Wednesday, September 1, 2010


It's back to school time and that means in equal measure tears, tantrums and triumphs. Most parents find it difficult to consign their children to full time school, it is when you begin to lose a little bit of control, now they must fend for themselves. Their teacher becomes the fountain of all knowledge and you get used to hearing Mr or Mrs so and so says...

Then there is the difficult issue of friends, for many children they make these as they progress through the infant and junior school and add to this as they continue. How do we make friends though and how do we make them in the first place, this is the conundrum I have been presented with by Heather. She is an adult relater and given the choice would much rather spend her time talking to adults than children of her own age, she is perfectly capable of getting on with children her own age but hasn't to date had what you would call a best friend - she is more of a butterfly flitting from group to group or playing by herself.

It got me thinking about my own friends and I guess you could group them, there are the people that you know well enough to say hello to, usually mums at the school gate, then there are those that are a little closer that your children spend time with so you get to know them a bit better, then there are your best friends. These are the people that you are comfortable with, share your secrets with and spend more time with. I am lucky enough to have friends like this who I have met both a long time ago from college and university and more recent ones who I have met at the school. These are the people that even when you haven't seen them for awhile you can pick up the phone and you know each other well enough to carry on as before. When Heather asked me how you make best friends I was at a loss to explain it though.

In the end I told her that the best thing you can do is be nice, listen to what they have to say and help them out wherever possible and make sure that you have some similar interests. I still don't know how she'll get on Matthew and Lucy seem to make friends naturally and easily but I did remind her that friendship is a two way street, you have to show them respect and talk to one another, share and work at it. I also told her that sometimes you'll fall out and disagree but the best friends are the ones that stay with you through the ups and downs, that forgive you when you make a mistake and give you a shoulder when you need to cry.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Final Countdown

I have just now finished the labelling of the school uniforms, putting PE kits into bags and making sure that the new book bags have names on. The only slight bugbear is that the new name labels haven't arrived yet as they are great for sticking onto cups and bags and inside shoes. The last few days of holiday have begun and they are jam packed as usual, the only thing that has let us down is the weather.

This week we had to cancel a picnic we were looking forward to, thanks to two solid days of rain and showers we decided that soggy sandwiches were not the order of the day. We had what has become our habitual bug throw a spanner in the works as well, at least it was a mild one and didn't last more than 24 hours but even so it meant Heather missing her riding lesson and a pony day that she had been looking forward to.

We have managed to watch Marmaduke, Owen Wilson voices the Great Dane through his adventures to be part of the cool gang after a move to California and yesterday I took Heather to see Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue, a nice message about helping friends and spending time with one another. We completed the library reading quest and the children were delighted to receive their shiny golden medals and are looking forward to receiving their certificates in assembly.

We collected the pottery as well and I was amazed at how well they had come out, Heather is very proud of her Ariel and Matthew couldn't believe how shiny his Mickey Mouse was now and they have pride of place on the mantlepiece, and we are hoping to go back soon and do some more.

Still with summer nearly over, that is if it ever got here I can't help thinking of the school year ahead, Heather's last in the infant and Matthews first full time and how life will be different, as it once more become a dash from home to school, to after school activity to home again with a little bit of homework and dinner along the way. I am hoping in the two whole days that I will have free when Lucy is at nursery to pick up the time spent writing again, expand my repertoire on the piano before Heather takes me over and with luck move house before the end of the year, but with chaperoning violin and swimming and helping out at the library the first few 'free' days already seem to be filling up. Oh well, maybe when Lucy goes next year...