The Five Stages Of Your Child Starting School

You start the summer holidays in complete denial. You put all thoughts of your small child going to school out of your head. You plan something every single day. THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST SUMMER EVER! You vow not to shout, you buy a scrapbook to record every last second. And inevitably five weeks in you resort to Peppa Pig marathons, fruit shoots and shouting "STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER!". Every three minutes. Whilst it rains outside. The scrapbook remains untouched and that list saying what they need on the first day is shoved in that drawer in the kitchen where the crap lives.

One week before school starts it dawns on you. They are leaving you. The F*CKERS!!! THEY ARE LEAVING YOU! OK so they are going to compulsory education. And they kinda don't really have a choice in the matter. But still. How dare they grow up! How dare they move on! HOW DARE THEY LEAVE YOU BEHIND!

You discuss the following with your husband: home schooling, that thing where you maybe can keep them back from school till they are 5, another baby, a puppy and finally? You end up in a fit of madness buying two guinea pigs. Call them Anna and Elsa and decide they shall be your new offspring. You consider buying a lead and make a Pinterest board of 'Guinea Pig Fancy Dress'.

You look at old baby photos not believing that your little one is all grown up. You suddenly stumble across teeny tiny pink socks, or lovely little 'first shoes'. Your memory (the sod) starts to recall things long forgotten about first words, first steps. Adventures you had. Times you spent before they were on a schedule of 9-3pm. You feel that life will never ever be the same. It can't be. They are one step closer to becoming an adult and the day where they will eventually leave you for real. Nights are spent having the odd sob whilst your husband helpfully points out "it's only school for gods sake!".

But he's right. It is only school. You thought you wouldn't cope when they went from a baby bath, to the real bath, from a cot to a bed and when they happily skipped into nursery you thought your heart would shatter into a million pieces and you would never be the same ever again. But? You coped. They thrived and the joy they brought to your life got greater and greater. And anyway? It's just as well they are off to school. As you now have two baby guinea pigs who need an awful lot of attention and love.

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