The Start of School

Joni is, unbelievably, five years old. I mean - actually it is believably as time doesn’t go slower or faster at any point, and she was born five years ago, so… maybe not unbelievably. But iit is certainly incredible. Or incredulous.

Either way, she passed through one of the biggest milestones any child has at this age, and maybe the biggest milestone since she walked, or since she first spoke a proper sentence - she started primary school. Much is made of this transition and it’s one of the milestones you dream about as a parent when that tiny little baby is cradled in your arms. When she was at her most unsleeping, middle of the night, my mind would wander to five years hence, and what it would be like.

I think the thing I never counted in the dreams was the fact that by then the child would be their own little person. They’d be arguing with you, grumpy from sleepiness, and also excited and nervous, but probably unable to recognise the emotions that were hurtling through them. This meant that Joni, who is a resilient little thing, was handling it better than I could’ve imagined five years ago, and even a few hours before the first drop off.

School, for me, was fun. I loved Primary School. I have rose-tinted memories of it - warm summers playing “spies” around the grassy hills. Playing endless games of football in the playground. The rainy days where we weren’t allowed to go outside at playtime, being baby-sat by P7s whilst our teachers had their 15 minute break. There are obviously bad memories - my punishment exercise in P3, aged 7, is still a really sore memory. When my POGS were stolen from my desk drawer in P6, or when my lunch box was smashed in the same year and the teachers all ganged up on me, calling me a liar…

Yeah, Primary School was pretty formative. When taking Joni along, all I could think of was that she had to be and feel safe. The rest could follow on. Her learning is in Con and I’s hands as much as the school’s, so we feel in control of that to an extent, but the safety part is the bit I’m struggling with. The “loss” of control, so to speak, which is something I’m very much not good at coping with, just ask Connie.

Joni has, as far as we can tell, thrived at school. I guess we will actually find out when we speak to the teacher. She was excelling at Nursery and everyone was ready for her to excel at school but ther eis no pressure. She has years to fluctuate in the environment. She is more tired, and more grumpy, which is to be expected, but also she seems more self confident. She gets to pick her own lunch, carry her own bag, and fill her own time for the first time maybe ever, and I hope she enjoys it.

I hope that she is safe as well. That’s my biggest concern, and so far it seems like she is.