Friday, February 3, 2012

Feeling out of place

My little princess had her first day of school today.  Not really school, but Kindy.  Two and a half days a week at the off campus community Kindy associated with South Perth Primary school.  I am feeling like a failure of a mother.  I left it too late to organise a uniform, (yes she wears a uniform, how very grown up), and the uniform shop is all out of clothing her size and will not be available for a few weeks.  I really did not want her to start on her first day feeling out of place. I had been advertising the fact she would get to wear a uniform for weeks and now she has nothing to wear, and would feel out of place.  My compensation, I bought her new underpants from Target and told her they were special uniform underpants.  She seemed happy enough with that.  (Please keep in mind that she also wore other clothing, not just pretend uniform undies!)

She was pretty excited to go and spent an hour before departure walking the hallways dragging her bag behind her. She then alerts me to the fact, (5 minutes before we leave) that she needs to rest now as she is soooooo tired from waiting for ever and ever for school to start.  Oh the drama that a 4 year old girl must endure!

So she rests on the couch playing my ipad when I am then notified that she should take mummies computer to school in case she needs to use it there.  What's going on here?  Is my four year old expecting an important email?  I inform her that you are not allowed to take toys to school, it is one of the rules.  To which she replies, "But it is not a toy mummy, that is what you yelled at me yesterday when I put it on the couch."  Firstly, yelled?  Is that we are calling a firm tone of voice nowadays?  And secondly, pretty sure you 'threw' it, you did not 'put' it on the couch.  Thirdly, you are getting a bit too smart for me, best get you off to school to challenge your teachers.

Did not want to be late.  Did not want my daughter to feel out of place. Did not want to be known as the late mum who did not provide a uniform.  So we arrive 10 minutes early and wait outside for the doors to open.  I breath a sigh of relief as there are only two children in uniform.  Poor kids, can not believe their parents made them wear a uniform on their first day of kindy, they look so out of place.

It is a lovely old centre, with an extremely warm and inviting feeling.  The staff are of mature age and they all talk as though they are filming an episode of Playschool.  The back yard is amazing with large fallen trees for climbing, wooden climbing frames, water troughs and even an old petrol bouser!  I am impressed. As is my daughter and she leaves my side and starts to play straight away.  I speak to the teacher briefly, say my goodbyes to my precious one and leave the centre extremely light hearted.  I was actually singing "If your happy and you know it" in my head all the way home. (Substituting the "clap your hands" with "drive the car", "stop at the lights", "get out of the car".)

First day only goes for one and a half hours.  Extended to three hours next week and then full days the week after.  It is all part of the orientation process to help with adjustment.  Unsure if this is for the benefit of the children or the teachers?  My daughter waved goodbye so happily.  I doubt there will be any adjustment issues.

One and a half hours is just long enough to do a quick grocery shop, put away the groceries then return.  Right?  Wrong?  I only live 5 minutes from the shop, and 2 minutes from the school.  How could I get it wrong?  I was watching the clock, then some sort of time warp happened and I was stripped of ten minutes of my life...(think it was somewhere between throwing out an old yoghurt from the fridge and emptying a packet of biscuits into a jar).  Anyway, now I am becoming hysterical.  I do not want to pick her up late.  I do not want her to feel out of place.  The thing is, I don't even have a good excuse.

According to the clock on the wall I am 10 minutes late, but am pretty sure I have set this 10 minutes early so I am on time for things, (apart from picking my daughter up on time on her first day of kindy).  My mobile phone is telling me I should of been there 2 minutes ago.  Oh dear!  I sprint to the car.  According to the car clock I am pulling into the school driveway 4 minutes late.  Not too bad.  Anyway I walk fast from the car, and get a glare from a teacher from the kitchen window.  I have a sneaking suspicion she wants me to run? As I enter the room my princess is sitting on the floor, all by herself with her bag on her back, ready to go home.  My heart dripped all the way down my body and out my toes.  I had single handedly made my daughter feel out of place! And to make matters worse, the extra large clock on the wall behind her read 15 minutes late.  I decide that now is not an appropriate time to point out to the teachers that there clock is running 10 minutes fast.  I apologise profusely and make a quick exit, now known as "the mother that picked up her daughter late on the first day of school".  I felt so out of place.

I tell my daughter how proud I am of her going to big girl school, to which she replies, "I am not proud of you not coming to get me mummy".  (It would of felt like a stab to the heart, if my heart had not dropped from my body earlier.)  Luckily her statement was followed quickly by how much fun she had, and asking if she can go again tomorrow.  I tell her she needs to wait until next week, and next week mummy will be the first one there doing blow fish on the window when it is time to pick you up.  Promise. 


  1. It happens to us all Cath, love the way we feel worse than they do xx

    1. She is still saying, "Oh look, mummy did not forget me today!" I think this will haunt me. "Oh look, mummy remembered to come to my wedding/ or graduation!"