Saturday 22 September 2018

A child goes to school: can the UK media contain itself anymore?

George on his way to his first day of school.
George on his way to his first day of school.

By david looby

A CHILD started school last week.

Not just any child. It was the cutest, most stylishly dressed, most important child since the child in the manger. The third in line to the throne, George, was all over the news last week, offering some levity during days of apocalyptic rhetoric and apocalyptic weather forecasts.

The cherub-faced royal was analysed to the shoelaces by experts on telly. There are few mornings as exciting for an parent as the first day at school morning, especially for the first born.

I had none of William's wide-eyed excitement as I legged it up to my daughter's school as she returned after a summer which disappeared in the blink of an eye.

There was a lot of furore leading up to the big day, a mixture of anticipation about meeting the new teacher and panic (most of which illogical) about not having everything needed.

Over the summer The Whirlwind Princess has emerged as a real character, prone to witticisms, spontaneous mortifying declarations (for me) and senior counsel like cross examination tactics.

She even asked if we could do homework with her over the summer months.

For me they passed like a breeze, especially lunchtimes, when, free from the shackles of the daily school-to-creche drop at 1.30 p.m., I enjoyed uninterrupted leisurely one hour lunches, (well when I wasn't hanging up clothes and doing the dishes).

There were two summer camps for my daughter to enjoy, one for dance and performance and another for sports and fun activities. Also trips with her brother to stay with her grandparents and visits to Kerry, along with a good few day trips. The return of routine was not greeted with joy and bottles of bubbly in casa Looby. Lists were feverishly drawn up with the children's Mammy and apart from some interlocking of horns over which after school activities to have our daughter attend, it all ran smoothly enough. That was until we remembered a few days into the term that we had forgotten to register The Little Fella for primary school next year.

In the rush to get the socks, pinafores, pencil cases and water bottle, we had totally forgotten our second born.

Not something William and Kate would do, that's for sure.

Visions of driving to two different schools every morning and lunch flooded the amygdala of my brain.

I was inconsolable for five minutes. Then I looked at the A4 page my daughter handed me after her first day of school and noticed that registration was only beginning and all was well with the world again.

The first few days back were great really as I got to reconnect with some of the other parent warriors who drop and collect their children to and from school in all kinds of weather. My daughter's classmates will be with her all through her education which is special in and of itself and being part of a wonderful small school community creates a familiar atmosphere all its own.

I love this time of year; which from childhood always marked the beginning of a new phase of life, even as the chilly weather sets in. To that end I've started a creative writing course, creative writing being something I have, in the past, been accused of at times in my current role.

As someone who always writes, be it scraps of stories or poems, it's time to test myself now.

Wexford People