTube, ‘Part Rory Gilmore part slave to technology,‘ I thought. Luke and I decided that we would all take her to school because now she was going to be in the Juniors which meant that we had to take her to the other playground.
Now, what does the first day of school and the last day of school have in common? The playground is packed! Not supermarket packed on a Saturday morning, I mean supermarket packed on a Christmas eve. You can barely squeeze through the hordes of parents who have already started nattering in their groups, you have to cautiously dodge frantic kids running like headless chickens and if you weren’t claustrophobic before, then for the next 5, maybe 10 minutes, you will be. I think we waited for 10 before the bell screamed at the kids to get in line. The hordes of parents would either have tears in their eyes as they snapped a shot of their child smiling their best, ‘Hurry up, mom, this is embarrassing,’ smile or parents quickly kissed their kids goodbye, handed them their bags and watched them line up with their peers because now they were free for six hours. If you’re wondering, because if I were you I would be, I was neither. I already snapped my shot in front of our two seater leather sofa twice because the first time, you could see toys on the floor and I’d be damned if someone saw it and thought, ‘What a lazy mum, not cleaning up her kids’ mess.’ I wasn’t going to be a crier either because my tears would gently grace my cheeks another day. (More on that in a future post.)
The time spent between the bell, the kisses goodbye and the screams, ‘YOU FORGOT YOUR BAGGGG!’ to the children walking inside is usually a quick affair but on the first day you may as well be waiting for the kettle to boil. It takes forever plus a minute waiting for the teachers to take them inside so we could escape the playground. The playground by the way, I had no idea how it looked because too many people stood around me, I’m short, I can only see people’s backs and the scratchy grey gravel between my feet.
Eventually, Mini Me went inside and Luke and I walked home with a cheerful toddler. The living room was quiet except for the sound of Cbeebies presenters attempting to entertain and teach the toddler who was more interested in kicking the football at them. 5 years prior (give or take a few days) I sat on the very same sofa in a different house watching Disney Junior despite Mini Me not being there. She had just started Nursery School and my fear that she would be clingy and want to come home was a lie. She was fine. Too fine. On the second day, the teachers said Luke could leave because they believed Mini Me had settled in nicely. Will Little Man be the same?
In two years time, he will be starting Reception and despite him seeing the playground twice a day for the years his sister has been there, I can’t help but wonder what he will be like. After all, it was only six years ago when I would watch Mini Me sitting on the sofa beside me, laughing the same laugh and singing her favourite songs. It was then that she would practise learning her colours and counting my fingers – just like Little Man is doing now.
Time is more precious than ‘The one ring,’
and if anything the start of the school year is just a reminder of how precious that time is. Each year your children are growing, becoming more independent and learning things. Sooner than we think, they will be leaving the nest to start their own lives’ where all they have is the memories that were made when they were children. If you have a toddler then they’re not going to remember the shows they obsessed over (yes, I am pointing my finger at you, PAW PATROL,) the food they would only eat, or even the times you spent building towers, or singing songs but YOU will. So, make every single second count. Flood your mind with memories that only you will remember so that on their first day of school, you are left with them to hold until they come running back to you at the end of the day.