Bry­ony Gor­don

37 Mar­ried to very pa­tient hus­band Harry, and mother to Edie, four

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - MUM AND ME -

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?

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