PLAYGROUND! By Olivia Wilson
have done it! I have survived the first week of a new school. Who cares about the kids? Those first few days as the ‘new mum’ have to be harder than anything the kids go through.
All summer I have been catching my breath, imagining going through the gates for the first time. All the other mums who have known each other since ‘mums and bubs’ in their little huddles, cooing over each others newest arrivals, turning to look at me, wondering who I am, where I’ve escaped from, why I have really greasy hair and vegemite all over my t-shirt. It’s never a pleasant time of the day for us; I am usually wiping snot and tears from my daughter’s face as she sobs her way into school with my son following behind shouting something offensive to her. Throughout the holidays I had moments where I could almost feel the eyes on me, even though I was at home and still had weeks until the dreaded day arrived. I received, read and re-read all the introduction letters, the ‘preparing your child for school’ information, but had nothing to help prepare me! Not one checklist on how to prepare myself for the playground onslaught. Nothing to advise me on where to stand or how best to behave on that first day, or teach me the “best one liners for playground mums”. No one waiting by the gate to take a photo of me on my first day! How on earth are we expected to do everything we do, turn up to school and be prepared for this every morning? Entering the playground for the first time as a mum is worse than any job interview. It’s worse than giving birth, it’s worse than that dodgy tummy you get after a curry… My god it’s worse than stubbing your big toe. There are a million things I would rather do than be the new mum. Yet everyone focusses on the children, and how they’re coping in the run up to school. Well, this selfish mum was more worried about her eyebrows being plucked to within an inch of their life, and making sure she didn’t wear those trousers that give her a serious camel toe (please don’t google that mum!). I have done the playground thing for a few years; I have been the new mum a few times now, and trust me it doesn’t get any easier. No matter where you are in the world, the playground is always the same. The cool mums, the sexy mums, the all-round-perfect mums. The baking mums, the super tanned mums, the working mums, the stylish mums, the immaculate mums, the loving mums, the classy mums, the sassy mums, the funky mums, the arty mums, the ‘totally in love mums’ who are always there with dad! …… Then me! Standing out like a sore thumb, as I am nothing in particular, just a little nervous, very clammy and usually on my own hoping that my children come out of school without an escort from the principal!
"ENTERING THE PLAYGROUND FOR THE FIRST TIME AS A MUM IS WORSE THAN ANY JOB INTERVIEW. IT’S WORSE THAN GIVING BIRTH,"
On Fridays a coffee van turns up to school and the parents get some time to meet the teachers, chat, make new friends etc. Yay! Even more playground time!! I decided, as it’s the first week I should be brave, take some deep breaths and use this opportunity to meet some more people; so I left the house early, free coffee voucher clasped in my hand and headed into the school playground. To be honest with you, I dread things like this. Will anyone talk to me? Will I recognise anyone from the kids' classes? Will I just be sat on my own wishing it was a G&T in my hand instead of a long black? In typical Wilson fashion, I turned up, drank my coffee, and didn’t really manage to chat with anyone properly as my son was on at me to play cricket, and my daughter was emotional! I told the one mum I managed to chat to that I was planning on going to the P & C meeting after coffee; she looked at me as if I had said I was thinking about joining ISIS! I decided then that I would leave the parent volunteering to someone else and I went straight home. Maybe it was for the best! continued next page.....
Peninsula Kids – Summer 2017/18