Don’t eat the teacher

Small boy has been to school for a reception stay and play today. He’s been at preschool 2 days a week since September to ease this transition. But this is the first proper trip to the reception class.

I’m really glad now that he’s been at preschool. He’s only just 4 and the only one from his nursery going to his school – not that we knew that a year ago. When he started it felt like he was very young to be wearing a uniform and going into a classroom (sort of). But he’s coped really well, he goes in happily to breakfast club on a Thursday but makes a fuss when I drop him on a Friday. Separation issues? Hardly! Jealousy cos he wants to go in the other door with his brother more like!

So anyway, an hour in reception this morning. Nice and familiar that some preschool kids were over visiting too. I met a couple of other mums, briefly. He played with a train and built towers and showed off his counting. It’s the same teachers as when his big brother was in the class so at least I know them, and they know us. At the end he was one of the first to sit down for a story – about a shark’s first day at school and how it bit everyone. All the children got a sticker for being so good (boy are they going to have fun with this child who doesn’t like sticker-based bribery).

And then it was time to leave and go to nursery and work. And so we had tears.

Because he didn’t want to leave? No.

Because he wanted to go home instead of nursery? Nope.

Because he had missed morning snack? Not even.

It was because he’d been to school and hadn’t seen his brother.

I suppose what today’s shown us is that small boy isn’t too young for school, he’s going to have a fantastic time.

But I think we need to set his expectations about seeing his brother at school. They aren’t going to see each other much, only playtime and then not in the afternoon as large boy goes into year 3. I’m sure small boy will make and confirm friendships quickly and not rely on his brother. We just need to be patient while that happens.

There will other challenges too. Small boy isn’t into drawing or trying writing, he’s as obstinate as his brother and hasn’t got the hang of wiping him bum yet. School’s going to be exciting and new and a bit daunting but we’ll all adjust. We just aren’t people who get worked up about these things – we won’t be crying on the first day, or jumping for joy. We’ll be accepting the new normal and the routine.

Most importantly though, like the book said, don’t eat the teacher!

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