I watched everyone posting their back to school photos the other week with interest but didn’t get involved myself. For me back to school isn’t/wasn’t a landmark event. Yes, obviously my kids are a year older than they were when they started a new school year 12 months ago, and the creep towards finishing primary school has begun for our eldest as he enters year 5 (Junior 3 in old money) but for me Thursday 15 September 2016, is the really important landmark date.
Our kids are (currently, this may change depending on when you’re reading this!) 9, 7 and 4 years old. The stagger in age means that we haven’t had all our kids in school for a full day.
When the boy went into reception for a full day, Fifi was only 2, when she went into reception, Ned was only one. Ned, our 4 year old, did afternoon sessions at nursery last year but we had to pay for those, now, after a couple of weeks of staggered days (presumably to confuse the kids more), he is finally in full time education. This is a proper landmark, and should be marked with champagne corks flying, parties, and so on. In reality what we did was argue with the kids over bed time, and then slump in front of the telly to continue our slightly out of character binge watch of Benidorm on Netflix.
We still have the staggered pick up (20 minutes between Ned and the boy) to contend with but it’s a massive sea change to finally not have to either pick a child up at lunch time or pay for the privilege of early afternoon child care.