For the last three weeks, DS has been attending school in the afternoons for two and a quarter hours a day. This is not very long.
I think I am rebelling at some level. Before DS started school, he was at nursery for 3 10 hour days a week, so I am used to having 3 days worth of child free time. To go back to 10 hours a week has been a bit of a shock for me.
By the time I’ve walked up to the school and back, it only really leaves me with about two hours to Get Stuff Done. Stuff like housework and phone calls and writing, that are more difficult to do when I have a small child underfoot. But of course, because I am not sensible and prefer to fritter away my precious spare time on the internet, I more often than not end up heading back up to school to collect him having done nothing productive.
But today it all changes.
Today DS started doing mornings at school. Before now, half the class went in the morning and half went in the afternoon so that the teacher had a chance to get to know the kids in a smaller group. But now the whole class is finally together. And the parents get around an extra hour of child-free time, depending on when we drop them off.
I talked to DS about how there will be more children in the classroom from today, but he has no concept of being in school for an extra hour. All he knows is that he will have lunch after school, instead of before, for a few days and that this morning he was able to join his sisters in getting into their uniforms. Up until now, he’s had to wait until after lunch before it’s uniform time.
He also knows, that in a few days time that he will be going to school fulltime. He’s looking forward to this tremendously as he is longing to eat lunch with his new friends.
I am also looking forward to it. It’s been a long 11 years to get to this point, where I will no longer have a little one at home with me for at least part of the week.
I’m going to be able to write, do house work and walk the dogs without having to fit it around the wants and needs of a small child. I will ‘have my life back’, so everyone likes to tell me. It’s the eating my lunch alone that I’m not looking forward to.
Mostly I can’t help feeling sorry for the teacher trying to deal with the chaos that must arise from mixing two lots of 4-5 year olds together, especially on a day like today where it’s raining and they will have to stay indoors.
But I’m feeling smugly grateful for that extra hour.