37 Married to very patient husband Harry, and mother to Edie, four
The school that Edie will start at in September has broken up for the holidays, reminding me that… well, that Edie will start school in September. I’m in shock, I think. Me, the mother of a schoolchild. How is that possible? Anyway, shock is the only excuse I can think of to explain why I forgot to buy her uniform before the school shop closed for the summer – meaning that she will have to turn up on her first day wearing an outfit cobbled together from George at Asda. Start as you mean to go on, I say.
A couple of months ago, we were invited to a welcome evening, where the headmaster wowed us with performance statistics and one parent asked if the school taught Mandarin. The answer was yes, but not to four-year-olds. My heart was racing through the whole thing – would the other parents like me? Would I have to start dressing in top-to-toe athleisurewear from Lululemon every morning when dropping Edie off at the school gates? But then Harry reminded me that I wasn’t the one about to start school, and told me to pull myself together. It’s OK for him. He was packed off to board at the age of six months (or something similar) and has a heart of stone when it comes to education.
Edie can now count to 20 and write her name. She can use the toilet completely independently and stand her ground in an argument about what to have for breakfast. The other day, after I had gone to LA to do an interview (should I drop that in when chatting to the mums?), Edie told me – when I refused her another chocolate ice cream – that I could ‘go back to America and stay there forever, thank you very much’. But she is still my baby (‘I am not a baby, Mummy,
I am a BIG GIRL!’). She still crawls into bed between us every night, and calls me Mama. She still has a blankie, still asks me to kiss her ‘hurts’ better when she falls over. She starts school in September, but I’ve decided that for the rest of the summer, I’m going to treat her like a newborn. I’m not letting go of her, until I absolutely have to.
Will I have to dress in athleisurewear every morning when dropping Edie off at the school gates?