I, too, was scared of Grade 1. Not because it’s new, but because of Covid-19. How was my child going to cope with all of this and a virus?
However, the soundtrack did not sound like a fond childhood melody but rather like a scene from a scary movie with terrifying sound effects. Raising children isn’t easy – ask any parent.
“One day when you have children, you will see,” my mother said occasionally, accompanied with a wooden spoon named Klaar gepraat, aka Done Talking.
This was going to be the year my blue-eyed blonde wild child would start school.
As a 30-something single mom, the thought of Grade 1 was nerve-wracking – from ticking off every item on the long stationary list to getting the school uniform and preparing for the big day.
I thought I was ready, only to discover half of the items we collected for the big day had been misplaced or played with during the Groot Trek earlier this month to a bigger apartment, which was another stressful event.
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Eventually, after searching, I found the clay – but the six different colours, meant to form part of the stationary pack, were mashed into one ball of clay now known as unicorn poo.
If this wasn’t enough, I had to fish out the stationary list among all the school e-mails of reopening and the ever-changing plans to adapt to Covid-19 regulations.
But I finally wrote down everything my daughter needed. Pencils, check. Crayons, check.
Whiteboard markers, check. Clay, multi-coloured folders and canvas sheets were still outstanding.
One day after work, I popped into the local stationery shop to purchase the last items from the list – the list I forgot at home.
I was very impressed to find the orange and blue plastic envelope folders next to each other on the shelves.
But later that night, after the children have settled, I not only discovered the list I had forgotten at home, but also discovered I had it wrong.
Written clearly in black and white: 1x green plastic envelope folder and 1x orange plastic folder. Why on earth would I buy a blue folder?
Perhaps my artistic background let me down and had me believe it was blue and orange, like the perfect complimentary colours on the colour chart – only there was nothing complementary about the blue and orange file, or the outstanding green file.
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I was left wondering: was there any glue to hold this circus called life together?
But I realised my anxiety around the first day of school was not about the stationery, but to get my daughter equipped for her new journey.
Last year, she spent half of the year at home as they rotated boys and girls to accommodate all at school during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a mother, I watched how 2020 robbed my child of a normal Grade R and isolated her from a social life a little girl needs to grow.
Without realising it, I, too, was scared of Grade 1. Not because it’s new, but because of Covid-19. How was my child going to cope with all of this and a virus?
On the eve of the first day, after hemstitching her first school dress, I discovered we moved without an iron.
Fortunately, the hours of DIY videos paid off: I had a hair straightener at hand.
Needless to say, the first day was a roaring success, with all the checklists done and dusted – and I have the photos to prove it.
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