It’s the first day of the school year. And already I’m shaking.
Is it the homework that we’re instantly faced with?
Is it the condescending attitude of the almost teenager in our midst? Who, on being told I’d made her snack for her, snapped, “Great, I’ve got the leaky cup!”
Is it the rush from the doctor’s office to the nursery? I, stupidly, made a developmental check up for Akasha on the first day of term. Worse still, at about the same time as Aden needed to be delivered to school. With all his luggage. No, he’s not at boarding school. Though you may suspect so, with the amount he had to carry to school on his first day. Paints. Exercise books (at least a million of them). Glue. Scissors. A crochet needle. Folders. The list goes on.
Anyway, the two appointments clashed. Husband to the rescue. He accepted responsibility of delivering Aden to school. Meanwhile I would take the little one to the doctors. Sorted.
Except we didn’t plan for the rain.
So this morning the car has already driven more than enough kilometres. Bringing Akasha and I to the doctors. Doubling back to take Aden to school. Returning to pick me up from the doctors. Then dropping Akasha at nursery.
I guess you could think it should be Reini who’s wobbling around, instead of me.
So I’ll inform you.
Nervous of Akasha’s reaction at being separated from mummy at Kindergarten (after last year’s many tearful moments), I bribed her with a dessert type snack on her return home, not to cry. Am I digging myself a hole here?
On entering the facility though, she looked excited to see her friends, even gave the teacher an unfriendly look at the offer of sitting on her lap.
Time to call the child psychiatrist for Aden’s desperately needed prescription. Naturally, after three weeks holiday her line is continually engaged. I so hate calling there. The receptionist mostly makes me feel like I should crawl into a hole. And die.
Pairing of socks.
Dishwasher. Emptied and filled.
Done. Done. Done.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Coffee.
A quick call to a friend to confirm an appointment.
And all the time I’m trying to prepare myself, mentally, for what’s to come.
Meeting Aden’s new teacher.
My stomach has started to cramp. I feel a little nauseous. The time has come. 11:10 and I already have to collect Aden from school.
My introduction is nigh.
I sometimes think that I should not be allowed to reverse. Or, actually, drive forwards for that matter. Only last week I scratched the mirror on the ticket machine at the multi-storey car park.
Today I have (yet again) hit the dustbin. Recyclable paper is now scattered all over the road. And the rear light casing is completely smashed. *Sigh.*
Adrenaline-ised. I tidy the paper and jump back in the car. Avoid the bin that I previously hadn’t seen. And race to school.
Accosted by a friendly mother, I delay my fate.
I even debate internally that I could, potentially, leave ‘the getting to know her’ today. She’s probably stressed enough. First day. Learning all those names…
But Aden does not come out of school.
I panic slightly. Has he got detention on his first day in fourth class?
I pull myself together and be the adult that I am. And head into school.
There she is. The new teacher. I shake her hand. She smiles.
“I’m Aden’s mum.”
The smile drops.
Her face is filled with dread.
I tell her Aden has ADHD. She knows. She has composed herself. But I know that she’s heard of me. The horrid mother who causes trouble and does everything she can to protect her son. The one who fights back.
I am still smiling but I feel weak.
She informs me that we have to keep in close contact and I agree. Furthermore, I tell her I am pleased to do so. Though truthfully, due to past experiences, I feel sick.
She explains to me that he’ll have homework every day and I should check he plays ball. I thank her politely.
She looks at me and for a moment I think I see a little surprise. Like, I didn’t seem to be the nightmare she expected. Maybe I imagined it, maybe it’s my optimistic self rearing her head again.
Probably. Because I would so like Aden’s teacher to take me as me. My son as my son. And just to treat us both with a little bit of respect.
Whether from composure or surprise. The terror I saw moments before has left her face.
And she makes a friendly general comment as I leave.
That’s a good start.
But still, I’m shaking.