For example, she was genuinely concerned about how she would get her sock-hating five-year-old to conform to sock wearing. My advice, of course, being something to do with bribery etc etc.
There are two types of parents during school shopping. Post continues below.
Our family managed to get through Prep 2019 mostly unscathed. No cases of head lice, one knock to the head (a rogue ice brick), 14 birthday parties requiring 126 trips to Kmart, the occasional morning meltdown (also sock related), one lost hat, and the holy grail of parenting… no gastro.
But with only 12 months experience as a “school mum”, my advice to her was mostly useless.
We were talking about first day nerves, and by that I mean her nerves, not her child’s. I openly confessed that I shed tears, I found the first day, the first morning, to be this weighted milestone that my head knew was a good thing, but no one told my heart.
It was an “a-ha” moment, the obligatory new mother advice to “enjoy it, the time goes so fast” was making sense. On one hand, I was overjoyed that my child was starting school but on the other hand I wanted to bundle him up, take him home with me and stay in a place of pleasant denial.
Parents around me seemed to be acting normal. There was laughter, photos, and hugging, and a sense of happy anticipation filled the classroom. For me, it was only a minute ago that I was holding him to my heart and smelling his little newborn head and now I was expected to leave him to fend for himself in the vastness of the school grounds. I felt a lack of control in keeping him safe.