For reasons too boring and trivial to go in to, Mini Mck doesn’t begin his life as a school kid until the 30th September. Mckdaddy has returned to school this week and of course Mini Mck is no longer at pre-school each morning. So, I find myself with both children at home all day, every day for the first time in over a year.
During the Summer, I joked to everyone about how awful it was going to be and how when the time for school finally arrived I would not so much be sobbing at the school gate as hurling MM towards it and running as fast as I can. Suddenly though, as I look at numerous Instagram and Facebook photos of small children in large uniforms, I find my heart constrict a little as I think about my boy setting off on this journey and I realise that this is the last time things will ever be like this.
The last time for lazy mornings in our pyjamas and weekday pancake breakfasts, the last time for days wandering in the city, letting our stomachs and our fancies determine our timetable and the last time for changing our minds and our plans at the last minute. Of course, we will have school holidays, but that’s a different kind of pace, a different version of our family. Mckdaddy is home, we do holiday things, it’s just different. This is the last time it will just be me and my boys, me and Mini Mck and it has been like this from the beginning. From the sleepless nights and caffeine fueled days of babyhood, to the baking and park trips of toddlerdom, it has been me who has looked after my boy and the reality of letting that go has started to hit my heart. I even kept nursery to three mornings a week for as long as I could to make sure I could protect some lazy, non-clock watching days. Even when it will just be Nano Mck and I during the day and eventually Nano, Baby and I, we will still be ruled by the school run. This really is our last hurrah.
I know he is ready for school and I am pretty certain he is going to love it. He certainly is convinced that he will, which is half the battle. There are also many things I am looking forward to now that my most attention hungry charge will be out of the house more. Time to spend with Nano, a little more time for myself, time to get all the things done that I just never get around to doing, but there is still that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I will miss him and that our cocooned time is over too soon.
I am still a little apprehensive about how I will manage with both of them for the next few weeks, this week has been hard as I try to adjust. I still need to get things done, we still need to eat and have clean clothes and a house that isn’t complete chaos. Two supermarkets with two children quickly proved to me that I am going to need a different plan for shopping in September.
However, even when I haven’t known what to do next and the children have been fighting, I have kept in mind that this is it. This is our bonus time, our Indian summer, if you like and so I must not wish it away. I had grand plans for days out and special treats, but I don’t have the budget for that and anyway, that’s never really been my style. Trips to the park or the library, shopping at the market, baking at home, plans with friends and a good dollop of Pixar have served me well over the last four years and so we are mainly sticking with that. Mini Mck and I do have a day in London planned and Nana P is taking us all to the Zoo, a first for us, but otherwise I have decided to keep things as they have always been, because it is that which I want to hold onto, it is that I shall miss most.
I know that within our ‘non-plans’ I still need a plan of some description, a loose structure for each week and even each day and things are slowly getting added to the calendar and we may look crumpled for most of September. I have not been able to fit in ironing this week, but we have eaten well and the cats have still been fed. Mostly I am enjoying this bonus sun we have been getting and squeezing the most out of our last hurrah, whilst trying not to think too much about it ending.