The anticipated day came and Number One Son’s first school day was due. We had all required for the school uniform and we checked the start time from my notes. The morning was sunny, so it was going to be a nice walk to the school for all the family. But Number One Son did not want to have any of it. He really fought against putting any piece of the uniform on and he did not want to come out of the door. We tried to take photos for the greatgrandmother who had asked for them, but he was truly miserable in the one’s took outside the house.
Somehow we were under the misconception that the school day would be six hours from the start. On the way to the school we saw one of Number One Son’s nursery friends with her big brother who was smartly in his uniform, but our son’s friend was in her ‘civil. Clothes and her mother explained how it is a pain that she will only attend that day in the afternoon. Suddenly we were wondering, if Number One Son should even be at the school. But we went ahead.
When we approached the school those people we knew were going to the reception class had parents with nice decorated boxes with Peppa Pig and other figures in a colourful wrapping papers with glitter or photos on top. I started to dread that we had missed not only one thing, but something else, too. When we entered the class room, most adults were carrying decorated boxes. I had to ask Number One Son’s teacher “But what are these boxes”. She told us that there had been a letter that had asked us to make a box with things that told about Number One Son. Archaeologist Husband was totally clueless and I had only faint memory that the word ‘box’ may have been uttered in the induction evening for the parents, but that had been forgotten during our house move.
Still under the impression that Number One Son would be at school until 3 pm, we went to pay for the school lunch. After the payment we walked home and by chance saw the lady who is responsible for the SEN support. She said that the school will finish at 3 pm, if Number One Son is ‘full-timer’. This did not mean anything to us, so we thought all was fine.
At home I found the letter posted to us sometime in late May. It stated that those children born after New Year did only half day the first seven days. Suddenly our plans were drawn anew – and I felt really stupid.
The only consolation was that we could find no sheet with any instructions of a memory box among the folder of papers the school had sent us early in summer. I also heard from another mother that she had given her instructions to a third mother who had not had them. A fourth mother who came later to the park had turned up at school empty handed as well.
I and Number One Son did do a box that afternoon. It was covered with golden wrapping paper and has all the Doctor Whos on one side. The next day - when Number One Son wanted to put the uniform on willingly and was bursting to go to school too early - we noticed that it was the biggest of them all. It was our only box of the approximately right size with a lid. We did not compensate...