My week … the one in which Little Miss went back to school

This was the week that I had thought of so much in lockdown, the week when our two children would both be back at school and life would begin to feel a little more normal. The reality is that Covid cases have increased dramatically in the past few weeks and already we’re faced with more restrictions, the new rule of 6 and a worry of what is to come. One local primary school was closed this week and I think its inevitable that my children will be at home for two weeks at some point in this term. However, it did seem the most normal week for a very long time, I went to a big supermarket for the first time in 6 months (ironically not for food) hosted a family visit, had my nails done and pottered along on a very busy week. So here in more detail is my week..

I saw my daughter start a new secondary school.

Lockdown brought a lot of clarity to our lives, and one of the most noticeable was how much happier our daughter was at home than she had been in the previous months at school. We had been so careful in choosing a secondary school, and on paper, a small secondary in our local town seemed ideal. However, as we sat down and reflected, we realised how many niggles we had and even when we had addressed concerns with the school, the promised actions were not fulfilled. After a lot of soul searching, we spoke to our daughter about how she would feel about moving school, the relief was instant and her excitement again showed how bad things had become. Fortunately, it is a school where she already had friends from primary school and local clubs so she didn’t feel totally alone. It was easy to move schools and even though it was all done in Lockdown we were really impressed by the new school’s welcome and transition planning. Although school didn’t start until Tuesday, Mr S and her spent Monday morning at the school, having a tour , meeting key members of staff and were given all the details to help her arrive and be confident on day 1. This week, we have seen a different young girl again, the sound of her giggling on her phone to a friend was beautiful and when we’ve gone on our evening walks, she’s happily talked all about school, her new friends, teachers and what they’ve been doing in class. These after tea walk and talks started by accident when she was at her lowest and we’ve simply got in the routine of doing them that its become something we both enjoy. I am very aware it’s week 1 and there will be challenges but I am simply so relieved that its the weekend and we have a happy, chatty daughter who has loved her week back at school.

I received the response from my complaint to the Government Ombudsman

Still on the school theme, I received a draft of the conclusion from the Government Ombudsman regarding our complaints about the council’s handling of our son’s special education case. It took 18 very difficult and challenging months to find our son a place at a special school, its a system which is so stressful and nearly broke me (and this is my profession ,I know my stuff and knew they were doing it wrong) I had highlighted around 4 key complaints and the Ombudsman upheld each complaint and ruled that the Council’s SEN department was at fault on each one. Whilst, I didn’t want to take the case to the Ombudsman, I felt I was left with no choice. I only hope that by raising the case, the council will support other young people more effectively. Thanks to the complaint, I now have a pseudonym as the case must be published, I am Mrs X, just a little detail which has amused me more than it should have!

I got used to a new routine

With the children back at school and me only working 3 days, its time for a new routine. I hadn’t really thought how I wanted to spend my time, it all seemed a little unreal after having no time to myself in Lockdown. This week I focused on my running, upping my mileage and with no time constraints doing some routes I haven’t done for a while. This was a real bonus of the week and my highest weekly mileage and longest runs in years.

I tried a new style

With all my running and a new improved healthy diet, I have lost a lot of weight in lockdown. Indeed, so much that very few of my clothes fit me now, a problem I have never had before. I have had to make a few online purchases and decided to go out of my comfort zone with a denim dress from Phase Eight, pictured above. I was convinced it wouldn’t fit me and was amazed when it arrived that it did and that I liked how it looked. I wore it at the weekend when we had family visit and felt confident and stylish. Its a long time since I’ve felt like this about clothes, so perhaps this could be one of my new little projects.

I entertained family

On Saturday, my sister in law and her husband popped over to see us en-route to a break in their new Camper van. We had serious van envy, it was gorgeous and so well equipped and organised. We had a lovely time together and the hot, sunny weather meant we had an al fresco lunch in the garden and then just chilled there for the whole afternoon. They have recently moved and had a big tidy up and sort out, this meant that as their children have grown up and now left home, the children got all sorts of goodies, a Scaletrix set, clothes, stationery and a referee’s whistle which is going to get lost very soon! Since their visit, we have been busy having Scaletrix races, I love that its a Mini model car version, rather than sports cars, a Mini is definitely more me!

I picked blackberries

Picking blackberries is something that has become a bit of a tradition without us realising it. We always try to plan a lazy first weekend after the children go back to school, as they are normally tired. Over the past years, this has included us picking blackberries and baking and its something that the children look forward to, often commenting on the ripeness of the fruit on our walks in preceding weeks. We did it today and have a great harvest for the coming weeks. I’m sure there will be some blackberry themed bakes this week.

And finally

Well, we’ve done it, both of my children are happily back to school and its time for us all to adjust to our new normal. Amazingly, I have nothing in my diary for this week and hope to keep it a quiet and relaxed week. Its been a mentally draining fortnight, worrying about the children starting their new schools and all the logistics to the new routines.

Have a happy week.

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