My Advice To My Son As He Starts School (Which He Didn’t Ask For)


My son starts school tomorrow. And he has only asked me for one piece of advice. He is concerned about accidentally breaking wind in his classroom (I’m paraphrasing for reasons of delicacy). I have explained that he shouldn’t feel ashamed if he lets something slip on the odd occasion but to try and avoid making a habit of it. Just in case his classmates start giving him and his emissions a wide berth. I added that if he was suffering from excessive wind then to speak to his teacher and ask permission to visit the toilet.

In a half-baked attempt at crowdsourcing, we also asked the six-year-old son of a friend of mine for some general tips on reception class. His core message was that it gets more difficult in Year 1. In fact it was his only message. He offered nothing about reception itself. It seemed a bit brutal, but he’s probably on to something.

It only gets more difficult from here. Part of me feels sad for my son because from now he’s basically going full-time. And he will remain full-time until he is pensioned off. Apart from some respite in school holidays and at university, which from my experience is just a long series of afternoon baths.

Of course I am not telling my son any of this. And obviously it’s not like he’s joined the rat race just yet. He’s outside the rat stadium on the rat warm-up track, honing his racing skills with his new rat pals. From what I can gather reception class involves finding stuff out, a bit of structured play (the best kind of play) and the constant provision of snacks. In this environment my son is going to thrive.

It’s probably best that my son hasn’t asked me for any guidance other than my thoughts on flatulence (clearly he considers me to be an expert in this area). But if he does seek my counsel again then I will let him know this: to make the most of his school days he should be kind, have fun and use all the talents that he obviously possesses.

And just go easy on the free flapjacks. If you’re still worried about the wind.

Any good?

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