Redster: Nearly six
Cutester: Two and three quarters

We’re in Year One now. We’re supposed to be all grown up.

So grown up (and rather beautiful)

I refer to the parents. Now the Redster is in Year One, and the new unfeasibly small Reception infants have arrived in the playground, we Year One parents should be all cool and blasé. Reception stand in a rabble after the whistle blows and then trickle into the classroom little by little, some accompanied by parents, some tearful. The cuddly reception teacher is backed up by the cuddly nursery nurse and there they are, all soft and comforting.

Our children, after all, can form an orderly queue when the whistle blows… the minute the teacher at the head of the line walks in, they disappear after her pretty smartish. Then, Slam! goes the door behind the last child. This is the fourth? fifth? week of term and we still can’t get used to it. We stand there, separated from the door in question by some railings, looking disorientated and foolish. We crane our necks looking for a final wave at the window, but can’t see a thing. (We are also all secretly scared of Mrs G, who greets any parents trying to accompany their child to the classroom door with a tight smile and a curt goodbye.) It feels as if our children have been wrenched from us and the door slammed personally in our faces, so we make a sad little group by the railings, then we wander off with our hands in our pockets and our heads down.

It’s definitely not Reception. Mrs G, we have heard, Shouts. In fact, the Redster’s Best Red Headed Friend -Who-is-a-Boy, when asked if he knew why Mrs G was not in school one day, said she was probably off sick with a sore throat from shouting so much. We have also heard that they eventually stop being scared of her and that academically, they get seriously licked into shape. We shall see.