There’s something about being a Year One mum that makes me feel a bit grown up. It’s like I’ve graduated from the inexperienced mum days and gone up a level. The school run no longer leaves me cold, instead I’ve honed the skill of getting a five year old and a baby out of the door by 8.30am. Mornings are run with military precision and I can now spot any potential pitfalls that threaten the smoothness of this part of our day. Spotting the pitfalls and combatting them has become a skill in itself.
A few things I now know well, as a Year One mum, is that the routine of the pre and post school part of the day has a huge impact on how well Frog goes off to school in the morning. For example, if we get up late and I haven’t laid out her uniform and we can’t find any clean socks, then I know there’s a high chance Frog will end up crying when I leave her in her classroom. I need to be totally on top of my game in the morning or I risk ruining the delicate equilibrium that could push my
dramatic sensitive five year old into a panicked tantrum.
I also know that trying to encourage a five year old to practise her spellings and reading after school is like trying to stop liquid seeping through a sieve: impossible. We make reading and spellings a part of our morning routine, as this is when Frog is least tired and most up for a bit of structured learning. She enjoys getting her reading book out of her book bag after breakfast and is currently revelling in the grown-upness of being a Year One who has to learn spellings. Not sure how long that will last…
Past mistakes have taught me that if I don’t take a snack – or at least have one ready at home – for after school then I could find myself dealing with a grumpy, hungry five year old. Her baby sister has also started having a snack at this time of day, so if I miss the snack boat then I’m in for two irrate children, which isn’t much fun.
And then there’s the whole tea time / bathtime / bedtime saga on a school night. I love Friday nights because we have a whole other routine (Friday night = PJ and movie night) which means we can be a bit more lax about bedtime. But our school nights are more fraught, as I know I need to get both girls in bed so that a) Frog isn’t tired for school the following day and b) I can get some work done. Which leads me onto my final Year One mum lesson: if bedtime is after 7pm on a school night then we’re almost-guaranteed a disastrous morning of fails the following day.
Tell me, what have you learned from the school year so far?
P.S. If you’ve got a child who’s just started school or who is starting school next year, you should check out this post over at Not Another Mummy Blog. Blogging gold.