Mummy is currently back to school BONKERS!
As parents we know that school can be one of the best times inlife. You can pretend to be a sausage all day, colour your hands purple, you don’t have to worry about paying bills and singing old MacDonald is mandatory.
Some littles will run to the gates, oversized backpacks bouncing. Others, like my own son, will drag their newly bought black shoes and hide a shy head in the soft material of mummy’s top.
Because she smells like lavender and safety.
Some children struggle with school.
Making friends, adding up and writing things down. Parents too can struggle with the hurricane of emotions and the chaos that is the school run.
An eight o clock obstacle course of sock hunting, gelled hair coiffing, calling your child’s name every four seconds and minivan mayhem. The school run is more stressful than Christmas shopping and the dentist.
Mornings; when the sun sneaks in through the blinds and parents stagger downstairs to spoon-feed coffee into their mouths. They consist of bribing littles to eat, brush their teeth and to not smear porridge across their dubiously ironed uniform.
Then you get to work and realise you have forgotten your knickers.
How can we ensure our children are school ready?
It is claimed that children are increasingly starting school without getting enough sleep, completing homework, eating breakfast or bringing the correct books and PE kit.
A perfect school day starts with the night before!
Littles love a routine. When you collect your child from school ask them to tell you one good thing about their day. Do their set reading when you get back as otherwise tiredness leads to phonic based rage. Play hot wheels and enjoy some quality child focused play. Before the weather descends into constant rain get outside and play!
Check PE kits are not growing fungus and wash accordingly.
Rinse and fill the batman water bottle the night before and put it in the fridge. Make sure it is labelled to avoid water based hysteria. Make up lunchboxes for those parents devout enough to make carefully cut sandwiches for their kids.
If it has rained put shoes and coats to dry as no one wants a soggy neck the next morning. Again double check everything your child owns has their name in it. Buy a fabric pen rather than the iron on labels. They last a total of two washes before disintegrating into good intentions.
Ensure littles have dinner (not too late as digesting food can keep little tummy’s awake). If they suddenly decide they are peckish at bedtime as my son does, warm milk, a banana and bread and butter are simple snacks.
Have half an hour wind down before bed. Turn screens off. Read a story whenever you can.
Imagination is for everyone.
We are a porridge and Weetabix household. School breakfasts want to be easy and able to give your kids enough energy to terrorise their teacher for the day.
Our favourite are bagels and cream cheese (sneak on some tomato), brioche followed by yoghurt, scrambled eggs with ham (green if you wish!), eggy bread and good old fashioned wholemeal toast. Slice bananas on toast and drizzle with honey for a sweet treat. My little boy loves juice which I water down to avoid a premature visit from the tooth fairy. Smoothies are also fun to make.
Put clean uniform out the night before. Hide the superhero and character dress up clothes or your child will have a strop that they cannot be the Gruffalo in school.
Immerse your offspring in a warm bubbly bath and marinade until wrinkled.
Set appropriate sleep patterns
15 hours a day for under-fives, 10 hours for primary school pupils and at least nine hours for older children. That’s the theory. Parents try and get 5 hours. If you are lucky.
Make sure the room is dark (with a nightlight for monsters if necessary!) Sprinkle lavender. Put 47 teddies in bed with children. Make sure they are warm, not too hot. It’s important to pick a good mattress for children’s growing bones the correct degree of support. As adults, we all know that sleeping on a cheap or well-used mattress is uncomfortable – and leads to a restless night that leaves us feeling groggy and achy in the morning.
Welcome to the mastery that is Eve sleep. My little boy and I are now switching beds. It arrived promptly in a yellow box, which as serious adults we had to get in. It looks quite thin…then you let it out of the plastic and it expands faster than me pregnant. You don’t have to worry about springs, its new generation memory foam. I just lay face down on it. It’s firm, deep but with a lovely soft touch and is good for getting bounced on by littles. After being unwell my son had been co sleeping but he snuggled up and slept all night in his new bed. In fact he slept so well I had to go check for signs of life. The quality of it is likely to last him years.
If you don’t find it comfortable I would eat Spiderman.
That said in the likely event your kid sleeps in set an alarm. You don’t want morning to be a rush. Though somehow they inevitably will be.
DON’T forget the freshly laundered PE kit.
Wait for the inevitable ‘Mummmmy, can I play Pokémon?’ whilst you are stuffing children plus book bags into their seats.
At the gates, tell your littles you love them, to have a lovely day and watch them go into the classroom with equal measures of relief and an aching pang of missing.
Disclaimer: We were very generously given an Eve children’s single mattress for little man. The opinions are our honest opinion.