Dear New School Mum’s…
This one is for you;
‘How do I look Mummy?’
I swallowed down an ocean of tears that were threatening to avalanche off the side of my heart and destroy me catastrophically, and slowly with measured emotion, smiled a soft smile.
Does that sound dramatic?
Good, because It bloody was dramatic.
I was gutted.
I did not want my son to start school, I wanted to keep him at home with me forever.
I wanted one more day at a an empty play-centre, one more playful conversation as we rolled through the Starbucks ‘drive thru,’ for another mother and baby latte. One more lazy pyjama day lying on the sofa watching cartoons and eating biscuits. One more…
Yes yes I know.
I can hear all you experienced mums and grandma’s now, and for the most part I agree, It is good for them to learn, and grow, and be around other children and be influenced by others, they will come on leaps and bounds and develop in ways we have no concept of yet… yada yada yada… I know this.
But there is something I need you to understand.
I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANY OF THAT, I WANTED HIM TO STAY HOME WITH ME.
We are pulling up to school at 8.45am for the two hundredth and twenty third time.
Seriously. Do you know how many sandwiches I have made this year?? I have made over 400 sandwiches. 400!!! They don’t tell you about this in the baby books either do they? Or what to do when your son decides he doesn’t like cheese, or ham, or jam, or tuna – do not even think about tuna – and yet he still wants a sandwich.
Do you know how many shirts I have washed this year? How many pairs of shoes this child has gone through?
How many times I have cried at the school gates over something random?
How many times the teacher has needed a word? And how embarrassed I have been being pulled in to ‘discuss’ the occasional blip in behaviour?
Do you know how many times another school mum I barely know has hugged me, supported me and been there for me? How many articles I have read saying school mum’s are the worst, when in fact they are the best bloody bunch of women you could ever find?
How many times I have seen my son excited over something he has learned? How amazed I have been about how much he now knows, when all I get is ‘Nothin’? or ‘I can’t remember’ when I ask him about his day. ‘TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAY SON PLEAAASSSEEEE’ I want to beg, but it wouldn’t matter anyway, he tells me nothing.
How many show’s I have sat and watched in awe as my little potato, with 25 other tiny veggies, have put on a show, where they have all been happy and proud, clapping and singing, laughing and hamming it up, a confidence I am surprised by every time, and I have sobbed like an imbecile?
How many times I have sent him in to school in odd shoes…. Ok, let’s move on from that one.
‘Please don’t shout I love you when I walk in to school anymore, I know you love me, and if you really have to say it, you can whisper it in my ear ok?’
I clutch my chest and gasp.
Does that sound dramatic?
Because it bloody is dramatic!
‘Ok baby no problem!’ I respond, dying inside ‘Do you want to stab me through the heart now and finish me off completely, or wait until after school when I pick you up with a sausage roll?’
‘You look like a real life grown up boy, my pudding. Are you excited?’
He was so excited.
We walked around the play ground waiting for the bell to ring, admiring the wiggly snakes and numbered squares, chatting like we always did and then the moment I had been dreading arrived.
As we heard the bell ring for the first time, off he went, debonaire on little legs, in his pristine uniform, little arms laden down with his new normal, leaving me watching, fantastically proud and utterly devastated.
‘I love you!’ I shouted to his back a little desperately.
‘Love you too mummy!’ he turned and smiled ‘See you later.’
What I actually wanted to shout was;
‘Addison, have a good day ok? I am going to miss you. I am going to miss the endless questions and the occasional tantrum. I am going to miss shopping with you, having a wee with you sat on my knee, making you lunch, begging you to nap, wasting the days away. I am going to worry you will fall and hurt yourself and I won’t be there to pick you up. If it turns out you don’t like school, when I pick you up we can abscond to a desert island, just you and me ok? And I will teach you all the important stuff myself. I love you Addison, come back and give mummy another cuddle. What is mummy going to do all day without you? Addison! I love you. Thank you Addison. I love you. Please don’t change, you are perfect the way you are. Addison… can you still hear me? I don’t know if I am strong enough for this Addison, are you sure you don’t want to wait another year? Addison? Are you there?’
We are fast approaching the last day of term and although so much has changed this year and we have both learnt so much (like, do not tell your teacher to ‘Piss off ‘Addy, it will not end well for you. And mummy? Do not laugh when the teacher tells you what he said- as it won’t end well for you either) nothing important has changed.
‘I love you so much.’
‘I love you too kiddo.’
A lot has changed this year, but to be clear, absolutely nothing important has changed.
We get it.
Go ahead and cry.
And also, If you need it, I know a really cheap way of keeping your white’s white.
Welcome to the next part,
From all of us.
From the award winning blogger Mammywoo, pegged by The guardian as ‘the one to watch’ comes a new hilariously funny and deeply moving memoir about dealing with mental illness while still reeling from the Magic of Birth.
Lexy wanted to be the perfect mother, she wrote this down numerous times in her planner (ok she doesn’t own an actual planner, but the back of an unpaid bill still counts right?) Her journey through motherhood would be calm and serene. No dummies, no drama and she would most definitely slip back in to her pre- pregnancy wardrobe, immediately!
What could possibly go wrong?
From accidentally breastfeeding the dog to romantic laxatives, therapy and beyond, this is an honest, very real and sometimes quite disturbing tale of woe, set in the wilderness of what was meant to be a year spent relaxing, with a baby.
This is the perfect read for any parent who ever thought ‘This isn’t what I expected.’
Lexy Ellis – ‘I used to be Cool’ is Now available to read across all platforms.
Barnes and noble, nook, kindle, and iBooks. It’ll be in print this week. iBooks is a dream come true. A dream come true. All hail apple formatting. Here is the link-
I Used to be Cool.. by Lexy Ellis