Tuesday 28 November 2017

Starting The New Year With M&S School Uniform

Doesn’t it feel like Christmas has come early this year? My social media feeds are already filled with photos of newly decorated trees and exclamations of ‘finally’ even though we haven’t yet dipped our toes into December. The countdown to the school holidays is upon us, and the weeks remaining are filled with exciting activities like Christmas dinners and trips to the pantomime.

Christmas will be hectic, it always feels like there isn’t enough time to prepare and I end up wrapping presents on Christmas Eve (even though I bought them in September). We all wake up too early after going to bed too late and then spend most of the day feeling exhausted, or I do, at least. It usually takes a few days for peace to be restored after Christmas. The house will be filled with piles of new toys, scraps of abandoned wrapping paper and scattered baubles for at least a few days. Then, slowly, calm will return.

I’m looking forward to having a little break from the routine of school. Laurie has booked some time off from work, too, and I’m hoping to avoid overscheduling and just enjoy a little downtime as a family. Having to get out of the door in time for school every day means we’re always rushed and trying to catch out tails. I’m looking forward to slower mornings, to taking our time and to only doing what we want to do.

And then, before you know it, it will be time to go back to school. 2018 will be upon us and it will be time to dig out the uniform, fire up the iron and try not to cry while emptying the cupboard under the stairs in search of the (once again) missing book bag (who hides it - is it you?). To make things a little easier, M&S sent us some uniform for the new year. M&S school uniform always reminds me of my own days at school, it was always where my mum took us to buy our new school uniform at the end of the summer. Ebony has had a growth spurt recently so she’s fast growing out of some of the uniform I bought her in September, so she was more than ready for a top up.

She chose these shorts which I absolutely love. They remind me of something Avril Lavigne might have worn to school (who doesn’t want to raise the next generation’s Avril?). I also got her a few staples like stain resistant polo shirts (this sounds like witchcraft that could save my sanity), a cardigan and a jumper. And a beautiful pinafore dress with long pleats which Ebony really loves, though it’s a little long for her at the moment (she disagrees).

Also, how awesome is this sequin backpack? Ebony has a love of all things sparkly and her face was a real treat when she opened the parcel and discovered a bag made purely of sparkle. She was very very excited, to put it mildly. With her new uniform, she’s got everything she needs to get back to school in January. I can send her off safe in the knowledge that she will be warm enough in the bitter January weather and that she’ll look smart.

Ebony will be turning six in January (Where have those six years gone?) and she’ll be wanting to get back to her school friends so she can enjoy her birthday hype. They love birthdays. They spend weeks talking about them, planning their parties and what they might get, it puts them at the centre of attention. So she won’t want to miss out on that. She’ll be ready to talk up her birthday to anyone who will listen. Ebony loves the school holidays, she always enjoys having extra time to spend with her family and loves nothing more than the four of us being together. But by the time January creeps around, she’ll be itching to get back to school and see her friends. 
And she’ll want to tell everyone about Christmas, too. They usually get them to draw a picture of their favourite present and write down what they got. Last year, Ebony drew a single measly block of Lego as though this was all she had received. Probably this year she will draw the satsuma from her stocking but not bother to mention getting anything else.

She’s asking Father Christmas for a two-wheel scooter this year. Or, at least, I hope she is because that’s what he’s got for her (ho ho ho), so she’ll be excited to get back to school so she can scoot there. This will be especially fun for me because we are always late and the mornings are always stressful enough without adding a scooter to the mix.

And, though I hate to say it, I’ll probably be looking forward to the return to normality. Don’t get me wrong, I love the school holidays. I really like having both kids together and watching their bond develop thanks to those extra hours each day. But, when you work from home during nap time, the school holidays can be challenging. I usually just forget about working during the holidays, it’s too difficult trying to squeeze it in otherwise. I’d rather reduce my earnings for the month than spend the whole time feeling stressed because I haven’t managed to do enough writing.

So, when Ebony scoots into school in January, I’ll be rushing back home to dust off my laptop. I’ll finally get a chance to sit down and think about what I want to work on next year, where I want my focus to be and how I’m going to achieve it. I will also need to submit my tax return (please, please don’t forget this).

And, of course, I’ll have birthday prep to take care of. There will inevitably be last minute bits to buy, celebrations to organise and crying to do (how can I possibly have a six-year-old? Where is my life going? Why is everybody growing up? etc). And I’ll need to reorganise the playroom because, even though everything has a place now, this will not be the case come January when Santa has tipped a sack-load of presents down the chimney.

Thanks to M&S for making this post possible.

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