So Isla has gone off to school, all pony tails, scrumpled socks and too big hats. That was it, I thought, off she goes into the big blue yonder to make and break friends, eat inappropriate lunches and learn how to play kiss chase. They do still do that don't they? Or have Health and Safety banned it on the grounds that running is dangerous, grabbing someone is dangerous and you need written parental permission to kiss someone? If so school will never ever be as much fun as it was for me. Kiss chase was the girl's version of conkers; the tougher the nut the bigger the challenge, unless of course they had been soaked in vinegar first, that was just cheating and downright off putting.
I spent the day in nervous anticipation; would she find someone to play with/go to the toilet properly/remember her manners/find a cool boy to kiss, and arrived half an hour early to pick her up. She ran straight at me and hugged, while looking over my shoulder to see if I had bought her anything for being such a good girl. Nothing had changed then, lovely, my worries about no longer being the main influence in her life over. School was, as Husband had assured me simply a continuation of parenting, I was still the Big Chief just with a few more little Indians to delegate to, lovely, just what I wanted to hear. I love being in charge. And delegating.
We drove home, Isla puffed with excitement and words unspilled, desperate to impress on me the importance of her day.
Mummy, she said, red faced, eyes shining can we have coco pops for breakfast? Coco pops?
Whaa t? I spluttered, trying to gain composure and decorum, Isla, I said soberly Where did you hear a word like that? You can tell Mummy.
From Sophie, she replied,
Well then, I said deep breathing, whatever Sophie says, no we can't have coco pops for breakfast.
But coco pops and milk make a bowl full of fun.
Coco pops and milk? Make a what? I struggled to comprehend the world at this point and was almost (but not quite) lost for words. That infernal (but to be fair pretty catchy) jingle was about to haunt me.
A bowl full of fun, finished Isla helpfully.
Yes I got it the first time I assured Isla grimly and I'm afraid it's a no.
Still the main influence am I? School is just a continuation of parenting is it? How on Earth did I fall for that one? Oh, I know, I didn't want to home school. Right, well then better get on with exerting my still dominant influence. I took a deep breath.
Isla, I said, coco pops do not make a bowl full of fun, they make a bowl full of chocolate which is not a decent breakfast and will not give you enough energy to play kiss chase at school.
A bowl full of chocolate? She squealed well then we have to get some, I love chocolate. She then went on to inform me that Sophie's mummy had a nicer dicer from JML which will chop vegetables much better than I can. Great.
So that's it. My days of rule are over, instead I am at the mercy of other four year olds and their unique take on the world. Fabulous.
Or, I could just ban Isla from making friends with children who are allowed to watch adverts. And ban adverts myself. Yes, that's it, problem solved. From now on it's British Broadcasting Corporation all the way.