I took my daughter swimming and then on to nursery. We were arriving at lunchtime and the gates were padlocked shut. Good to see that the school is secure. I mean the padlock is just a number one and I saw the dinner lady put in the code (and it was one that was pretty easy to guess, but you could just work your way through the 9999 combinations if you were really determined) and also the gate is maybe 3 feet high and so if you were in the frame of mind I reckon you could gain entry to the school anyway. But if any school attacker/thief was anything like me then they’d probably think that’s a bit too much effort and go and look elsewhere for their evil/stolen pencils. On the way back it was locked again and I thought about just climbing over. But I thought better of it. It was then that I saw the code. Otherwise I’d have let myself out.
It’s terrible that schools need to be defended at all of course. But apparently necessary. What a wonderful world we live in.
Phoebe will be up to the big school next year, assuming our application is successful. I hope so. The school in the next village is probably better overall, but it’s further away and whilst I want to give my daughter the best start in life, there’s no need to go mad and I am not prepared to drive. Plus, you know, all her friends are here….
It’s a good school, but it's a big step up from the nursery which is separate from the primary and arriving at lunchtime to see dozens of crazy and some quite massive kids careering round the small playground made me a bit frightened, so God knows what Phoebe will make of it.
How the Hell is she starting school in September? Surely it was only yesterday she emerged bawling seemingly from inside my wife (she has never told me how she pulled off this illusion - I watched really carefully the second time and apart from the kids clearly being anamatronic when they emerge, I don’t know how or when the swap was made. Or how she made the false babies look like they’d been inside her - I guess it was something to do with her suddenly getting really fat. That was probably a false stomach in which she stored the fake child, but honestly that’s as far as I can get), but in eight months she’s going to small big school.
It struck me that her first day at proper school probably won’t stick in her memory. This is the school she was going to already (albeit at the nursery) and the only difference will be she has to wear a uniform.
But then I don’t remember my first day at Emmanuel Infants in Loughborough. I recall the first day when I moved up to Junior School and went to Cobden and the teachers being strict and making us line up and vaguely getting into trouble for not paying attention. I feel like I remember my mum standing concerned and maybe crying at the gate of Cheddar First School when I joined at the end of summer term in 1976 (We’d broken up in Loughborough before we moved, but school was still going on in Somerset, so weirdly I went in for the last few days - presumably they hoped I’d make some friends)- but I think mum has just told me that she stood at the gate and watched this lone, scared figure walking across the playground and worrying that no one would play with me.
I was 28 years old.
So probably the first day of school is more of a landmark for the parents. But as she’s been going in four times a week for a year or so, it won’t be that big wrench. It’ll just be super weird. Cos there’s no way she’s been around long enough to go to school.