Are you ready for your child to start school? If someone had asked me that before my eldest started reception last year I would have responded in the affirmative. Of course I was ready, I had been ready for ages. In my defence she is a September born child who was looking somewhat out of place at toddler groups (she was mistaken for a helper a couple of times). I was dying for her to have consistent Monday to Friday structure (free childcare). And if I’m completely honest, to have the onus of teaching her every single thing about every aspect of life taken off me a bit. It’s a lot of pressure to have to deal with all the ‘why?’ questions – I highly recommend teaching your child how to use Google as young as poss.
Her: Why do cows go moo, but dogs go woof?
Me: I have no idea why animals make different sounds to one another (actually, bloody good question), let’s Google it (FYI they have different vocal structures, to do with evolution, can’t remember the rest – Google it).
So I was ready for the school run, I was ready for the break from my inquisitive little ‘angel’ 9-3 and I was ready to outsource the questions to someone more qualified than me to answer (or maybe just someone being paid to Google the answers).
This time last year here she is –
So I think I was feeling a bit emosh, possibly hungover, probably so tired I was seeing double, but anyway I was clearly suddenly thinking it’s actually gone quite quick blah blah blah, maybe the annoying old people are right etc etc etc. Perhaps I do want her at home more.
Had I known then what I know now, I DEFINITELY would have wanted her at home for longer.
Because what I WASN’T ready for was ParentMail.
What’s ParentMail you ask?
Well, remember when you and I were at school and important information was imparted to parents through the high tech medium of writing on a blackboard outside school? And if you forgot your £1 (or a shilling or something back then) for home clothes day then your mum would just say ‘oh, oops – must have missed that on the blackboard/maybe someone rubbed it off/it rained/the dog ate the blackboard.”
Well… *WARNING CLAXON* THAT IS NO LONGER A POSSIBILITY PEOPLE.
School can, and will, contact you to remind you of things you’d prefer to forget 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And they do it via your sacred phone. Your phone, Your beloved phone, the stay at home mum’s portal to (gasp) other adults is now possessed by an app called ParentMail. My portal has been invaded by yet another voice telling me they are hungry (*New Notification* packed lunches due for the school trip NOW) or giving me yet another bloody job (*New Notification” School Hamper Donation Deadline). You WILL have to bring in an item for the school hamper, it DOES have to be a particular colour, and they WILL notify you several times lest you forget your red themed item. As I received my 29th alert about this (clearly national) emergency I was hot footing it out the door, late for school due to stopping to read a ParentMail message alerting me to the school lateness policy…
And all I could see was the red washing basket.
This is what ParentMail does – it nags you to a state of high anxiety and possible insanity. It is like the most annoying member of the PTA has decided to sleep over at your house – on a permanent basis – and keeps jumping off the sofa and shouting things such as “NITS IN YEAR 2’ or something about ‘TEA TOWELS’ or probably ‘BAKE SOMETHING SHARPISH’.
So as I hot footed out with the red washing basket under my arm, complete with dirty laundry, I had to stop and have a word with myself. No one wants to win my dirty laundry as a school raffle prize, even if it does come complete with a red washing basket and red is the colour for my class.
It’s time to think outside the washing basket people. I’m thinking of changing my phone and possibly my name to try to escape the possessed, turbo-charged cyber school secretary that is ParentMail.
(BTW, this post is absolutely not sponsored by ParentMail – I’ve not looked into but I’m sure other annoying reminder services are available).
And as for you, brace yourself for the start of school, sure – you may miss your kids, but just remember – what you’ve lost in quality time with your child, you’ve gained in annoying electronic reminders.
And as for me, no red item for the school hamper, sorry – the dog ate my phone.
Find me on Facebook (more often than is considered healthy) here.