Back To School: The 9 Traumatic Steps

1. Despite reaching your limits entertaining the kids day in and day out for six straight weeks (and feeling great comfort in knowing that this period is finally coming to an end),  you realise that you have no idea whatsoever when school actually starts back.

You know that it's sometime in early September... but that's about it.

So step 1 is: check the school's website, find the date ,write it down. Easy!

2. Leg it down to the local school uniform shop the week before school starts to find the place is jam packed full of panicked parents snatching jumpers and ties off the shelves in a frenzy. It seems that they too share your gift for being organised.

Grab two jumpers that are two sizes too big so that they will last: you know that you're going to tumble dry them to the death anyway. You could always roll the sleeves up in the meantime.

You reason that your child will grow into them and he won't have to look like a total moron for that long.

3. Pop into M&S to ensure that you buy high quality shirts and trousers that can go the distance (ie: endure playground knee skids, Thursday's bi-weekly fajita spillages, rugby tackles in torrential rain and incessant exposure to 60 degree heat and spin cycles over the next year).

Fall victim once again to the powers of false advertising and cough up the extra cash for the 'no need to iron' shirts and the 'suitable for tumble drying' trousers. 

In your heart you know that it's all lies and you will no doubt spend every Sunday night for the next year wading through a pile of ironing so high that you'll need a step ladder to reach it.

4. The best part of all?.... Shoe shopping.

Coerce your child (with a suitcase of Haribo and the promise of a trip to McDonalds afterwards) into going to Clarks.

Cough up the cash for a week's worth of groceries just to buy a pair of shoes that are 1cm larger than last years.

You wish you could get away with using last years shoes but can't because they look like they've  climbed Everest and waded through a field of dog turd before sky diving 14,000 feet and landing inside an active volcano. 


'That'll be £42 please', the cashier says  'and an extra £32.50 for the Minions bag, drinking flask, lunchbox and the scuff polish that I have left right next to the till for your convenience'.



5. Spend HOURS labelling every pair of trousers, every shirt, every tie and every jumper knowing full well that it will make no difference at all as your child will be dressed in Jimmy Jenkin's jumper and Ted Turner's trousers by the end of week 2.

sorry charlie. i don't know who you are, but your socks are on my son's feet. 

sorry charlie. i don't know who you are, but your socks are on my son's feet. 

6. PANICK that your child hasn't done a single bit of the holiday homework suggestions that were left in his school bag (which is now covered in a thick film of dust)

Suddenly force your child to read 17 books and scrawl the alphabet 800 times on a piece a paper to try and regenerate the brain cells that have been destroyed due to excessive iPad and television exposure over the holidays. 

7. PANICK that your child hasn't laid his head on a pillow before 10pm at all for the last six weeks and worry that he will not be able to handle the intensity of the strict routine that is coming his (and your) way next week.

Therefore, force him into bed at 7.30pm the week leading up to school. and drag him (and yourself) out by the ankles at 7.00am to train for the upcoming Operation: School Run

8. Cram your cupboards with an abundance of convenient breakfast foods that you know you can shovel with ease down your child's throat as you ransack the house looking for his shoes and school bag every morning at 8.32am for the next year.

Stock up on Nescafé know you'll need it.

9. Sob into your pillow every night at the realisation that your child is another year older. Time is flying by and before you know it he'll be heading out the door to secondary school.

But where is he going to go? What if he doesn't get into Oakfields Secondary School- rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted?? What if he's not clever enough?!!

Will he have to go to the Priory Comp ?? Oh Gawd! . He'll end up on drugs. Or in jail. Or PREGNANT!

 Must get him violin lessons!! Yes, that's what you'll do!! He'll definitely get into Oakfields then!!

Oakfields sure will love a violin-playing boy dressed in giant jumpers, covered in fajita sauce with turd-encrusted, scuffed Clarks shoes.

Must book lessons asap!! And buy a violin....and martial arts lessons (for protection if he ends up at the Priory)