It’s end of term week and nearly the end of another turbulent year. Just getting this far feels like a massive achievement.
We’ve made it to the last week of term of the longest term, which has seemed longer than ever this year – maybe even more so than last year because the uncertainty associated with the pandemic has now become entrenched. It’s a bit of a race against time as Omicron has yet to take off in our school, at least. By Friday this may, of course, have changed significantly…
This term has seemed more taxing in our house mainly because two of the kids have started a new school and because daughter three was off school from May until September due to the GCSEs so has got completely out of practice with getting up in the morning, let alone 7am.
Only son, meanwhile, is so impressed to be at secondary school that he is getting up extra early to shower and the alarm on his phone is like the sound of a lorry reversing so it wakes everyone, except daughter three who only gets up after about three rounds of wake-up calls. I can hear her alarm going off downstairs, but when I go into her room she seems blissfully unaware.
When I come down at 7am only son is showered, fully dressed and has already tucked into his advent calendar. Only son gets very frustrated that daughter three is continually late getting into the car for the 20-minute journey to school every single day and has been pushing it even later as the term has got longer. Currently, we are arriving with about four minutes for him to get into school, put his stuff in his locker and get to class.
Daughter three has an elaborate morning routine which, it appears, cannot be shortened. I have tried to coach her, telling her I got the whole morning routine [bar breakfast which I ate en route to work] down to circa five minutes in my early 20s. This means nothing to her. It is like it happened in the Middle Ages when ‘looking good’ was not a thing that affected your entire sense of self and when dentists did not recommend a very intensive brushing and flossing regime.
The end of term at secondary school is a breeze compared to primary school. There are no teacher presents, form lists for cards, costumed events and so forth. Only son had a no school uniform day, but he is in year 7 and a boy and no-one really cares what he wears as long as it doesn’t stand out. For girls it is a total nightmare.
I’ve bought a box of emergency cards, but apart from that, I’m anticipating no sudden demands for a Greek toga outfit or similar in the next days. On the other hand, homework doesn’t seem to abate. I get pinged every day with a list of what homework only son needs to complete. I get pinged A LOT. Only son is keeping up so far, but in his ‘interim report’ [which is basically a list of numbers and letters and reduces him to just a list of statistics] he got a ‘significant concern’ for his art homework, which he thinks is because he handed it in a few hours late, but on the right day. Only son loves art. He has found it a vital way to express himself over the last two dreadful years. Surely that is the main point of art? I hope he is not put off as a result of the report.
Daughter three rang gloomily about her report mid-week. In my book, just getting to school, making friends and trying your best is enough after the last two years. So we will be celebrating the achievement of getting to the end of term and making new friends, which is probably the most important part of school, as the Covid lockdowns have taught us only too clearly.