Big Sis started Reception class without a single tear, or backward glance (which is more than Mummy managed).
Unfortunately the segue into Year One wasn’t as smooth. I think it was the combination of factors: a new classroom and teacher, and a big leap in the curriculum to more ‘serious’ work — including handwriting, which she was really struggling with.
Whatever the reason, my usually cheery little girl now spent every morning sobbing at the school gates.
The only time I saw her get excited was when they started studying aliens in class. Her delightfully kooky teacher had planted a box in on the school field, filled with silver springs, and told the kids it’d been left there by extra-terrestrials.
Big Sis thought this was just so exciting and could not stop talking about the aliens; it was lovely to see the smile back on her face.
‘Why don’t you see if the aliens will come to our house?’ I suggested, and her eyes widened. ‘WOW! Mummy, do you think they would?’
So we sat down to write them an official invite and stuck it outside on the glass doors, where aliens could easily spot it if they were flying overhead. The girls went to have their bath, and when Daddy had arrived home from work we decided to all go outside and see if we could spot flying saucers in the sky.
Imagine our surprise to find this instead:
A trail of ACTUAL alien footprints, leading to the girls’ playhouse!
Of course we followed them, noticing how they twinkled with some kind of cosmic moon dust…
The extra-terrestrial trail went up the ladder and inside the playhouse, where we found they’d left us a special outer-space treat – MOON CHOCOLATES!
All very exciting, but the best part was still to come… it turns out Moon Chocolate actually makes you brainier (must be all those outer space gamma rays).
‘Hmmm, I wonder if this will make your work easier?’ I mused to Big Sis.
The next morning there were no tears. In fact she couldn’t wait to get into class and tell her teacher about our extra-terrestrial visitors.
‘How was school today?’ I asked her afterwards.
‘Mummy, the Moon Chocolate worked!’ she told me, ‘My writing work was SO much easier today.’ She hasn’t cried once since. Thanks aliens, for visiting our home, and making a sad little schoolgirl VERY happy indeed.
• if you liked this, you might also like ‘It’s OK to be different – teaching kids to relish their quirks‘.