school

'7 things I learned in my daughter's first year of school.'

MOOV Head Lice
Thanks to our brand partner, MOOV Head Lice

This time last year I was a newbie school mum. A freshman, of sorts. Not up to speed (yet) in what exactly I needed to know once I walked my daughter into class.

Turns out we would both be on a steep learning curve in that inaugural year – and lucky for me you’re never too old to learn.

While my daughter was mastering take-home readers, I was mastering the art of the iron-on label. (Oh, you laugh? Take it from me, getting those things to stick requires a whole lot of patience and skill.)

My girl is on the eve of her second year in her school uniform and I’ve graduated from rookie mum to self-appointed expert. So, I’m happy to share a little know-how that only comes from life on the inside (of the school gates).

1. A kindy kid’s hat is bigger than a flying saucer and they’ll still manage to lose it.

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UFO approaching. Image: Nat Esler.

Sure, it does a stellar job of keeping the sun off those perfect little faces, but it’s simply because it’s gigantic. Be warned as you lean in for a goodbye kiss at drop-off because you can bet that stiff, horizontal brim will donk you right in the forehead.

You’ll get the Sharpie out before their first day and write their name and class IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS all over the inside brim and inexplicably it will still end up in someone else’s bag/on someone else’s head. Or buried in the sandpit.

2. Variety is the spice of life, except when it comes to sandwich fillings.

Surely Vegemite and a cheese slice would become tiresome in a sandwich after Three. Whole. Terms. I’ll just keep offering up the gourmet options only to be knocked back in preference for the mundane. I really did try, but I soon discovered that if they eat their lunch, it really doesn’t matter what’s between the slices of bread (high fibre and low GI, naturally).

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Kids are creatures of habit and maybe the familiarity of their favourite spread offers comfort in an otherwise daunting day at school. Take a leaf out of Men At Work’s book: just smile and give them a Vegemite sandwich.

3. You will scratch every time you read a head lice alert in the newsletter.

One year of school down and no lice. They’re definitely out there though and catching head lice is almost a rite of passage for children who spend a lot of time with their heads together. Our household has managed to stay lice-free by taking some simple precautions.

I tie my daughter’s hair up every day – despite repeated requests for loose, flowy tresses: “Pleeeeease mum, I wanna have hair like Rapunzel todaaaay.” Um, no. Soz kid.

Another trick is to use the MOOV Head Lice Defence Spray, which is applied like a leave-in conditioner to help defend against head lice over an eight-hour period. The spray contains ingredients that makes hair unpleasant to the tiny bloodsuckers (hooray) and has the bonus of some extra conditioning.

Apply a minimum of six sprays to dry hair, getting some at the nape of the neck and behind the ears too, then brush through and don’t rinse out. Use every before school (or use it yourself - adults can use it too to help prevent yourself from catching lice from the kids). It’s an Australian product and available at your local pharmacy.

4. No parent has ever kept every piece of artwork that comes home.

Do not feel guilty about recycling. Hold onto some special pieces, sure, but keep them all and run the risk of being buried under a pile of coloured paper and and/or feature on an episode of Hoarders.

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5. If inclement weather is forecast, you can bet there will be a downpour at 3.30pm.

This is guaranteed. Even if it’s been sunny all day. Those tricky weather patterns seem to play with us, as if rushing out the door for pick-up isn’t hectic enough.

Roughly four minutes before the bell it will rain, forcing you to brave the elements in a bolt to find your child in a mad, wet scramble otherwise known as home time.

It will also be the day everyone decides to drive to school, forcing you to park two kilometres away. Bring a brolly. Keep a spare in your bag and another in your car. Now if anyone knows how to carry said umbrella as well as a schoolbag, hat, artwork (see point 4) and a toddler please let me know. The juggle is real.

6. Your child may in fact love their teacher more than you.

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Am I still your number one? Image: Nat Esler.

There will come a time when the hand-written notes that once were handed to you will be packed in their backpack for their teacher. It’s OK. It happens around the time they start doubting what you tell them and cross-check with Mrs Smith to make sure you have your facts straight. Don’t take it personally. They might be the apple of your eye, but everyone knows apples and teachers go hand-in-hand.

7. They will be in grade one before you know it.

It will whoosh by in a blink. But every year they’ll get a little smarter, a little faster, a little bigger and a little more independent. Be prepared for the speed in which it all happens and enjoy watching them grow and develop.

What other pieces of advice helped you prepare for their first year?

MOOV Head Lice

Be prepared and help defend against head lice!
MOOV Head Lice Defence Spray is applied like a leave in conditioner, sprayed onto children’s hair daily for 8 hour of defence against head lice.
Visit moov.com.au for more information on the head lice life cycle, products to use for your family, handy treatment tips and more.

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