This time last year I was in a very similar situation to thousands of unhappy parents all around the country - I had to watch in horror as my sweet little girl left for her very first day of school. It was a difficult experience, one that gives me a horrendous sense of foreboding when I think I have to live through this traumatic experience twice again in the next couple of years.
To help some other parents through what I would describe as "the poopiest day ever", I've broken down the five stages of your child starting school.
My baby can't be starting school. They are too little. They were only born, like, a year ago. How will they cope? How will I cope?
Nope. Not happening.
What if they hate it? What if they hate their teacher? What if their teacher hates them? What if they don't make friends, don't get invited to parties, don't eat their lunch, etc, etc.
(BTW - they will eat their lunch, including all the things they refuse to eat at home.)
"Let me brush your hair before we leave the house and we'll go to the park on the way home."
"Do your homework before dinner and you can have pudding."
"Walk a little bit faster and we won't have to sign the late book - AGAIN!"
Sharing the excitement of your child learning to read words for the very first time, listening to them happily chatting about their day at school. Maybe this isn't so bad.
My child is learning, growing and happy. This school thing is okay.
There is also the acceptance that you will receive 30 emails a week about various school events, most of which require some kind of participation that you will never quite be prepared for. World Book Day costume anyone? Victorian Day? Bake sale? Arrrrrgggghhhh. Maybe I'm still working on the acceptance!
Books to help you through this difficult year
To help you through their first year (that first horrible, HORRIBLE year when your little person isn't at home making a mess anymore - I miss the mess!!!), I've picked out my top 5 books to help you survive your child's first year at school.