So I was all cool about our Charlie Girl starting school. I knew that she was really excited about learning, making new friends and exploring her new surrounds (the library in particular). We’d been talking about the transition for quite some time, and her Kinder program included much prep work on this subject.
And then we went to purchase her school uniforms…..
Firstly, getting a school uniform is not the same as I remembered. Back in my day (yep, I’ve become one of ‘those’ parents). I recall being hot, sticky and manhandled by a volunteer Mum kindly assuring me that two sizes too big would be perfectly fine. So our experience at the deigned Uniform Shop came at somewhat of a surprise. The venue was bright, orderly and very professional looking. “Take a number please” we were told. Shortly after, the Uniform Fitting Ninja, called us up to her cubicle and asked which school were from. Even the Procurement Gurus have got to the Mum Run School Uniform Shop, outsourcing in favour of the economies of scale associated with group buying. Is nothing sacred?
Said Uniform Ninja welcomed us, in a warm but officious kind of way and then got to work. No measuring tape required, she quickly assessed Charlie and returned with a pile of uniforms. She slipped off her clothes, and placed the blue check school dress over her head. Charlie stared at me, glowing with pride in her new robes, searching for my approval. The back of my throat caught and tears welled in my eyes. My baby girl was growing up.
However, there was little room for sentimentality in the Group Buying Uniform Shop. The Ninja was keen to keep us moving. Dress, hat, jumper, sports, Summer done! Each one perfectly assessed for size with ample growing room. ‘Would you like Winter as well?’. I nodded. And the same Ninja like proficiency ensued. “School bag?” I nodded. “Reader? Library Bag? Socks? Stockings? Art Smock? Long Sleeve Sports T in House Colours?” I stood there like a noddy dog.
In under ten minutes I felt my baby girl slip away from me, into this well oiled machine that marked the start of her life at school. I handed the Ninja my card “Which account please she said?”. I promptly indicated Credit (might as well get the points) and called by BFF on the way home. I needed wine.