Kate Chapman, who has waved both her children off to school, has compiled a list of tell-tale signs that your little Prince or Princess has started school for the first time too…
For every parent who is breathing a great big sigh of relief that the summer holidays have finally come to an end, there will undoubtedly be those who are shedding a few tears - of sorrow rather than joy - at sending their children Back to School.
Especially those whose little ones are starting for the very first time just like HRH Prince George, who tentatively took his first steps through the entrance of his new school Thomas’s Battersea in front of the world’s media this week.
For all those new starters like little George Cambridge there are new routines, new friends to make, not to mention anxieties and the odd tantrum to contend with. And the same for the mums too...
You think you’ve gone deaf
The first day they are gone you will find your house, once full of screams, shouting and laughter, is eerily silent. It will take you a good while to realise that no, you’ve not lost your senses, but for six hours a day your home is now a place of quiet and calm. Well until they return home……
When they only appear to have one volume
Now set at extra loud, all of the time. This is presumably from shouting at the top of their lungs non-stop, competing with their classmates to be heard.
They start calling you Miss, Sir or by their teacher’s name
Which in turn leads you wonder whether they are calling Miss "Mummy" too?!
They come home from school with their shoes on the wrong feet
Even on the days when they don't have PE, for some reason your dear offspring will have felt the need to remove their shoes.
You have a new job – as their PA.
Now your little one is in full-time education, you also have a demanding new position as their personal administrator filling in reams of forms, paperwork and consent slips on a daily basis. And let’s not forget ordering their lunches, sorting uniform, overseeing homework and RSVP’ing party invitations.
They smell of school.
It appears that they - along with everything they own - comes home with that certain school smell on it. I can’t put my finger on the exact odour; suffice to say it’s a combination of sweat, mouldy biscuits, wet dog and cheesy feet. Nice.
Despite spending hours labelling everything down to their socks and pants...
By the end of the first term you find yourself with a laundry basket full of clothing belonging to their new classmates, plus numerous other items stained with paint, food, glue and glitter.
Now they’ve started to read and write they insist on writing their name on everything they own
Just so everyone knows it belongs to them apparently.
They come home asking if all their new friends – and in extreme cases the whole class – can come for a sleepover, playdate, tea and even Christmas Day.
You miss them more than you ever thought possible
Even though it’s nice to get five minutes to go to the loo unaccompanied.