It's that fun time of year when your Facebook news feed is flooded with photos of kiddies awkwardly posing with their backpacks on their first day of school. This year it was my turn to contribute to the spam, as our eldest started Kindergarten.
I’m not sure who was more excited out of the two of us.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but I also appreciate my time away from them.
The morning of her first day of school started earlier than I would have liked. In her excitement, Miss Three (and a half) decided to emerge from her bedroom at an ungodly hour. Now is a good time to mention I am NOT a morning person. My husband is one of those early risers that loves getting up in the dark. He is, however, under strict instruction that under no circumstance is he to wake me up during his early morning rituals. Doing so would incur an entire day that he’d wish he wasn’t born to see.
Anyway, after being rudely awoken mid pillow dribble, I reluctantly dragged my sheet-imprinted body out of bed and started making breakfast for the overly excited early bird. After a lengthy debate about why she could not have a slice of chocolate cake and coffee for breakfast, Miss Three reluctantly ate a bowl of Weet-Bix and I left her to her own devices as I went to wake and feed the baby.
To my horror, on my return I discovered a heavily tattooed threenager, who had obviously thought it was a great idea to use the pen she’d found on the bench to give herself an edgy look for her first day of school.
15 minutes of intense scrubbing and one remorseful child later, we managed to erase most of the evidence of her hard-core biker past and a sweet, little, pig-tailed angel was revealed. I wrestled her into her uniform, grabbed her bag and lovingly prepared, home baked, healthy lunch (we’ll see how long this lasts before she gets Vegemite sandwiches everyday) and we headed for the door.
Anyone with a baby would know that they like to do their number twos at the most inconvenient time possible. Now was one of those times. An intense look of concentration swept over my 8 month old's face and her eyes got that far away, glassy look - you know the one. A nappy change later, with 10 minutes to spare before the bell rang, we attempted to leave again. This time we made it to the gate before I got covered in baby spew and I dashed inside to change.
Third time lucky, and with me now sporting a terribly mismatched outfit, we managed to trek the whole 200 meters to school and get inside the classroom. I stayed around until class started and then said a quick goodbye and snuck outside before her poor teacher realised what she was getting herself into and started to question her career choice.
I pretty much happy danced my way home, put the baby to sleep and spent a large chunk of my morning back in bed with a coffee in hand. Bliss.
Oh, and our little miss had a wonderful first day of school, of course. She didn’t miss me either!
- Talitha Sprigg