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11.5.15

That September Thing

It's different when your second one goes through the whole school application process.
You are more aware of how the system works, where to apply, that feeling of whether or not they will get in to your first choice, whether or not you will have to appeal.
It is easier to prepare your child, and to start that conversation earlier. It is a bit more normal for them.
"You'll wear the same uniform your brother wears"
"You will be in that classroom or the other one and either Mrs or Mr will be your teacher. You remember them don't you?"

You can rely on your older child to support their younger sibling. To help them to prepare for the step from preschool to big school.

I looked on Twitter and Instagram the week school places were announced. So many people were going through the same process, and as much as it was nice to see people supporting each other, there was this big feeling for me of "you've gone through it before. It doesn't matter so much to you".
It felt as though those who would be going through the process for the first time were allowed to be more vocal, were allowed to be more emotional, were allowed to be comforted or celebrated for their school choice results.
And I felt I had to stand back.
Equally, I didn't announce our school choice result because I didn't feel it was anyone's business. No one needs to know whether or not we got our school choice. I am quite strict on keeping the boys school life private. I don't share the school name, location or uniform colour. I don't even share the teachers names because you know, Google.
I was surprised at how open people were about school choices, and their applications. At the amount of people who were announcing the results on Twitter, when their husbands were asleep next to them. It felt odd to me that strangers knew the results before family.
School applications to me are a personal and private thing. And although we, as bloggers, share a lot of our lives, we need to really take a step back sometimes and think, seriously, about child safety.
A quick Google can bring up addresses of some bloggers, and we only need to know that you got into your catchment to work out which school your child goes to. And, we probably know enough about your child to be able to pretend to be an aunty or uncle. You know where I'm going with this, right?
Anyway, I digress.

I suppose for a while I've been very laid back about Harry starting school. But then now, it's kind of hit me. And that feeling of having to stand back and let everyone else get on with it because I felt that it wasn't as important for me. But it is.

Having your second child start school is easier in some ways. I know the process of settling him in. I know the uniform and what he will need on his first day.
I don't need to panic about school lunches, or sick day and absent processes.
I know the teachers, I know their rules and their attitudes. I know how to talk to them and Harry recognises them too.
I know to prepare for the tired tantrums and meltdowns that he may experience due to the sudden long days.
I know how to deal with uneaten lunchboxes and school uniforms that went on clean and came home covered in grass stains and mud.

What I don't know though, is how to come home to an empty house.
How to have my distraction not here. Because that's what your second child is.
When the first one goes to school you can keep your mind busy with the second one.
Dropping one off at school upset, or after you both having a small fall out, is easier when you come home to another one who can comfort you.
But a quiet house and those familiar sounds just gone. Leaving you in silence.
I don't know how to prepare for that. I don't know how to distract myself from missing my older child, and my younger one.

I don't know how I will feel knowing that both of my children are now in the care of other people. And are not completely relying on me.
They are both able to take instructions from another woman, to have another woman comfort them, teach them, discipline them.

I am excited for Harry, as I was excited for Charles when he started school too. I know he is ready for it and that he will thrive.
I know he will have his hard days when he is tired and would rather be at home.
I know there will be people he will clash with, but also people who he will bond with and have the most wonderful friendships with.
I know he will have his big brother, and his big brothers friends to look after him and comfort him if he needs it.
It might be my second time, and it might be familar in some ways. But in others it's so so new.

Harry is such a big character. He is such a mummy's boy. He is always there, right by my side. Or on my lap. Or climbing on me someway.

I know he will be fine.
But me? I don't know if I will.