Sunday, 19 June 2011

Crying in the playground

Betty went to school for a three hour induction session last Thursday morning, the first of five, in preparation for September. 

As I was walking back down the playground, having just dropped her off in her new classroom-to-be, I saw the Head Teacher.  'Is Betty OK about it all?' she asked me.  'Yes, she is absolutely fine  - really excited' I said. 

'Is the school uniform skirt, blue or grey?' I asked her, then burst into tears. 

Still whimpering, a barrage of questions then came out of my mouth:  'Will Betty have to wear black shoes?'  'Will she need to bring her own pencils?'  'What time does school start in the mornings?'  'Do the reception class have their playtimes on the big playground with the big kids?'  'Do they have homework at this age?'  'Does she really have to come to school?' 'Do parents often cry like this?'  The Head Teacher was warm, empathetic and reassuring in her response.

When I went back to pick Betty up at midday (after a fractious few hours of Dolly having a meltdown, and insisting that she too wanted to go to school), I asked Betty how she had got on.  'I played in the big playground, and I made a new friend, and I really like my teacher, but I really don't want to wear grey tights Mummy - please can I wear my gold sparkly ones?' she said. 

With a huge lump in my throat we drove home. We spent the rest of our Thursday making purple glittery play dough together, and then going to the playground, and having an ice-cream.


Nel said...

Our school lays on coffee and hankies in the "crying hall" for reception mums on the first couple of days apparently. I shall be partaking in September too.

Unknown said...

Hi Nel, ha, so it's normal-ish to bawl then?!

Dianne x said...

I did the exact same thing, then walked home with sunglasses on avoiding people on the way home. The teachers must be used to mum's like us xx

Maxine said...

It's the toughest rite of passage of all and almost impossible not to cry - but when she sits down and reads a 'big girl' book to you all by herself for the first time, you'll realise she was ready (even if you aren't). There's definitely no shame in sobbing with abandon though!

Unknown said...

Hi Diane, i hope so - i was rather embarrassed afterwards!

Unknown said...

Hi Maxine, you just made me cry again!!

sadie said...

oh God, don't. You are making me feel bad again!

On my little ones first proper day, I went in the wrong playground. Her school is split, with one playground being for Juniors, the smaller one at the back for infants. I did not realise this, her being my only child.
So on Day 1. - you know, the IMPORTANT one - I marched her into the playground with older kids and it scared the life out of her. Eventually I got to the right one, but she had already been frightened and seeing her scared face upset me. I held it together until I got home (just like Diane, sunglasses clamped to my face) then blubbed like a baby. She'd trusted me to know what I was doing and I'd let her down. I felt crap.

After that she was ok, but then after a few weeks she got tonsillitis. Badly. It went undiagnosed for 5 days so she was in pain, and it took ages to go. She ended up with 6 days off school, and when she went back friendships were being formed, and she still wasn't 100% well. She would sit on her own in the playground. Broke my heart.

It took a couple of weeks, with tears every night and cries of 'I don't think I should go to school mum' ,but we turned a corner and now she's loving it.
So much so,she's having hot dinner today! Yey! So pleased. The week she went back after being ill, she came home for lunch, and I ended up carrying her most of the way to make sure she had time to eat and get back in time. It was a tough time. I was in tears most days too.
I was crying because it broke my heart knowing she wasn't happy.

Now I'm loving it. Love that I have the whole day to myself! I do miss her, and I love the weekends, but oh it is so nice now she's happy. I leave her knowing all is well, and I get to sit down for lunch or a cup of tea without hearing 'muuuuuuuuum, I want chocolate' every two minutes!

I think the start of school is so much harder on the mums. I look around and observe, and I see a lot of 'putting on a brave face' expressions.

You are not alone. But it does get better.


Unknown said...

Hi Sadie, that sounded so so upsetting - I am so glad that things picked up in the end - and that you are enjoying your time to yourself! I guess there are always going to be teething problems with something as big as starting school - it is a massive deal - hadn't realised how big xx

sadie said...

No, I hadn't realised how much of a big deal it was either. Sounds so simple 'starting school' doesn't it?

came back to tell you, that the Magic Belles site is fab! Little one loved it, played on it for ages yesterday.
Have you seen the LaLaLoopsy website (and dolls), I love them, though the packaging irritates the heck out of me.


solveig said...

If it's any comfort I've found the reality of them being at school is much easier than the thought of it. I also felt really emotional about Freyja starting last September, but I've found that I actually enjoy the routine and structure to the day and I love the weekends, half terms and holidays so much.

S xxx

Unknown said...

Hi Sadie, yes Magic Belles is fab!

Hi Solveig, yes I can imagine that to be v true - the lead-up is often much worse. and after the day i have had today i am looking forward to the peace!

MummyMummymum said...

Oh bless you. I have not had to leave Z yet, or I'm sure I would have cried too.


Sparx said...

We have our meeting in 2 weeks... I'm sooo nervous...

Emma said...

I'm at this stage too - I thought I was holding it together quite well, but did have to rush to the M&S toilets for a little cry when browsing the school uniform section in my lunch hour. Oh dear.

Chloe Anne said...

'Does she really have to come to school?' No she doesn't. Home education is a wonderful option, so glad we made that choice for us.