Our first term of FS1 in Big School has been accomplished! Woohoooo! It included some tears, anxiety from my part and a heap load of stress, because the big school shopping is is NEVER ENDING.
So here are 5 things I’ve learnt so far:
1. Buying School uniform is a pain in the arse!
First of all, school uniform is compulsory and must be bought from a certain place. And the list they give you, holy moley.. you got to buy the polo logoed shirts, shorts, p.e kit top and shorts, school bag, school hat, swimming shorts, swimming cap, sports kit bag.. Don’t forget to buy extras incase your kid pees himself.. All has to be in the colour of the house your child is in (there’s some Harry Potter 4 houses kinda thing happening in my kids school and he’s the blue colour).
THEN you need that house colour socks for normal school days, with all black velcro shoes AND white pair of socks and all white trainers for p.e kit days (2x a week). Both shoes VERY impossible to find in a 3 year Olds size in most stores!.
So you’ll end up broke, confused and have a permanent twitch in the left eye as you try to recall your traumatic primary school years where your p.e. Kit came from the lost and found box. *twitches*..
2. Label the crap out of EVERYTHING.
Now that you’ve survived the uniform shop, the reality of a piece of clothing going missing is REAL. *twitches*.. So you frantically look for labels and everyone these days use iron on labels. Naturally in Dubai, nothing is found in stores and you got to order online where delivery and address drama is an effing nightmare. Nearest landmarks, whatsaap locations and 45 calls from a non English speaking driver *TWITCHES*
I opted to buy a name stamp and not going to lie, once you get the labels or stamp, you’ll go labeling crazy because it’s somewhat satisfying and you NEED to know you ain’t going back to that uniform shop any time soon😅.. Try not to bust a vein when your kid comes home for the FIRST weekend with Dexter’s cap and Vanessa’s bag (true story).
3. The Lunch box is drama.
What kind of lunch box to buy? What snack box? Can the lunch box include the snack? Or is the snack supposed to be in a separate box? What Waterbottle? Do you need ice packs to keep the food cold? Wait what do you actually put in a lunchbox😭… The questions never end!
I don’t recommend to flag down a mum that looks like she’s got her shit together in a skirt and high heels at 7.30 am, she might point out your top is on inside out and walk off 🔪(another true story).. Instead just send separate box for lunch and snack and ask the teacher. My kids school requires it to be separate. And don’t forget to label the F out of them and the Waterbottle too. Although one week in, we have lost the snack box already😒 like how do you loose a plastic box.
4. Early Starts are deadly.
School starts at 7.30am, which is ATROCIOUS! So far my mornings go like this:
6.30am – *4th alarm*
7am – *wake up* “SHIIIIIIITT WE ARE LATE”
7.05am- “HURRY UP eat your Cocopops, mummy going to do your lunchbox”
7.10- “oi what you want in the lunchbox” *throws in raisins*
“Where are your shoes??”
“There’s NO TIME FOR A POO!! ”
*run to the car and belt the kid in*
” oh FISH STICKS YOU GOT SWIMMING TODAY?!”
(repeat every day till your dead)
5. National anthem freeze.
OK I had to learn this the hard way as Bubbas previous nursery didn’t do this but in big schools here, the national anthem goes off in the mornings AND EVERYONE STOPS. I mean freezeeeee.. Stand up, no moving, no talking. I thought I was in a movie when it happened the first time. I was midway talking to the security guard explaining that I haven’t yet been issued an ID card and all of a sudden this song goes off and everyone FREEZES. I thought the song had some power of the human race and me and my kid were the Divergents, free of the “system”. To test the theory we began creeping into the school while everyone was frozen.
I’ve never been so confused in my life. And as soon as the anthem stopped, everyone resumed rushing into the school, calling their kids and breathing.. So very confused.
I now learnt that that is like school rules and it’s normal all throughout uae. How mental is that. I eventually have learnt you got to be in class before this anthem goes off otherwise you’re late and there’s another whole late register palava for that 😭
And this is just the beginning of school life 😭