Thursday, February 4, 2016
First Day Back
The Kids started back at school yesterday, four happy campers entering Years 2, 4, and 6, and therefore the final year my little gang of 4 will be together at the same school for a while before Eleanor heads off to High School next year. She is in the wars though - a bunged up knee from dancing, a sore mouth from having new wires on her braces the day before and not enough sleep thanks to a certain 3 year old visitor during the night who was no doubt feeding off all the new school year excitement and wanting to soak up as much time as possible before 'losing' his 4 playmates.
They all started nagging me as usual to get them to school at the earliest possible time to allow for maximum socialisation with their friends before the bell rings. "Come on Mum, we're going to be late!", they all chime in. I remind them that it's only 8.05, that they're re not even allowed to be at School until 8.10 and that School officially starts at 8,40. It's only a 3 minute drive to School so I stand at the kitchen sink and slowly pour milk into my second cup of beloved coffee. I think about the parents around the world that have to wake their children up in the mornings, who struggle to get them ready and out the door without being late. I can't even imagine. It has always been the other way around in this house. Maybe my Kids don't get out enough. "But Mum, George is on the gate on Wednesdays so we need to go now!"
Instead of lamenting the craziness of having the morning school run dictated by their desire to see their friends and scheduled down to the minute depending on whose turn it is to open and close the gate I can't help but marvel at their time management skills (obviously not from me!) and the way they have once again joined a caucus to sort an issue out and come up with their own plan where everyone is happy. "Who's on Friday then?", I ask. "There's 4 of you and 5 days in the school week so what happens on the 5th day?" "Anyone does it, we all take turns but mostly Charles does it because he's the last one in and closest to the door. We're just waiting for Flynn to grow up and take that day". They have it all sorted. I look at Flynn in the rearview mirror and figure he has another year before being destined for his new role. I also start fantasising about a week when every child takes turns cooking dinner.
I decide to abandon thoughts of drinking my coffee there and instead grab the good camera to take the obligatory first-day-of-school photo before piling the travelling circus into the car. We spend the first 10 seconds in the car flinching as school bags get chucked across the different rows to meet up with their rightful owners whilst I juggle my second cup of coffee in my right hand whilst sticking my head out the window and ordering the Whippets to 'stay'. The music gets turned up loud and "Fast Car" is playing. I say I love this song but prefer Tracy Chapman's original version that we listen to at home so much more. Eleanor agrees but insists the original is sung by a man and we have a heated debate. It doesn't often happen but I love it when I'm right. The second cup of coffee gets sipped on the way down the driveway in between dodging the potholes and then polished off while George negotiates the front gate. No Whippets escaped and no coffee was splashed on my clothes. Success.
After I dropped them off, I did what I always do. Coffee with the school mums before going home to stare out of the window for approximately two hours. I then take a deep breath and assess the post summer holiday carnage that surrounds me. It can all wait. Instead, I unwrap the new Calendar, rip off the first month and put it directly into the rubbish bin whilst wondering just what the heck happened to January. It appears my year starts on February 3. Every year. It's now 2.30 and the Whippets stand at the edge of the balcony signalling the imminent arrival of the school bus. I can't wait to hear all their first-day-back stories. I have a youtube video of the fabulous Tracy Chapman on my iphone on standby. 2016, let's go!