Thursday, September 10, 2009

It’s our first day

This is it, this is the day, the day all our hard work and effort has been leading to. The day when at last, finally, Katy starts school. It seems like this day has been spoken about (in hushed reverend tones) since Katy spoke her first word over 3 years ago. It was "Pub" by the way, her first word. Made me proud, also got me a filthy look from her Mum, but you can't have it all can you.

Anyway the day has arrived, I am totally prepared, uniform, bags, PE kit, lunch snacks, all have been purchased, labelled and packed. I have even bought spare batteries for the camera, and have them hidden away in the case. I need to avoid a repeat of the first day of nursery fiasco, referred to as the 'You had to remember one effin thing Day' around these parts. Even the neighbours (on both sides) call it that.

I obviously can't be trusted to dress her for the first day, so am relegated downstairs to deal with Mate. You would have thought it may be a good idea to at least to watch how it's done, especially on the basis it will be me doing it from tomorrow onwards, but no. I imagine I may be given an instruction guide tomorrow, I do appreciate that school socks are that much more difficult to put on.

Mate seems quite happy though, he is wearing socks for the first time in 6 weeks, all the better for hiding those dirty ankles. I have spent a great deal of time planning my own appearance as well, you know how judgemental the Mums can be. I spent 10 minutes looking in the mirror deciding whether to shave or not. It's an important decision you know, you have to start as you mean to go on. Sod it, I don't want to spoil them on the first day. Plus if I raise the bar too high for myself, it will only lead to long term failure.

Have gone for the clean but scruffy look, like a Big Issue seller done good. Was quite proud of myself until I got sent back upstairs to change, "Quite frankly you are an embarrassment to be seen with". A bit harsh I feel, must be the nerves. OK, clean three quarter lengths and an un-ripped T-shirt this time, no socks though, not until winter anyway. I even remember to put on my special aftershave, the one that didn't come attached to a deodorant bottle. That should impress the Yummy Mummies, plus it does tend to keep the flies off me as well, which is good.

Time for the photos, she looks so beautiful, I think my heart is breaking again. I somehow manage to poke myself in both eyes with the camera, it has made me go all misty, well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Trying to get Katy to pose for the photos is proving difficult. She managed to stand still and smile nicely for the first 50, but things aren't looking so good now. Although to be fair, I do wonder how easy it is to strike a natural pose when your Mother is screaming "smile properly" at you?

The first day starts later than normal, I guess designed to give you a less stressful start. It has also meant that I have had time for three cups of strong coffee, and I am beginning to think that this may have been a mistake. I can feel myself getting more manic and twitchy. I have been warned not to talk too much when I get there. When I get nervous I tend to joke a lot, it's my own Superhero Confidence Cape. Apparently this does not create the best first impression though. I will always be referred to by the nursery parents as 'that bloke who told Mrs Swithers her orange top matched her tan'. Maybe I should go stand in the corner and shout out random punch lines, get it all out of my system. This had just resulted in more frowns of disapproval, I fear I may be fighting a losing battle.

I have compiled a list of ways to behave on your first day of school. A kind of mixture of warnings and tips on how best to interact with all the new friends you will be making. So far it reads:

Be friendly

Don't interrupt people when they are talking

Always keep eye contact

Don't let anyone bully or intimidate you

If it all goes wrong, don't cry, just go and tell someone

I am hoping this will help me make friends with the Mums, am wondering if I should make a list for Katy.

Well that's it, it's time to go, there is nothing more I can do to prepare us. I am as ready as I can ever be. Be brave, be brave, I'll be fine, of course I will.

God, I want my Mum.


Dave Bartlett said...

A fine post Jamie. It's a big day for the whole family when you finally get the last of them to school; My missus made me take the day off work for our first two's big days. (I 'made sure' I'd been made redundant for when the third one started school, and risked a sickie for my fourth's)
A bit of advice James: I know this is an emotional & possibly traumatic time, but try to get a hold of yourself mate! In that post, you actually referred to the mums as "the OTHER mums"!!!

Russ said...

Jamie! Missed ya! Good post. I'm still a solid year away from this.

Angela Montague said...

Genius, so glad you're keeping up with the blog even though you are a proper writer now! I laughed at every paragraph, especially the fact your wife had to dress her on this special day, and your comment on the orange top / tan will haunt me in the playgroud, so many orange people there.

Anonymous said...

Bless you, this is such a lovely post. Hope school going well for both of you ;O) By the way excellent advice for anyone even us grown ups!