Thursday 6 September 2012

Back to the school rush !

Well, unbelievable as it seems, the two month summer holidays are behind us and here at The Madhouse - like just about everywhere else - we've all found the way back to the school gates. Tuesday was the first day back for the kids and it was more than a little hectic as I had to flex my Supermum powers and manage to get three kids to three different schools for an 8.30 start - eeeek ! Why can't the powers-that-be stagger the starting times slightly to make parents' lives easier, especially on the first day back when nobody does any actual classes anyway ?

First up was Pierre, aged 3 and heading off to school for the very first time. (3 years old still seems so young to go to school to me but most French kids start aged 2 - eeeek !). He went off, all smiles, and headed into his classroom with barely a backwards glance - phew ! His teacher is one that Sophie had at the same age and she's lovely. When I went back to pick him up at lunchtime, he was holding back the tears, climbed up into my arms for a cuddle and sobbed his heart out all the way home. The teacher said that something had upset him but she didn't know what and to tell her if I managed to find out. I had a big heart-to-heart with him over lunch and he explained that a little girl had punched him hard on the cheek. :( Luckily it was "only" that and not that he hates school or has separation anxiety or anything. I told the teacher who told him to tell her if anyone is nasty to him and he came out of the afternoon session all smiles, saying he loves school and his teacher is very nice. He came out of school today with a beaming smile and declared "I didn't cry today" ! Phew !

7-year-old Juliette, who is the only one not to be starting in a new school this year, had a slight wobble the night before going back, worried that she's be in "nasty Mr X's class" and not with her friend. The next morning, her fears were allayed - she's still with her friend and in a class with two new female teachers who alternate, both of whom seem very nice.

And "where-did-my-little-girl-go?-Sophie" headed off to secondary school. She had asked to be in European class, which means they have 3 hours of English and 3 hours of German right from the start instead of having 4 hours of English and starting a second foreign language two years later. It makes sense - she'd be bored to tears just "learning" English ! Her two best friends had also asked for the same option so they were pretty sure they'd all be in the same class together, which was reassuring for them. As the classes were called out though, she discovered that the other two were together but she was in a different class, with the European option split over two classes. There are two girls she already knows in her class but they've already paired up so Sophie was feeling a bit left out. I'm sure she'll make new friends quickly enough though. She headed off for a morning of double PE-music-maths so nothing too taxing but it was also her longest day with lessons from 8am-6pm, which seems way too long for a school day, in my humble opinion.

And me? Well, as a teacher, I went back the day before them and discovered this year's timetable. There's only one day I can't be there to pick the kids up from school at the end of the day and even then, it's only half an hour at the childminder's or an after-school club until I'm home. There will be two mornings at the childminder's too when I have an 8am start and leave home at 7am. I work for 4 hours on a Wednesday morning when the two youngest don't have school so they'll be at the childminder's but apart from that, I can be pretty much a full-time mum this year as well as working. And - big lovely surprise - I get Friday afternoon off, by myself, with all three kids at school - wowabunga ! I'm already thinking of all the things I'll be able to do with this new-found freedom - go to the shops, get doctor's/dentist's appointments, go to the toilet by myself ... !

What about you ? How have your lot fared with this new school year ?

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

George at ASDA Back to School ‘Little Designers’ Campaign


  1. Is the book I don't know how she does it about you? Taking 3 kids to school is a job for a Super-woman indeed. Hope Sophie will find new friends soon and Pierre won't have any more nasty encounters.

    1. LOL That book has been sitting on my "to be reviewed" shelf for ages, now that you mention it !!

  2. I am so glad I just have one to worry about! At least it all went smoothly in the end


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