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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Calling all urban, sexy, mysterious soldiers. I need you, my kid is starting school.

I'm already crying writing this post and we are only one sentence in.

Not a good sign but we'll press on like the urban, sexy, mysterious soldiers we are. (Look, I'm trying to be brave so I thought the image of me being an urban, sexy, mysterious solider might do the trick.)

We're deep in the bowels of school holidays at the moment. Normally I pray for the end of school holidays as a sugar dependant child may pray for cake, but not these ones folks.

I never want them to end.

I want them to stretch out in front of me for months if not years! These school holidays are very special as they are my last with my wonderful daughter Odette.

You see Odette is leaving me.

Nay, abandoning me to selfishly start primary school AND MUMMY ISN'T COPING WELL AT ALL.

(God the tears are overwhelming me now, mascara has just gone up my nostrils - it's getting dramatic up in here.)

I've already been through this once with my eldest daughter Marchella who is heading into grade 5 this year. When Chella started school I was hosting Breakfast radio in Perth so I was just glad she had somewhere to go while I was a work thus alleviating some of the crushing guilt I had being a working Mother. Her first day at School was a happy one for me, this is not the case with Odie's first day.

I have been at home with Odie full time since she was 2 - I decided I wanted to do that as I missed so much of Chella's early childhood working. So after I quit the radio Odie and I became each others' side-kicks. I think this is why I'm not coping well with the prospect of her heading to school; I just can't imagine my days without her.

The highlight of my day is seeing what Odette will dress herself in, she has developed quite a unique style     and is fearless when it comes to fashion.

Everyday at about 8am Odette will announce to the house:

"I'm getting dressed, NO-ONE can come in until I say."

This morning we were treated to pink, wet-look Lycra leggins, a tule leopard print skirt, sequinned cardigan, pink vans and a blue t-shirt with ruffles around the neck. There will always be several necklaces  and COPIOUS amounts of perfume she has stolen from me and hid in a secret location in her room. Her eye shadow is sometimes on her eyes and her lipstick is usually in the vicinity of her lips. She is nothing short of SPECTACULAR.

Now all I'll see each day is a checked school dress and sensible shoes. Humph.

I am worried sick. I am worried they won't get her. I am worried her lovely, creative, loopy spirit will be crushed. I'm just worried about EVERYTHING now that I won't be there to protect her ALL THE TIME and indulge her unique view of the world.

My eldest is savvy, smart, independent and sensible. I could send her out to live on her own now if need be. Odette is, well she's a little too much like me I guess and that is a HUGE concern.

Don't worry I know I am being irrational and dramatic. I know it's all probably going to be fine. I know this will upset me more than it will her. I DON'T CARE! It gives me a stomach ache every time I think about it.

There is a poem by Victor Buno called "I trust you treat her well."  I remember vividly hearing Tracy Bartram do her own version for when her son started school and so I thought I'd do my own as well.

Dear World,

Today I bequeath to you a little girl with green eyes in a checkered school dress she'll have altered to make it more "Barbie."

I can also guarantee she's done something fabulous with the standard issue school cardie.

Her laughter is loud and a little maniacal she will ONLY ride HER glittery bicycle.

I hope you treat her well.

I'm afraid someone will tell her it's "Frog" not "Froggett" and correct "Huggle" to "cuddle" can you stop that from happening?

Her Mother is mental and a little bit musical so she when she sings her answers make can you make sure there's clapping?

She likes raw pasta and will only drink water from this one manky plastic purple cup.

I'll level with you now.

Alls I'm saying is,

World, don't f$*k it up!

I hope you treat her well....

Your friend Em.

Yes I know, I've already called Leonard Cohen to suggest a collaboration on his next book of poems...

Badly written poems aside I decided to do a little research on how to prepare myself for Odette's first day of School... I looked and I looked.. There was plenty of "how to prepare the child" crap but nothing on how I CAN COPE WITH THIS IMPENDING SEPARATION. Can someone alert Kaz Cooke to this?! I need her to write a book in 2 weeks as there is jack shit all out there for the "anxious, hysterical Mother."

I thought maybe I could have a crack at writing a guide to the first day of school for Mums.

Em's guide to your child's first day at school.

1. Get up early, find a nice private place and have your first cry before everyone else is up. This is the big one. You can snot it up, heave and lay in the foetal position without anyone knowing.

2. Make sure you look amazing. Pick a fabulous outfit, do your make-up and ensure everything is WATERPROOF. I mean get that synchronised swimmer shit, the stuff that wouldn't move during a hurricane.

3. Once at School immediately try to win over the teacher. If he/she likes you best then he/she may play favourites with your child.

4. Don't get caught with the hip flask in your bag.

5. Find a nice bush where you can spend the day watching if need be.

6. After the school have you removed, hide around the corner crying some more. Don't worry your face has the synchronised simmer war paint on no one will know.

7. Home time! Rush over to your child, hold on for dear life and break it to them you are considering home schooling.

8. You're welcome.

I know you know that is EXACTLY how my first day is going to play out, I'm just trying to get some of you to behave as badly as I am going to so I'm not the only one..

I still have two weeks left so hopefully by then I will have gained some perspective....

If your baby is starting school this year, I'm with you sisters and brothers - let's do this thing together.

Em x


Amy said...

My son is only starting two day a week kinder, but this is EXACTLY how I feel!!!! Especially the part about maybe they won't get him or maybe break his loopy spirit! That part made me crazy teary. Thank god you moved on to those proactive, helpful, rational suggestions.
I shall take your list and made you proud!
Good luck to Odette and good luck to you. God speed mama!!!

Amycakes xoxo

Karli said...

Em, I'm a teacher so I'm going to pretend I am now an urban, sexy, mysterious soldier who is entrusted with these lovely beings (mine aren't cute Year 1ers though...more like smelly Year 8-12 boys, but still!). I hope she loves school and learning!

Judd Exley said...

I'm sending this post to Wifeage, because this is one urban, sexy, mysterious soldier reporting that you just perfectly described our little girl's First Day of School (yes, capitalised goddamit) last year.

A whole year Em! Thank you for reminding me of the weirdness, the quiet peripheral searching for a New Best Friend, the squinting scrutinisation of potential bullies, and the puppydog pleading eyes to the teacher to please be nice to my little girl even though I know she's already taken a texta and *dinged* several children into various animals and will likely do more until her animal kingdom is complete.

Now THIS year... heh, this year they have to keep her for the WHOLE DAY, THE WHOLE WEEK. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Naomi said...

My baby is going to high school this week. I can't even look at his uniform without crying.
I am a wreck. Come Wednesday I'll put on my best daytime dress, and my most industrial strength waterproof makeup and take my biggest sunnies. Then after he had gone and I have cried my way to work I'll console 25 other mums and dads as they say goodbye to their babies on their first day of kinder. Trying to remember they need me to be all together and not tearing up telling them about my baby.
I'll save my hip flask for after work.

Sam said...

Oh Em, feeling your pain fellow soldier! My little free spirit was nearly broken last year in reception, new year new school with big sis. Hopefully this new teacher has some spunk and enjoys her room full of individuals xx