How Time Flies – From Tiny Tot to SATs Stress all in the Blink of an Eye!

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Spring has finally sprung! The sun is shining. The winter chill is gone but does Mostly Mum feel sunshiny? No, not even a bit!

How about a bit of good old-fashioned pathetic fallacy when you really need it? Clouds, rain even, would have been a perfect match for my mood today. Instead, all I get is Alanis Morrissette ‘rain on your wedding day’ style ironic, albeit the other way around! 😩

So what could be at the root of Mostly Mum’s malaise today?

Quite simply put, the back to school blues.

However, on reflection, maybe not so simple after all, as Mostly Mum’s back to school blues today isn’t just a case of the Easter bunny’s disappeared down his burrow for another year and Mostly Mum doesn’t want to face another term of the school run grind.

It’s more than that. A whole lot more… You see, my oldest baby is starting her final term of  primary school today and as most parents in this situation will know, this fact comes complete with the added burden of SATs stress (national testing of English and Maths skills) as well as a good old dose of bittersweet nostalgia. 😢

I don’t really know which is worse but since I’ve mentioned them first I’ll start with the dreaded SATS. Now, for the uninitiated, the SATs are mandatory English and Mathematics tests for all 10-11 years olds in the UK, designed to test their attainment level (and the school’s teaching level) prior to their entry to secondary school.

Unfortunately for children my daughter’s age, the standard of these tests was significantly raised around two years ago. To such an extent, that there was quite a bit of uproar among parents and teachers alike at the time, all of which the press gleefully pounced on and reported on (almost to death). (They do love a bit of uproar as a general rule!😏 )

‘These tests are too difficult!’ ‘Children are under too much stress!’ ‘Teachers are aghast!’ ‘Parents are traumatised!’ ‘Tests so hard that government ministers unable to answer some of the test questions themselves,’ the headlines screamed.

Being a parent of a child due to sit these tests in a couple of years, I was naturally concerned about the proposed changes to the testing system. How would my baby cope? Would she be traumatised? Scarred for life, even? Should we emigrate, again?!

Two years down the line, however, and thankfully my worst fears have not materialised. Our wonderful school is supporting our children through this potentially stressful time and nobody seems to be too adversely affected by the imminent testing.

Well, maybe I am put out, just a little… You see, in helping to prepare my own (very calm) daughter for these tests, I am reliving my own school days, which weren’t always plain sailing.

A good student I might have been but a calm test taker I certainly wasn’t (at least not until much later on). Maths only really clicked with me from around the age of fifteen. Before then the mere sight of a right-angled triangle would have sent me into a frenzy of panic so terrified was I of the  ‘F’ word (failure, that is!).

(Whisper it!) Failure… was my worst fear until I actually did fail and then I just had to learn to deal with it, get up, dust myself off and start all over again. Life lessons learned in the process.

My darling ZZ, on the other hand, could worry just that little bit more… Not to the point of panic, mind you… But just enough to get the adrenaline pumping! Not there yet but 🤞by May we’ll have it sussed!

And this brings me onto to the second part of my morning rant, bittersweet nostalgia! By May, my baby will be a baby no more, on the cusp of adolescence and all the trials that brings.

I spent a good portion of yesterday evening filing old photos of her time at primary school, ready to use for her Year 6 yearbook. And, oh my, was that an emotional exercise! To see my baby literally transform before my very eyes (welling up as I type…) from a chubby cheeked cutie of three to the lovely young lady she has now become, not quite a teenager but already displaying a sense of maturity and responsibility way beyond her tender years (possibly due to the Baby Lulu effect, who knows?!).

I might be a little sad her time at primary school is almost at an end but I am also very, very proud of my grown up baby and excited to see where this new adventure will take her.

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My Baby ZZ on her first day of Big School! 😢

One down, two more babies to follow in her footsteps.

Oh dear! 😩

How do you guys feel about your babies growing up? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until then, it’s…

💋 from Mostly Mum

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