Not the greatest photograph, but above you see the face of a child who was not ready to be a school boy on his first day of school. After the greatest of struggles to even get out of the house (and a great deal of sweating and stressing from the mother ship) I took this picture as a last ditch attempt to join in with the series of portraits swamping my newsfeed lately but frankly, there was no way this was ever going to make the cut and the stance and general attitude you see before you is nothing compared to the emotional storm that was brewing away.
I did manage to get him into the car eventually and we then picked his dad up on the way to school to join us, before arriving with about two minutes to spare. Unfortunately those two minutes were spent trying to persuade a four year old to get up off the pavement. In the end we had to resort to a lop-sided grapple of a screaming, squirming, crying child across the road and up the alleyway, across the playground, round the school buildings and into Reception zone where the door was just being shut behind the teacher who had assumed in-take was over.
I was stressed and distressed, it was a fairly warm day so my temperature gauge was way up, but I had a fairly good idea that EJ would be fine once we were out of sight. It has happened before (at pre-school, the child-minders and even with other members of the family) and it’s never been a major ongoing issue. EJ’s dad wasn’t so sure but a phone call about ten minutes later confirmed that he had settled down and was absolutely fine.
The thing about EJ is that he’s young – a late July birthday means that he is one of the youngest in his year group and I had, at one time, pondered long and hard over the idea of deferring schooling for a year, however, practically speaking it would not have been possible.
The other thing about EJ is that he is very sociable, and loves to make new friends and has always been better than his brother at independent play. For this reason I had a hunch that he would actually probably love Reception year.
For this first week he is only going in for a couple of hours in the afternoons, so I duly arrived to collect him at 3.10pm, still somewhat anxious about how he would react to his previous abandonment. I needn’t have worried, he came out smiling, ran over to the nearest slide and whizzed down, going on to tell me that he likes his teacher and had made two new friends.
The following afternoon on drop off it was like the polar opposite to the day before, he was excited to get into his uniform, prompted me to kiss him goodbye and then ran into the building without so much as a backwards glance!
Just to demonstrate how happy this boy was at the end of day one, the below photo was my belated ‘front door school uniform’ shot with his big bro:
Another milestone moment.