Secrets of a Reception Veteran.

I’ve done the time..

Darcie and I began ‘big school’ last year. We were rookie novices back then; eyes wide, shoes polished (her) make up always on (me) all ready and uncreased for every drop-off. Well my friends, times have changed, let me tell you. We are now old hands, reception veterans, if you will. And, as we are coming to the dying days of the summer term I am getting ready to pass the Newbie baton on to those unsuspecting preschoolers.

As part of this reception graduation I’ve compiled a list of my 10 essentials every Muma needs when entering the murky world of BIG SCHOOL…

The first 5

1) Sharpie Marker pen

Yes, I did it too: ordered meters and meters of fabric and Iron on name tape. Of course when I was getting ebay-happy with my order I never once stopped to consider that I have never sewn anything in my life (the frog in yr 4 doesn’t count). I was trying to be The Perfect Muma. How I intended to sew on a name tape to every pinafore, polo shirt, jumper, PE kit, and apparently pants and socks too, I’ll never know! But I didn’t sweat the small stuff. Surely these Muma skills arrive with the name tapes. They didn’t and the result  wasn’t pretty. Don’t fall for the ‘easy’ iron-on variety either. They peel, burn a bit and don’t survive the spin cycle. You heard it here first!

So step away from the bastard name tapes. This is all you need:

It’s Sharpie to the rescue.

2) Costume design degree

As you can tell from the above point, I am not a dab hand with a needle and thread. However you are about to enter a 10 month stretch of your life when you will be regularly challenged, often at short notice (that’s their favourite) to make some sort of costume. And of course ‘the children’ get a prize for the best one. What the actual F?! I sat up and safety pin a costume together while dream boat sleeps on and SHE gets the prize. Ok then…

I made an entire angel costume using just safety pins for the oh-so-sweet Nativity: thank you very much.

Please Note: World Book Day is the biggie, this is the Met Ball of the Primary school world. Big prizes are at stake here. Do not be fooled by any facebook chit chat which might suggest Jimmy’s Muma is just ‘throwing something together last minute’. NO SHE AIN’T. You know the story about the shoe maker’s elves… uh huh.

Find out the date your school is showcasing it’s World Book Catwalk and get over to ebay or Amazon pronto. (Unless of course you are blessed with talents like my amazing friend Holly at Oh Sew Dinky check her page out!)

3) Sunglasses

I’m not sure how to break this to you, but you’re going to cry. Possibly within the first few minutes of meeting the parents you are about to share 7 years’ worth of school runs with. Actually it took me a couple of weeks to shed a tear. I may have been in a euphoric state at first, as a result of relinquishing control of our little girl who was by all accounts a teensy bit of a handful: something along the lines of GOOD LUCK MISS SCOTT. After a couple of weeks it dawned on Darcie that this school gig was pretty repetitive and showed no signs of fading away. It made her bottom lip tremble, her face screw up and big tears fell from both of our eyes as we realised we would be saying goodbye at the same time everyday for a very very long time.

Anyway as luck would have it I was caught completely off guard no sunglasses- or my toddler to hide behind. I had to walk through the playground, thankfully flanked by my Muma Squad, sobbing. Save yourselves the ugly cry face, take sunglasses, ALL TERM!

4) Patience

This is a bit of a tricky one as you can’t just ‘add to basket’. Particularly for someone like me who lacks patience with ya know – most things. So this is an important one to practice over the summer hols: your patient face.

Here is mine. What do you think? You’d never know that inside I’m screaming any of the following,

“It says RAT EFFING NAPS not MOUSE SLEEPS. Please, for the love of god attempt to sound out the words before I loose the will to live”


“I have marker penned several 4 letter words across your forehead with my eyes and If I have to listen to you harp on about how little Zachariah is far too clever for the class or that little flossychops is just plain bored due to her natural level of intellect I will reach for the Sharpie. And I will not be accountable for my actions.

5) Flexibility

I’m not talking leg above your head stuff, it’s trickier than that. I’m talking diaries.  All of a sudden one of 20 Parentmail emails will hit the inbox inviting us to attend a once in a lifetime rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk, or a ‘recital’ (in the loosest sense of the word) of various shaky hitty noisy instruments. Of course you don’t want to miss such delights. It’s a drop everything situation. An understanding boss / Toddler / friends and family is what’s required here.

So Reception sounds super fun right? Bet you can’t wait…!!

Ideas welcome for the final 5 items…post in the comments below pretty please x



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32 thoughts on “Secrets of a Reception Veteran.

