Taking Stock - September 10, 2012

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THERE are some days in your life you never forget and first days at school are most definitely one of them.

Not, of course, your own first day at school.

I’d be hard pressed to recall anything about the day I started in reception class.

In fact, the only thing from the whole first year I can recall is being tied to my chair with a skipping rope (back then such things weren’t frowned upon) for being out of my chair too often.

People I work with now might claim I’ve learned very little from that encounter – even now I have issues with sitting still and attention span.

I hope the same isn’t true for The Munchkin who’s just set off on her own education journey.

She is very excited about the whole thing.

For weeks now she’s been asking ‘how many sleeps’ until she can start school.

The whole countdown was punctuated with sighs as she was told there were still days, or weeks to go before the big day.

In fact, she’d been asking for so long, it all seemed a bit unreal when that big day arrived.

The uniform, like a Christmas stocking, was hung out the night before, alarms were set, even breakfast was put out to ensure everything went as smooth as possible.

And didn’t she look cute in her uniform even if, thanks to My Good Wife deciding to buy everything at least one size too big, it did rather drown her.

I’ll be the first to admit I shed a little tear at the school gate as she ran off into the classroom for the first time. It was, after all, an emotional moment – a sign my little girl was growing up.

As for that first day, well it all seemed to be over so quickly.

The main reason for that, of course, is that it only lasted a couple of hours – barely time to get home and make a brew, never mind fit in any useful activities.

It’s a far cry from when I started school.

Back then, off you were packed on the first day and that was that.

Somebody might point you in the direction of a lukewarm portion of mince and mash, washed down with jam sponge and custard at lunch time.

If you were lucky, one of the bigger children wouldn’t make off with your carton of suspiciously watery milk or send you flying across the playground during an ill-timed game of British Bulldogs.

But you were, right from the start, in it for the long haul.

These days the little ones are eased into school life, so much so that it’ll be another two weeks before The Munchkin gets her first taste of school dinners.

Good news, maybe, for the little ones, but for working parents a nightmare.

There’s no chance of getting any serious work done during a school day barely longer than an episode of The X Factor.

It almost feels like, even though we’ve been through the drama of the first day, I’m still waiting for my little girl to start school.