Monday It's my daughter's first day at her new school tomorrow; my husband's today (he's a primary deputy head). I'm not sure who is the most nervous. Molly cannot decide whether to have cornflakes or loops for breakfast. I give her cornflakes. She cries; she really wanted loops. I relent and give her loops. She cries. She wanted them without milk. David goes off to his new school, relieved to be away from the noise.
Tuesday David meets his class today; Molly meets her teacher. My second daughter, Hattie, will go to playgroup without Molly for the first time. Breakfast is fraught. I wait for Molly to decide what she wants but unfortunately give it to her in the wrong bowl. More tears. Hattie spills her drink on Daddy's newspaper. Only the baby is calm. He crams Weetabix into his mouth with his fingers, ignoring the chaos.
Wednesday David gets up early to have "a quiet breakfast", but the girls are already downstairs. He gets their breakfast, but demands quiet. He ot a headache yesterday and blamed it not on the class but on the noisy breakfast. He is determined it won't happen again. Molly comes out of school crying. She has no friends to play with at playtime.
Thursday Molly wants muesli for breakfast. We don't have any. She is pacified with toast, as long as it is imprinted with a Barney toast stamper. The baby throws his cornflakes onthe floor, shouting for toast. Hattie spills her drink on Daddy's paper. Molly comes out of school smiling. She has discovered the school has a television and a video. She sings all the way home. David is finding his Years 4 and 5 hard work and very noisy.
Friday Molly doesn't mind what she has for breakfast and skips into school with a bird's nest from granny to show her teacher. David does not skip, but goes off with a smile after a slightly more peaceful breakfast. At the end of the day Molly cries: "Why can't I go tomorrow?" Jane Flynn is taking a break from primary teaching