Tuesday, 11 September 2012


My youngest child started school yesterday - and he didn't shed a tear.  I was so proud.  He had a lovely morning, came home full of beans and with some exciting tales to tell (he has a vivid imagination though, so I am not sure if everything happened exactly as he related it.  Stampeding elephants in the playground?  Perhaps not...)

Anyway, the tears came today.  Floods of them. 

It is hard to tell if a child is going to cry when he or she starts school - two of mine haven't, and now two have.  On the bright side, my younger daughter, who cried every morning for months for the first year, now loves school so much that she resents the holidays.  So it's not the end of the world if they cry.

It feels like it though.  The tears were falling so fast out of his beautiful blue eyes that he reminded me of the old advert for Walkers Salt and Vinegar crisps with Gary Lineker (which referenced Gazza).  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8OLuUjXbsI)

I used to wait with my daughter and calm her down.  Sometimes it would take half an hour before she stopped crying and I could leave, but I think that may have prolonged the agony - even by the end of the school year she still had to hold her teacher's hand before I could go. 

The reason why I felt that I couldn't leave her crying was because of how the teaching assistants used to try to pull her from me as she screamed.  It reminded me of being in St Anns, when I was nineteen, trying to hold on to my Mum at the end of visiting time and being restrained by the nurses.  I couldn't bear the thought of that, so I had to make sure she was ok and calm before I left.

But hey ho - he's not having a psychotic episode, just a little wobble, and he's only at school.  And I am a grown up now - I have come to terms with my past (I hope).  So I am trying it a different way this time - I just handed him over to the teaching assistants, and hurried up the road home, trying not to cry myself.  I took the dog for a long walk and felt a lot better afterwards - and I am sure he was absolutely fine as soon as I was out of the school gate.

I think I will take him for a swim this afternoon.  He'll like that... 


  1. It's understandable the way you thought back to your time at St Anns and you wanted to protect your daughter from that. But it's good that you are trying your best for your children and trying different ways to help them. Just remember, you are doing your best and no one is perfect! Even Supernanny would probably make mistakes if she had children! People learn from their mistakes and the more (small) mistakes that are made, the better the outcome usually is! You are doing your best for your children and you are doing such a good job! Don't let anyone (yourself included!) tell you otherwise.

    I was terrible when I first went to school. My parents tried to get me to go to Playschool when I was two and a half. They gave up fairly quickly but stuck at making sure I went to Nursery aged three. I didn't make it easy for them though, I clung onto whichever parent had drawn the short straw and had taken me there and refused to let go of them. It was a case of detaching all four limbs from my parent and then the teacher would have to hang onto me whilst my parent left. Apparently my screams could be heard all the way up the road whilst my parent walked home!

    I don't think I ever liked school!

    I'm just about to upload a video to YouTube which explains briefly some of the bullying I received in High School but the video is mainly about what to do if being bullied. A lot of my problems came from the bullying and I desperately want to help young people going through what I was going through. Once the video has been uploaded, I'll be posting the link on Twitter and my blog. It's a much shorter one than the last one, it's 'only' four minutes 19 seconds!!

    Have a good swim this afternoon with your little one. I'm sure his Mummy is proud of him being at school and he is looking forward to making his Mummy even prouder when he tells her what he has done today :-)

  2. Thanks. You were right, he had a lovely morning. Louise x

  3. I was one of those kids who loved school and nursery. I loved to be with other children and learning new things. My mother hardly ever saw me but then I am not sure my mother loved me much.

  4. It's a difficult life at times, isn't it? But one way or another, we all get through it, and hopefully learn something in the process.

    One positive thing in your case is that you learned to socialise young - and sometimes, especially as we grow older, our friends provide the emotional support and sense of security that our families cannot or do not.

    I don't suppose your comment required a reply - but it seemed rude not to leave one. I wish you all the best. Louise x

  5. Another thing I just thought of - some people love, but cannot show it. Maybe that was your mother's problem...