Back to school and all at different times

School and education


It’s back to school week and all three school-aged kids have helpfully got different start dates. Only son went in yesterday in high dudgeon because it was, he felt, very unfair that he should go back first when he hated school the most. “I don’t want to go to sleep because if I do I will wake up and it will be school,” he protested on Monday night. I’d taken him for an evening swim at the local pool though, knowing that would work its magic. He was soon fast asleep. Daughter two goes in today at 1.15pm when she normally has lunch. I am not sure of the logic of this. She will essentially have lunch, one lesson and come home again. Plus, due to where we live, it means I drop off, return home and almost immediately have to head back out again. Daughter three, meanwhile, starts on Thursday.

Daughter two has taken to spending most of the latter part of the holiday wearing a hat which makes her look like one of Bill and Ben the Flowerpot men. I think she is sleeping in it. The teens have been living a kind of twilight existence during the holidays which mainly revolves around Christoph Waltz films and eating, with the occasional foray to a charity shop. On Monday night, just after only son had come into our bed, I could hear what sounded like a George Michael rave going on downstairs. Daughter two was doing a full dance routine with her earphones in.

Daughter one is bored of applying for local jobs and has gone global and is threatening to attend a coven or some such. “Paganism is a valid religion, mum,” she told me. “You are just bored and looking for a distraction,” I said, pointing out several barista vacancies in the vicinity.

Daughter three’s friend came round at the weekend. Fortunately, she has a large family and is used to chaos. I apologised for the state of the car. “It’s much worse in ours,” said the friend. Hooray. The friend looked amusedly at daughter two in the flowerpot hat and then disappeared upstairs to daughter three and only son’s room. I explained the sorry saga of the door – I had to axe the middle section when the door jammed and daughter two got stuck in the room [on a school night]. Now only the frame remains. “I need more privacy,” said a miffed daughter three. When I returned half an hour later, you could see straight through the door, but the door frame was closed. I think daughter three was trying to make a statement.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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