  1. LOVE this so much, one of my most favourite posts of all time! I was howling with laughter too-I have a post in drafts to be released nearer to Sept about how flipping hard starting school actually is, for the parents as much as the kids. I cried all week when Oliver started, it’s a huge milestone but also a brave new world and I have about 5 diaries, one on the wall, 3 digital ones and a notepad by my bed-I still get all the dates mixed up and forgot to give the signed slip for a school trip today! Thanks for linking up lovely x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness!! That is very high praise indeed, not sure I am worthy!!
      I’m glad there are some other parents on the level about school… I seem to always be the parent being sent the trip slip home twice because I’ve over looked signing and returning on time. I need a PA fact. (Maybe that should do a trade in return for our child…)
      Big love- glad I finally figured out a linky wasn’t just a hashtag 🙈 xx


  2. Brilliant post and all so true!! Here’s to me
    Doing it all over again come september. Glad to have shared this year with you gorg! And thanks for the mention! 😘 Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh hello hollu!!
      Thanks so much for commenting actually ON THE BLOG!! super kind of you 💗
      Glad you like- had to pay homage the only way I can 😂😂 xxx


  3. great paitent face, Summer will be fun! No more tips for you, but I’ve made a mental note to remember everything you’ve said for when my now one year old gets there! #bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nothing’s changed in 30 years (apart from lack of Sharpies) and as for book week, no idea why nobody had heard of ‘Lorna Doone’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m armed and ready- I have added superglue to my SuperMumKit!! Y’know- branching out…
      Thanks for commenting! #fridayfolics X


  5. This is such a great post! I have 4 school aged children, I can tell you that when each Summer is over I still cry letting each of them go. #momsterlink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes- everything gets sharpied! I keep one in the car now 🤓. Clever right?! Haha.
      Thanks for stopping by xx


  6. LOVE THIS! It’s been bookmarked, favourited and is in my diary to look at next summer as the MUST HAVE survival guide before we hit the big time in September 2017. Lifesaving stuff. You’re a legend. X #twinklytuesday


  7. Lol, thank you for these tips! We’re one of the newbies about to start reception in September so all tips are gratefully received. Although I found some fabulous name labels which stick to everything and have worked very well for preschool to save on Sharpie use – much, much easier than attempting the iron-on ones! 🙂 #twinklytuesday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That defo features in the sequel 😂😂. The amount of £ coins I need weekly…!!! Xxx thanks for reading!


  8. This is brilliant!! Zach doesn’t start reception until next year but it’s really good to read all of the prep posts! I am that person in Tesco’s the night before a dress up day and also the one hoping that they won’t remember that he wore his Gruffalo dressing gown for World Book Day the previous year!! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brilliant post! My 6 year old started kindergarten last year and I held it in until I got into the car…then bawled all the way home. Literally bawled to the point of snot running out my nose. So I will surely make note to get some sunglasses this year as I will be dropping off another starting kindergarten. Thanks for linking with #momsterslink and hope to see you again tomorrow. I apologize for my delay in commenting as this summer has been a busy one for me so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks for the lovely comment💗.
      Best of luck for your next Kindy experience… Eeek.
      Yep I’ll be linking up again tomorrow hunipi.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Uh oh – this will be my boy in September, but luckily he will be fine – he’s been trying to get away from us ever since he could move! I do teach reception though, so my tip is, if you’re going to bother sewing labels on, sew them on the outside if the collar so you can find your kid’s jumper when someone else is wearing it 😉
    x Alice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a great tip!! I’m taking that one- I’ll sharpie write all over the jumpers: teachers will dig that 😂😂.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Literally some mums went in every week to ask.
        I just headed straight for the big green wheely bins of lost property 😂😂
        Gold star please xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I am reading this and thanking my lazy uterus for keeping both of my little whippersnappers in situ
    until mid September, thus meaning that I have a whole n’other year of the comfy slippers that are nursery before the “Big School” traumas begin. I’m all on board with the Sharpe. I like a good marker pen and I can write. This I can do. The costumes – not so much. I’m thinking that “E.T” might be a good costume to do? You know the scene where they take him out trick or treating? Yep basically the one where they just throw a sheet over a small person. That one. That will be costume of choice for the next 15 or so years. Brilliant post. Thanks for the giggles and for linking up with us – fab to have you! #fartglitter x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ET costume is genius. Honestly you can get literally ANY costume on Amazon, I was astounded by the range 😖😂😂.
      Enjoy the comfy slippers year- but actually Big School has been great so far, David has turned into a human: I’m loving it! Xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, sharpies are underrated. My mum found some Thomas sew on ones and I had to quickly remind her that she wouldn’t be there to sew them on and if superglue wasn’t an option they’d probably be lost in a cupboard.


    Liked by 1 person

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