Leitrim Mammy Diaries:
Preparing for big school with jabs, ABCs and velcro

Fiona Heavey


Fiona Heavey


Leitrim Mammy Diaries:Preparing for big school with jabs, ABCs and velcro

Learning to sing the alphabet and actually knowing the letters are two very different things, after filling out the enrolment forms we are starting to prepare for big school in September

Although the first day of school is months and hopefully a long, warm summer away; the planning, preparation and the paperwork for starting big school (primary) has already begun in our house.

As I continue to debate in my head whether our 4½-year-old is ready for the move to national school, her name has been enrolled and the 20 detailed forms/ rules/ regulations and policies have been signed.
I couldn’t believe the amount of paperwork that has to be completed for enrolment. Homework, bullying, behaviour and sporting policies had to be agreed to along with photo consent, parent supervision, field trip etiquette and finally the details required by the Department of Education - the whole package took me three hours to get through!

Towards the end of the pack, I found a sheet of paper than ran a shiver down my spine. It was stamped by the HSE and had Vaccination Programme written in heavy type.
It is only a couple of months ago we endured the 13 month vaccination for our youngest - the final baby jab. The poor pet had reacted to all of his vaccinations with high temperatures and extreme fussiness and it was a relief to not have to note down and remember the next injection date and rearrange our lives so we could stay indoors for three days to wait for the clingy symptoms to pass.

My four-year-old is no martyr and when I say no martyr I mean a runny nose can throw her into a state. Not a big fan of needles myself, I don’t know if I can convince my husband to take her along for the jab, especially since he stepped up and brought the baby for ALL of his vaccinations.
The school jab should be given between the ages of four and five; so my big dilemma is, do we schedule the vaccination now and get it over and done with or leave it on the long finger for some time over summer? The school notice, which was followed a few days after by an official letter from the HSE informing us of the same, sits on the kitchen island - I actually wiped around it the other day, I don’t want to move it because it has to be organised - but I also don’t want to deal with it either!

The uniform fitting and school supplies shopping trip is months away, but we are preparing for school in other ways. She learned her ABCs ages ago but only recently I realised that while she can sing the song, she doesn’t actually recognise the letters individually. We are also trying to get her to write her name; this has brought my patience and her concentration levels into question. Homework is not something that will be welcomed into our already frantic evening routine.

I texted a teacher friend with some worries I have about her starting school and she told me it would be a “sink or swim” situation and most children thrive at school and do things they would never do for their parents. Thank God she is getting swimming lessons!
“Just make sure she can put on her shoes and coat and she will fly the rest” she told me. I am sure she thought this advice would comfort me, but my precious preemie born girl has spent her life being cradled by us, her grandparents and her bigger cousins. She responds to most requests with: “I am too small to do that!”

Anyway, I have decided zips can be tricky so I am googling velcro closing coats, if you see any, drop me a line!

Also read: Parenting perfection doesn't exist - trust me, I know!