It’s amazing how quickly I forget how stressful school is. When the school holidays approach, I am filled with dread. What am I going to do with the kids for all those hours? How am I going to keep them happy and out of mischief? The Christmas holiday was nearly three weeks. THREE WEEKS! That is too long, I think.
But then it happens, and it is fine. The kids relax. One of them who doesn’t usually behave starts to behave himself. I have two whole weeks off work (unheard of) and everyone is happy. Suddenly the kids are getting up at 8.30 rather than 6.45. There is no pressure.
Then they have to go back to school.
I have to get their uniforms ready. And their bags. And their dinner money. And packed lunches. It is SO STRESSFUL.
They go back on a Thursday. The day after I go back to work. Two days after my husband goes back to work. The day of all the car excitement. The week when my husband is actually at home more than he is at work.
It should be easy. It is a trial run. A tester for when things get completely back to normal this week. And already I can’t take the pressure.
My daughter has school dinner on those first two days back. Which means I only have to make one packed lunch (my younger son always has school dinner). This is a good thing. Less time in the kitchen and I can get up at 6.30 rather than 6.20. It is such a good thing and I am so into the mind-set of school dinner that I don’t even remember there is a packed lunch to make at all until gone 8am.
I have forgotten how many times I need to remind my kids to hurry up with their breakfast, to brush their teeth, brush their hair, wash their faces and put their socks on. None of this is rocket science. These kids are not babies and have been going to school for a very long time (not to mention all those years of nursery before), so why can’t they just get on with it?!
As we leave the house we have: three book bags; three water bottles; three PE kits; two musical instruments; one packed lunch; one music bag; and one milk bottle.
When they get home there is NO HOMEWORK. Hooray! And only one lunch bag to empty! Hooray!
But now the fun really starts. Five days of school. Homework every day. Packed lunches every day. Back to Cubs, Beavers, swimming lessons, Rainbows and dancing. Pressure on the kids and pressure on me.
When is it half-term?!