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35 thoughts you have when your ‘baby’ starts school

Starting Reception
Your child’s first day at school is a big milestone for both of you. No wonder you’re an emotional wreck...
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Whether your child has been at nursery since she was six months old or has never left your side, her first day in Reception is a momentous occasion in her life and yours. Preparing to send her off into the big wide world of education is a time of mixed emotions. You’re so proud of the little person she’s become, but full of angst about how she’ll settle in at school – and how many jumpers she’ll lose in the first term.

Here are some of the things that will go through your mind as your child takes her first step on her school journey. How many have you experienced so far?

The thoughts you have when your child starts school

1. School – argh! How can it be time to think about school? I’m not old enough to have a school-age child!

2. Then again, she’s so ready for it. Just look at the way she can count to 20 and sing the Alphabet Song perfectly.

3. Oh, but she can’t write her name yet. Should she know how to write her name? Will she be the only one in the class who can’t do it? I can’t let her be bottom of the class right from day one!

4. I wonder what the other kids in her class will be like. I hope she’ll make friends quickly. We’d better arrange some playdates.

5. Oh no: playdates! How do you do primary school playdates? Do I have to invite the mums too? And can I go with my child when she gets invited to someone’s house? What if they’re a secret axe murderer?

6. Blimey, school uniform is expensive! She’d better not grow out of it before next summer. And woe betide her if she loses those jumpers, at £15 a pop...

7. That reminds me: I must label everything. I know iron-on labels are the easy option, but traditional sew-in nametapes look so much nicer.

8. Awww. I feel like a proper mummy, sewing labels into my child’s clothes.

9. Ugh, but it’s so BORING. Whose stupid idea was this? I’ve only done four and I’m losing the will to live, not to mention the feeling in my fingertips. Next year, it’s sticky labels all the way.

10. How’s she going to cope with school dinners? What if they don’t make spaghetti Bolognese the way I do at home? And will anyone help her if she can’t cut her roast potatoes up?

11. I’m having second thoughts about all this. She’s too small for school. Maybe I should defer her until she’s actually turned five.

12. But then everyone will make friends without her, and she’ll be left all on her own when she starts. No, she has to go in September with everyone else.

13. Hang on: we’re not going to be able to take term-time holidays any more. Bang go our lovely sunny trips abroad; next year we’ll be stuck in a caravan in Dorset in the rain.

14. I wonder what the other mums will be like? What if they’re all younger/older/trendier/thinner/prettier than me? Urrrgh, this is as bad as my OWN first day of school.

15. Does she need her own pencil case for Reception?

16. Okay, the big day is nearly here. We can do this. We can totally do this.

17. I can’t do this! She’s my baby! I swear it was only yesterday that I was holding a tiny newborn in my arms. She’s not ready. I’M not ready.

18. Hmm, okay, she’s ready. It’s 6.30am on the first day of school and she’s been asking if she can put her uniform on for the past 45 minutes. Deep breaths…

19. Argh, she looks so cute but so TINY! The smallest size jumper is drowning her!

20. How many ‘first day of school’ photos is it acceptable to post on Facebook?

21. Time to do our first ever school run. I’ve got butterflies. How am I going to cope if she cries and clings to my leg? Just the thought of it is making me well up. Must stay calm, must stay calm…

22. So here we are. I’m not sure who’s more nervous. Who else looks new? I should try to talk to someone but I think I might cry.

23. Crumbs, are those the Year 6s? They’re giants! My poor tiny tot is going to get TRAMPLED at playtime.

24. I honestly can’t believe I’m doing this. I remember my own first day of school and now I’m doing it all over again as a mum!

25. What are we supposed to be doing? Where do we line up? Can I take her into her classroom myself? How do I find out what’s for lunch?

26. Ah, there’s her teacher, coming to take all the newbies in. Time to say goodbye. Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry…

27. Walking back from school on my own feels so weird. I hope she’s okay. I hope they’re looking after her. I forgot to remind her to put her hand up if she needs the loo. And I didn't give her a tissue for her nose. How am I going to get to 3.15pm without hearing how she’s getting on?

28. *checks watch every five minutes.*

29. I wish I could be a fly on the wall.

30. I wonder what she’s doing now? Did she find someone to play with at break time? Is she happy, or is she missing me as much as I miss her?

31. *checks phone every five minutes.*

32. The house is so quiet without her. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m NEVER going to get used to this.

33. Okay, it’s only 2.30pm, but if I walk veeeeeeery slowly I can leave now to go and pick her up, right?

34. There she is, there she is! OMG, I’m so pleased to see her! I’ve missed her so much! But she’s covered in tomato sauce and paint and a big smile; looks like she had a great first day. She did it! I did it! So proud!

A week later…

35. What, three o’clock already? These school days just aren’t long enough…