Me and Max, Siesta Key Beach, Florida, May 2022

My baby starts school at the end of the summer, and I’m not ready

OK, time to ‘fess up: this post isn’t really about Max preparing to start school. No, this post is really just a blatant excuse for me to show you this picture, which he did at nursery this week:

best drawing ever

They were asked to draw something to show how they felt about starting school, and what they were most looking forward to, so naturally Max drew himself having a pee in the “big” toilets. He colour-popped the “pee” and everything. We’re thinking of getting it framed. 

A few hours after the nursery staff gleefully handed this over to me, Terry and I headed to the school to meet Max’s teacher (Who he had already informed me was, “Really, really beautiful. Much more beautiful than you, mummy.” Ouch.), and find out a bit more about how the transition from nursery to primary school will work. (Oh, and we also got to have a quick look inside the nursery, which was a pretty big deal for us, really, given that Max has been going there since March 2021, but, thanks to Covid, we’d never once set foot in the place.)

So we’re all set for school. Max will actually remain at nursery throughout the summer (We’re really fortunate in that the nurseries here are open 50 weeks per year, closing only at Christmas), but he will officially “graduate” next week (Yes, there’s a ceremony…), before starting school in August. Which, I mean, HOW? Like, he was literally JUST BORN? How is he going to school THIS YEAR?

He is, though; which means I have just a few short weeks to get my head around that fact.

Me and Max, Siesta Key Beach, Florida, May 2022Now, as it happens, I’m actually not particularly worried about how Max will get on at school. I know he’s more than ready for it, and we’re very lucky in that the school he’s going to is our local one; it’s attached to his current nursery, so he already knows the building and a lot of the staff – not to mention the fact that most of the kids who’ll be in his class are his friends from nursery, so he’ll know pretty much everyone already. Because our village is so small, there will only be 8 children in Max’s P1 class; that means they’ll be sharing class space with Primary 2 (It’s a really small school…), but there’s still a very low teacher-to-student ratio, and we’ve been really impressed with everything we’ve seen of the place so far, so we don’t have any concerns about the school at all.

It’s … well, it’s the holidays I’m worried about. Because while nursery is, as I said, open for 50 weeks of the year, school seems to be on holiday all the damn time, basically, and, as we’re both self-employed and therefore don’t get paid for time off, I’m absolutely mystified about how we’re supposed to make that work. (No, we can’t afford a child-minder, unfortunately.) So far, my only real plan is for us to somehow become fabulously wealthy – ideally in time for the October break – and then just spend all of the school holidays traveling, but that plan doesn’t seem all that realistic, sadly, so we’re going to have to come up with a Plan B. You know, just in case.

We have another two months to work all of that out, though. In the meantime, we’re just enjoying the last few weeks of Max’s nursery career, which has been notable, not only for the huge amount of paintings and other “creations” he’s brought home with him, but also for that one time he claimed to have “narcolepsy” and the nursery called me to check, and that other time when he told them we didn’t ever feed him, and I spent the next week worried they were going to send social services round or something. 

Oh, and who could forget the Valentine’s gift he made me this year? 

the best Valentine's gift

Yes. 

All joking aside, excited though he is to start school, I know Max is really going to miss nursery. It’s been an amazing year-and-a-bit for him, and it makes me quite sad to think this phase of his life is already almost a thing of the past. Parenthood: providing all the harsh reminders of your own mortality, folks! 

Like it or not, though, in a few short weeks we will no longer be the parents of a nursery-age child, and will, instead, have a schoolboy to look after. Hold me, please…

 

Liked this post?? Take a second to support Amber on Patreon!
COMMENTS
  • Stephanie

    REPLY

    What a wonderful situation for schooling for him! Such a sense of community for a little one.

    As a director of a preschool (in the US) these kinds of pictures delight me- at the end of the year we ask all our graduates what they want to be when they grow up and what their favorite part of preschool was. Sometimes we ask what they hope to learn in kindergarten. So many sweet and hilarious answers. They never cease to delight and amaze me.

    There is such a beautiful bittersweetness to the shift at this age. Every time a group of kids move on to “big school” it is both with mourning and excitement and pride in my heart.

    June 15, 2022
  • Alice

    REPLY

    Usually there are clubs (sports etc) in the holidays, these are often pretty cheap. Did you not have to pay for nursery though? Maybe it’s different in Scotland, here in England you only get 30h per week in term time for free.

    June 15, 2022
      • Alice

        REPLY

        Wow that’s amazing. I spend more than half my salary on childcare 🙁 🙁

        It’s worth asking the school re holiday clubs, you won’t be the only parents who need childcare I would imagine.

        June 17, 2022
  • Myra Boyle

    REPLY

    I remember it well – the anxiety of whether the teacher will be good to my wean/s , if he will get on with the other kids, never mind actual lessons, and school uniform.
    My dad became a school janitor after he retired and he had many stories to tell. My favourite was the little four year old shuffling the corridors with his pants at his ankles asking “Who wipes the buns around here?”

    June 15, 2022
  • Myra Boyle

    REPLY

    *bums

    June 15, 2022
  • Pip Lee

    REPLY

    I’m a reception teacher in London, can I come and work for your school. I will have 30 kids in September and I know that only about 10 of them will know how to hold a pen, let alone draw anything so fabulous.

    June 15, 2022
  • ASkye

    REPLY

    Aw, that’s such a big step. My little newborn is also called Max and I’m already thinking how the heck am I supposed to work at the end of the year let alone all the school stuff 🤪😳 your little one is such a creative one. I hope you find a way to manage the holidays (so that I can see what you do for my own sake, hehe)

    June 16, 2022
  • Erin

    REPLY

    I am cackling at that beautiful and expressive art!

    June 16, 2022
POST A COMMENT