Back To School

I was working hard. You can tell by the under boob sweat.

Since Movember, Miss5 hasn’t been keen to come near my face.She’s been extremely unforgiving of my stubble and, although it started as a bit of a lark, she’s not been smothering me in kisses. But I had hopes that maybe today…

“Time to leave,” said Tracey.

“Are you sure?” I asked her. “I’ve only had one coffee.”

“If we don’t leave now we won’t get a park,” she insisted.

The whole morning was planned out. We get to the school before the crowds, unload onto the trolley and move out. Then we work in a triangular pattern between the classrooms for Miss11, Master9 and Miss7 until one of them is open and we can begin Operation Offload in earnest.

When we’ve completed Operation Offload we move to the more delicate Operation Cry Baby where we try not to giggle as we wave goodbye for the day to our second youngest who is starting Prep.

But there was an element of Operation Cry Baby which even Tracey, for all her planning, didn’t know about. I was determined to get a kiss from my five year old daughter.

And only then could we move on to the highly top secret Operation Sandman, where I find the darkest, coolest and softest place in the house and nap. I needed it after staying up past midnight watching Tracey prepare the Back To School boxes for the kids. It was exhausting stuff.

But first we had to hope we could find parking within the school district because even with a trolley we had a lot of books and school paraphernalia to move.

“Let me know if you see a park,” I said to Tracey as we arrived at the school.

We were the only car, parked or moving, in the street. There was no lollipop lady at the crossing. There were teachers who hadn’t arrived yet. We were so early I think we could have done 60kms an hour along that stretch of the road with no danger of being booked.


A short while later we caught up with some friends who live up the road and had also arrived fairly early.

“I told my wife I saw the Devereauxs leaving so she loaded us all in the car,” the husband said accusingly. “We figured you’ve been doing this long enough you must know what you’re doing.”

Clearly they don’t read my blog.

A full forty five minutes later we were sitting on the floor doing wooden jigsaw puzzles with Miss5 and trying to work out when we could leave without raising disapproving eyebrows. Then we got drawn in to a particularly difficult Hungry Caterpillar puzzle and suddenly we realized we were one of the last sets of parents in the room.

It was time to make our excuses and go to bed.

I mean leave.

Tracey got a big kiss and a cuddle from our number six child. Actually, it was more of a kiss and a clutch.

Now it was my turn.

This was the moment I was a bit concerned about.

“Goodbye, Sweetie,” I said, throwing open my arms for a kiss and a hug goodbye.

“Mummy,” said Miss5, not moving in my direction in the slightest and smooching another wet one on her Mother’s cheek, “can you give this kiss to Daddy please?”

“No,” said Tracey. “I think you should give him the kiss yourself.”

Miss5 considered this. And dismissed the idea.

“Daddy, can you catch this please,” said Miss5, kissing her hand and then throwing the imaginary kiss in my direction.

“I think,” I told her, “I want to give you a proper kiss for your first day of school.”

And so saying I grabbed her and planted a wet one on her.

Mission accomplished.

Which was why she was really out of sorts when we left this morning, you wonderful teachers who came and took her under your wing so we could escape.

Sorry about that. I promise I won’t do it again….maybe. Day two tomorrow so we’ll see if I fair any better.


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“Raising a family on little more than laughs”



    • School supplies for each of the kids – A4 paper, exercise books, pens & pencils, rulers, rubbers, whiteboard markers, Nikko pens, tissues, clear envelopes, coloured paper, scissors, library bags, chair bags, glue sticks, pencil cases, bla bla bla

  • The best thing EVER was when our school started getting bulk deliveries sent straight to the school. They divvy it out on the first day to the kids – no more contacting, labelling and lugging!

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