This momentous, once in a lifetime, day is fast approaching.
It’s been looming on the horizon for what seems like an eternity but, now it’s actually here, you can’t quite believe it.
That little bundle you bought home from hospital, all scrunched up, snuffly and pink, now about to put on their pristine uniform, shiny new shoes and school bag for the first time as they prepare to wave you off at their classroom door.
You’ll tell yourself not to get upset.
You’ll try not to cry and force a smile as you turn to see them disappear off, but I guarantee that once they’re in, and your in the safety of your own company, a little tear or two will fall. Or a lump will form in the throat. I think it’s virtually impossible not to feel emotional at that moment (and maybe, dare I say it, do a little Morcambe & Wise-esqu skip out the school gates)
A child’s first day at school is always going to be one of the most memorable moments of your life, but what do you need to remember to do on that first day?
What do you need to take?
What should you have done in the summer holidays to prepare?
In the emotion and chaos of the day itself, it’s very easy to forget something or have a last minute panic, so making a list is a really good thing to do in order to avoid any last minute catastrophies. Be prepared, as the boy scouts say.
So here’s my handy, “First day of School” checklist to help you on your school journey!
1) Make any snack packs, water bottles or packed lunches up the night before. This saves you precious minutes in the morning (possibly even enough time to scoff a couple of emergency custard creams to keep the energy levels up!) and will mean you don’t have even more to think about the next morning.
2) Get up a little bit earlier than you need to. If you normally get up at 7am, set the alarm for 6:45am so you have a little time to wake up (check facebook, obviously) and gather your thoughts.
3) Put the kettle on. I don’t know anyone that can function without a tea or coffee inside them first thing in the morning (and sadly it’ll be too early for Gin). Make sure you’ve had your hot beverage fix!
4) Do a final check to ensure all uniform, lunch boxes, water bottles and even pants (yes, these really do go missing!), socks and shoes are labelled. Stickerscape do a wonderful range of name labels, some of which are self adhesive so you can literally just stick and go, so there’s less chance of your shiny new belongings going missing. You can find their range of name labels here.
5) Sit down and eat breakfast together with your child. Talk about how they’re feeling, talk about how you’re feeling and just enjoy your time together (though this is reliant on them eating their breakfast nicely and not having a tantrum because you gave them a blue bowl when they actually wanted a red one…)
6) Let them help gather their things and pack their bag. Obviously you will need to aid them with this to start with, and help them find where everything is, but it is a really good idea to get them to help pack their bag from the off so they don’t come to expect you to do it for them forever. It’s also good practice to do this in order for them to get used to what will be expected of them at school.
7) Take a photo of them at home before you leave for school (and probably before they brush their teeth. Toothpaste WILL end up on a jumper/cardigan at some point!). As was the case with my eldest one, he was so excited to go in that he ran off before I could take a photo (yep, he was fine and I was left sobbing – typical!) and I felt so sad for the rest of the day that I had ‘missed’ that precious moment in his life. Truth be told, taking a photo the next day wasn’t going to make much difference in the grand scheme of things, but in hindsight, I’d have taken a picture in the calm surroundings of home first.
8) Make sure you’ve got some tonic, or a bottle of wine, chilling in the fridge to reward yourself at the end of what’s sure to be a tiring and emotional day for all. This is a very important step to remember 😉
I hope that my list helps you all and that you and your children have wonderful first day’s at school.
It’s the beginning of a very long journey, but watching them change and grow into proper little people, gaining independence, developing their personalities, is one of the best things about being a parent.
“A parent will hold their child’s hand for a while, but their hearts forever”.
Cheers to you all, and good luck fellow comrades!
By Gemma @ Life is Knutts Blog