Do you remember your first day at school? I remember that I cried. My mum was a teacher in the other junior infant’s class and I got to play in her sand pit before going off to my own class. I’m not sure if I was crying for the sandpit, my mum, or the newness of it all. I won’t tell you what year it was, but there was a lot of polyester around and most lunches involved salami sandwiches and Blue Riband bars.
This time around I’m a little older. I’ve been to the parent teacher meetings and sat on the tiny chairs. Everything looks miniscule, unlike my first 4-year old perspective, where I was the tiny thing. I worry that everything will seem so big to herself, my one and only, the centre of my universe. And so the cycle continues. My daughter is, of course, very nonchalant about the whole thing. She didn’t miss a beat at the orientation day. ‘Mummy’ she said recently, about the imminent rentrée in September, ‘I’ll go for one day, but if I don’t like it, I’ll just stay at home’. ‘Okay love, whatever you think yourself’. She might be in for a shock!
We have the uniform, the Minnie Mouse lunch box and the water bottle to match. We are still looking for a school bag that she can open and close and carry (not a mean feat). The big challenge now is to prepare lunches according to the schools’ healthy eating policy. It’s not all about healthy eating of course. Popcorn isn’t allowed ‘for management reasons’ and neither are squeezy yoghurts. I guess the kids squirt them at each other! We’ll have to save those for the weekend.
In our lunch list so far we have peanut butter and crackers (as long as there are no classmates with allergies), breadsticks, veggies sticks and low fat cream cheese, tuna sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, ham, cheese and lettuce sandwiches, hummus pittas, fruit, scones and milk. Not too bad for a kid for whom variety is not the spice of life.
Will I be crying this time?
I’ll tell you on the 30th of September…