This year the scariest thing of my life happened: My little girl grew up.
She put on a uniform, slapped together her velcros and threw a bag on her back that was bigger than her entire body. As much as it pained me to say it, she was totally ready for it. She is the smartest little girl I know and absolutely flourishes in social and learning environments.
The real problem? I don’t think I was ready. I absolutely wasn’t. The first-year-of-school mistakes started, and they just wouldn’t stop coming…
Uh-Oh #1. The mufti day mix-up.
Simple concept – wear ‘normal’ clothes to school and donate a gold coin for a good cause. Easy, you would think. Clearly not.
Summer’s first mufti day was organised to help raise money for new library books (I think!) and she was so excited that she had her outfit planned and laid out in the spare room the night before.
She went off to school feeling really good about herself, but when I picked her up, she was as melancholy as the Smashing Pumpkins’ infinite sadness. When I quizzed her on her face, it went a little like this:
“Thanks heaps for the gold coin, Mum.”
Me, completely unaware – “What gold coin, hun?”
“The gold coin you were meant to give me for mufti day. I was the only kid in my class who didn’t have one. I looked like a peanut.”
“That’s not true baby, you look nothing like a peanut. And if you did, you would be sent home from school. They have a no nut policy.”
Uh-Oh #2. Off-the-cuff ain't good enough.
I am a talker - words are my life. So when Summer came home with her first speaking assessment I was so excited for her. She's a great speaker, so this was something I really felt that she could do well in with the right prep.
We spent days rattling off topics, forming arguments and buying palm cards (well no, that’s a lie, I was actually too tight to buy them so I just cut up large pieces of cardboard instead). So organised, right?
WRONG. Turns out I missed the note that came home telling us what date she had to deliver her speech.
Summer insisted that she gave it to me - I swear I never received one. The truth will always remain a mystery, however, she says that she sees the dog over the fence swimming in the pool while wearing sunglasses at night time, so I know who I would believe. Just saying.
So, speech day rolled around and lo and behold, she wasn’t prepared. All of the kids in class had their speeches on their palm cards, their words written out big and bold and Summer…Summer got up and spoke about ducks (what the?), completely off the cuff. She said it was the most embarrassing day of her life. Always finding the silver lining, I told her that being able to do that is a skill that she will grow to appreciate when she is older. Job done!
Uh-Oh #3. No bag, no...ANYTHING.
We were sorted. Everything was packed. Hat – check! Library bag – check! Lunch box and drink bottle – check! After the usual chaotic breakfast, we were on track to have had the most successful morning since kindergarten started. Until we got to school.
Summer bounced out of the car, her braids swinging gently in the breeze, I got out and opened the back door to get everything we needed, smiling widely as she asked me her routine questions about where babies come from.
"Oh, FFS!" Was all I could muster under my breath as I looked at the empty back seat – I left her bag at home. All she could do was whinge that she would starve to death.
I sped back home, grabbed her bag and dropped it into class with a little curtsy as I left (that’s not true either, I probably threw it in the corner as I was trying to tie my frizzy hair back, elastic in mouth). All of that just so she could bring her sandwich back home again because "it tasted like socks".
Uh-Oh #4. 'We never had it, I swear!'
I love reading, so does Summer. The smell of an old book is enough to interrupt my home gym session (which I wouldn’t have started yet after half hour in the garage). Summer too loves to read and brings home several library books a week.
I pride myself on respecting the library’s belongings. I am always strict on ensuring she keeps them in her library bag though as I was would hate for any of them to go missing in the abyss that is her bedroom. It’s not uncommon to hear me lecturing her about how much books cost and how I am sick of always putting them away on her behalf.
Then one day, a note came home that completely stripped me of my library monitor badge – a book was overdue. More than that, it was MISSING, because I had never even heard of it! After ransacking her room while she was at soccer training, I gave up. I did what I never ever would do, I put the note calmly in the bin. And walked away.
To be completely honest, these four little "Uh-Ohs" are only skimming the surface. But you know what? I reckon I do all right at this school thing. She’s always dressed nicely, has her teeth brushed and sure, I lost one of her school shoes the very first week, but she's still one step ahead. Most days!
If you're up for embracing more mum realness, make sure to see Bad Moms 2, in cinemas November 2. It’s guaranteed to make you feel better about your mummy mistakes, especially during this crazy festive season we're about to get into!
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Bad Moms 2.
Grab your girls and get to the movies for the ultimate night out.
Bad Moms 2 In Cinemas November 2.