School pick-up is probably one of those ‘ordinary’ moments in a day that I have mixed emotions about. Little Bean has just started in Year 1 at Primary School, some days it feels like she has been going to school forever and others it feels like she has only been there for a few months. Yesterday she was telling me how the Reception children had gone into the KS1 Hall for their lunch and it immediately transported me back to her first weeks at school this time last year.
I was excited about taking her to school last year but equally excited about picking her up. I knew that she was ready to start school and she didn’t bat an eyelid when it came to saying goodbye. I was grateful for her confidence but a little sad that she was so keen to leave me behind. Picking her up on her first day was exciting, I wanted to know all about her day but I knew from friends and their children that this could be akin to getting blood from a stone! I have always said that I like a challenge, this would be my new challenge.
One year on and I still face that challenge every day so I ask her different questions, I don’t ask “what did you do today?”. Instead I ask “what was the best thing you did today?” or “what was the best/worst part of your day?” or “who did you play with?”. Sometimes these can be just the triggers I need to open the floodgates on the lowdown of her day, others it doesn’t work at all.
When I was pregnant with Jelly Bean, I often found the school pickup quite difficult, I tired easily and the new routine was tough on Little Bean and Beanie Boy. She was tired from a long day at school, Beanie Boy missed having his sister around and so was excited to see her and expected her to play with him as she had always done but she just wanted to relax. This of course caused all kinds of arguments and squabbles so I had to find ways around this. I would do this by planning ahead, if the weather wasn’t very nice we would either put on our raincoats and wellies and go puddle jumping or we would snuggle up under a big fleece blanket and watch a DVD together. Other times I would have crafts set up ready for them to do when we got home or I would take them to see friends or for a walk in the park. Being organised really limited the tension between them and so I have carried that on again this year and so far it seems to be working. I try to do something different with them every day.
I consider myself very lucky to be able to do the school drop-off and pick-up every day as I know that there are many parents out there who do not have that luxury so I intend to make the most of it. Too soon these years will have passed and they will be too embarrassed to have Mum meet them from school . . .
How do you feel about school pick-up? What tactics do you use to find out about your child(s) school day?
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