The First Of September.


Small Girl went to bed last night saying that she did not want to start school today.

Small Girl cried out, hot and sweaty, at midnight that she did not want to start school today.

Small Girl woke, pale and pinched, complaining of tummy ache and suggesting that maybe she should not start school today.

Did I listen? Would you have listened?

As we turned in the gate to her preschool Small Girl played her final card and vomited up her breakfast. I opened the back door of the car to a scene from The Magic Porridge Pot. Only smellier.

I took a deep breath (immediately regretted it) and assessed my options.

  1. Call it a day and go through the whole First Day routine again tomorrow.
  2. Drive her home for a change of clothes and risk another puke at the second attempt.
  3. Send her in to school half-naked.

I rummaged around in the detritus of a wet summer mouldering in the boot of the car. Amid the wellies and sandy buckets I found a small raincoat. I knew that I had packed a spare ‘bottom half’ (leggings, knickers, socks) in her school bag so we were good to go.

I left my Small Girl, my baby, washed out and smelling of vomit and seaweed.

I drove back just now with clean clothes. Small Girl took me by the hand and showed me the way to the leithreas (bathroom, in Irish) and talked me through the correct use of galunach (soap) and uisce (water).

She showed me, with great pride, the Disney Princess jigsaw that she had just completed but pointed out that there were two in the box so I could go home now and maybe call back when she has that one finished.

I am reeling. It was all chaos, bedlam, snot and tears. Now, just the insistent whirring of the washing machine, a pigeon coo-ing, a car ba-thumping over a speed bump.

I want her back.

10 thoughts on “The First Of September.

  1. Thank you. Six hours later she’s hale and hearty although her teacher did suggest that I bring a basin in the car tomorrow! Small G is prone to car sickness and playschool is 7 miles away up a winding, hilly road so this could be a continuing story!

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  2. I remember dropping my little girl off at school, who told me she could take a bus, at 5 years old….I must of sat there for an hour, just knowing she would need me….she didn’t, she loved school, still does, for my son I worked in the classroom for years…..he was in 4th grade before I could finally walk away and leave him alone….he had no idea I was in panic mode daily…LOL so many years ago, reading your post brings back the memories…thanks….you handed that like an ole pro….well done!!!

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  3. It sounds like the whole process, while somewhat traumatic, helped her adjust – in that she showed you things in the school. Funny how things turn out, isn’t it? I remember when the last of my five went to school. I drove home and just cried most of the day.

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