A child goes to school: can the UK me­dia con­tain it­self any­more?

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - OPINION - david looby david.looby@peo­ple­news.ie

ACHILD started school last week. Not just any child. It was the cutest, most stylishly dressed, most im­por­tant child since the child in the manger. The third in line to the throne, Ge­orge, was all over the news last week, of­fer­ing some lev­ity dur­ing days of apoc­a­lyp­tic rhetoric and apoc­a­lyp­tic weather fore­casts.

The cherub-faced royal was an­a­lysed to the shoelaces by ex­perts on telly. There are few morn­ings as ex­cit­ing for an par­ent as the first day at school morn­ing, es­pe­cially for the first born.

I had none of Wil­liam’s wide-eyed ex­cite­ment as I legged it up to my daugh­ter’s school as she re­turned af­ter a sum­mer which dis­ap­peared in the blink of an eye.

There was a lot of furore lead­ing up to the big day, a mix­ture of an­tic­i­pa­tion about meet­ing the new teacher and panic (most of which il­log­i­cal) about not hav­ing ev­ery­thing needed.

Over the sum­mer The Whirl­wind Princess has emerged as a real char­ac­ter, prone to wit­ti­cisms, spon­ta­neous mor­ti­fy­ing dec­la­ra­tions (for me) and se­nior coun­sel like cross ex­am­i­na­tion tac­tics.

She even asked if we could do home­work with her over the sum­mer months.

For me they passed like a breeze, es­pe­cially lunchtimes, when, free from the shack­les of the daily school-to-creche drop at 1.30 p.m., I en­joyed un­in­ter­rupted leisurely one hour lunches, (well when I wasn’t hang­ing up clothes and do­ing the dishes).

There were two sum­mer camps for my daugh­ter to en­joy, one for dance and per­for­mance and an­other for sports and fun ac­tiv­i­ties. Also trips with her brother to stay with her grand­par­ents and vis­its to Kerry, along with a good few day trips. The re­turn of rou­tine was not greeted with joy and bot­tles of bub­bly in casa Looby. Lists were fever­ishly drawn up with the chil­dren’s Mammy and apart from some in­ter­lock­ing of horns over which af­ter school ac­tiv­i­ties to have our daugh­ter at­tend, it all ran smoothly enough. That was un­til we re­mem­bered a few days into the term that we had for­got­ten to reg­is­ter The Lit­tle Fella for pri­mary school next year.

In the rush to get the socks, pinafores, pen­cil cases and wa­ter bot­tle, we had to­tally for­got­ten our sec­ond born.

Not some­thing Wil­liam and Kate would do, that’s for sure.

Vi­sions of driv­ing to two dif­fer­ent schools ev­ery morn­ing and lunch flooded the amyg­dala of my brain.

I was in­con­solable for five min­utes. Then I looked at the A4 page my daugh­ter handed me af­ter her first day of school and no­ticed that reg­is­tra­tion was only be­gin­ning and all was well with the world again.

The first few days back were great re­ally as I got to re­con­nect with some of the other par­ent war­riors who drop and col­lect their chil­dren to and from school in all kinds of weather. My daugh­ter’s class­mates will be with her all through her ed­u­ca­tion which is spe­cial in and of it­self and be­ing part of a won­der­ful small school com­mu­nity cre­ates a fa­mil­iar at­mos­phere all its own.

I love this time of year; which from child­hood al­ways marked the be­gin­ning of a new phase of life, even as the chilly weather sets in. To that end I’ve started a cre­ative writ­ing course, cre­ative writ­ing be­ing some­thing I have, in the past, been ac­cused of at times in my cur­rent role.

As some­one who al­ways writes, be it scraps of sto­ries or po­ems, it’s time to test my­self now.

Ge­orge on hisway to his­first day of school.

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