The ‘S’ word
I’m not quite sure how it happened. One minute, I had a tiny mewling baby and my brain was filled with all these thoughts, on patterned babygros, how to get my non-napping child to sleep anywhere but on me and how to keep impossibly small socks on her octopus feet.
And now, all of a sudden, we are being thrust head first into a whole new world with a completely different language that’s all about uniforms, Ofsted and complicated discussions about catchment areas.
Three things about schools:
- They really, really take you back, Almost everything about the schools I’ve seen on open days has reminded me of being at school (on one of the visits I was vaguely hungover, which seemed like all kinds of wrong and I half expected the headmistress to tell me off)
- Nothing’s really changed in all those years, Sure, they have modern facilities and laptops and fancypants interactive whiteboards, but they still have that blocky wooden piano (do they sell those to anywhere but schools?) the gym ropes attached to the ceiling and the mats you have to drag across the floor when all you want to do is jump on them
- It’s all everyone talks about at the moment, me included
I have to admit that I’m *whispers* not bothered about Ofsted scores at this stage, but we are lucky enough to have randomly moved to an area with good schools and are, completely accidentally, within hugging distance of one that has a catchment area the size of half a postage stamp – that’ll be greater London for you – which kind of makes things easier.
And I’m not too worried about Eliza making the big leap, either. She’s been excited about going for about the past two years, thanks to the joys of Topsy and Tim. Since she moved up to the pre-school room at nursery she’s been writing her name everywhere, mostly all over my important work notebook, so I think she’ll love the learning side. And since they’re only in school for about half an hour a day for about two weeks at a time I know there’s still loads of opportunities for running around like a maniac and badgering me relentlessly to use the iPad.
But it’s just that it all seems so scarily soon and she’s still so young. Going to school is the start of a process that you’re completely entangled in, that only ends when you have an 18-year-old. It’s what other, older children do. How exactly did we get to this point, so soon?