The Chop starting Big School meant we went and did all those ritualistic things you do when your child starts school for the first time. In fact, maybe they’re the things you do at the beginning of every school year… I’ll have to get back to you on that.
The Chop and I bought school shoes (Lord have mercy on the mother who leaves it till the weekend before school starts to search out an elusive pair of size 11 black runners with Velcro or elasti–laces to suit little fingers). We purchased a bag– at the Chop’s request, a ‘proper’ school bag, with the name and logo of his primary school on the front. I took him for the haircut– the very first one I’ve ever seen him excited about.
And I bit’s and pieced together his school uniform, spending only what I had to… little boys are hard on clothes, and experts at misplacing jumpers, hats and goodness knows what else.
I even too it upon myself to iron the new uniform. To put that into context for you… I. Don’t. Iron. Ever. My daughter has a small, wooden play ironing board… she has no idea what it is, or what it might be used for.
I think the best advice I’ve been given from seasoned mums who have done this whole shuttle–small–children–off–to–school thing before was from Gemma at My Big NutShell, who I ran into at the GLAD sandwich making class a week or so before school began. And her advice was very simple.
“Label ALL the things!”
To which I of course said…“Label all the things…?”
To which Gemma replied, again, “ALL the things!!”
Or do battle with lost property at some later stage.
So, with the help of my buddies at Stuck On You, I labelled All. The. Things. Most of them, on Gemma’s advice, twice. Some even thrice.
I labelled shorts and socks and shoes and undies and jumpers and pants and bags and lunch bags and pencils and sharpeners and erasers and pencil cases and hats and drink bottles and food containers and excursion bags.
I briefly considered labeling the child himself, lest I lose him (they’re all dressed the same, after all) but decided against it.
Given that the first week of Big School left us minus his drink bottle and hat despite all that effort… I think “Label all the things!” is up there with the top genuinely useful advice I’ve been given about kids.
Because Stuck On You are awesome and seem to understand mine and my children’s inherent inability to keep ourselves organized, they provided me with labels of all shapes, sizes and uses again this year.
Their shoe labels stick like… well.. Glue. For lack of a better synonym. And the dye doesn’t run off onto small sweaty feet even in the height of summer.
And the iron on labels actually molt their entire selves to whatever fabric you happen to be applying to them to. And last and last, no matter how man times you wash them.
Just be very, very sure to follow the instructions. Or your labels– and your iron– will pay for it with sticky, gloopy molten labels everywhere. (Not that I know this from hasty experience, or anything.)
Speaking of– or from– hasty experience, while I have the traditional totally awesome Stuck On You prize pack to give away for you all– details below– I also have what we’ll call a bonus prize.
But this prize is only for people named Jones.
And the advice that comes with it is this– be very careful when placing your Stuck On You order. Especially if a small fairy–child is screaming at you while you do so. Otherwise, you may end up with the default labels. In the default colour, default font and default design.
With the default last name.
So. If your last name happens to be Jones, just mention that in your entry and aside from that, let us never speak of it again.
To win the actual prize– an awesome Value Pack from Stuck On You- fill in the form and let me know, in 25 words or less–ish– what’s the best advice you’ve got for mums who’s kidlets are off to Big School, PreSchool or DayCare for the first time?
Competition ends midnight Sunday 17th Feburary, AEST . Aussie residents only. Answer that I like for whatever reason at the particular time of drawing the winner, wins. My decision is final and no discussion, bitching or correspondence will be entered into.
Happy labeling, new school mums. We’ve only got another twelve or thirteen years of this ahead of us. Which works out to, on average, about four hundred different labels. Of all shapes, sizes and denominations.
May God have mercy on us all.