Tag Archives: School days

Jacob, School And Sad Notes In His School Bag

Master Jacob is almost finished his first year of being a Big School attendee and so far, so like a duck to water.

I anticipated that he would be clingy at the beginning and kick off the way he used to at creche and preschool, begging me not to go and bawling his little heart out.

But on those first few days he just skipped in like he owned the place.

Says I to Ass Monkey; “False start. I give him a week and he’ll be super-glued to our ankles, demanding to be brought home from this godforsaken place called school. We’ll be morto in front of his teacher because no other kid will ever have loved their parents so much. MORTO, I tells ya”.


There have been no clingy moments from our Jacob. He pulls the ole “I don’t want to go to school” when we’re trying to get him dressed in the mornings but that’s more to do with his disinterest in being dragged away from his Lego than anything else.

The things is  – he really likes school. He likes his mates, he likes his teacher, he likes his after school activities and he even likes his homework.

“I have catch-up to do” he’ll sigh as he dumps the contents of his bag on the kitchen table. And then he’ll spend the next half an hour filling in the gaps of his latest epic piece of art.

On the second week of school we had a note sent home.

“I got a sad note” my little man said, extending the piece of paper my way.

The ‘Sad Note’ was a message from teacher to say there had been a lot of rough play in the yard that day and despite being asked to stop, Jacob and his friends didn’t and so.. home with a Sad Note.


Like butter wouldn’t feckin’ melt

He and I had a word about doing what he’s asked in the school yard and respecting his teachers by listening to what they have to say.

We signed that one and sent it back in with an apology. Teacher explained that the class are very physical this year and she’s doing her best to put a lid on it before someone gets hurt.

Two weeks after that we got another sad note for the same offense. This time grandad was asked to have a word – I was bleedin mortified.

I don’t know what was said between Jacob and his hero Granddad but I believe there was some sort of arrangement around lollipops for good behaviour and that a cap of 5 Sad Notes in any given school career was issued.

Granddad said he only got 5 in his lifetime (the liar).

Yesterday, Jacob pulled a note out of his bag and with solemn face said, “Mammy, I got another sad note”.

I instantly got annoyed and was starting to raise my voice with; ‘Jacob! You absolutely cannot get another Sad Note home! What did mammy and grandad tell you about…”

And then he grinned.

“Just kidding” he says. “This one is about tennis”.

That school is making him WAY too smart.

Like this post? Then don’t miss;

10 Reasons I Am Totally OK With My Kids Growing Up

Religion And Schools – Is There A Change Coming?

I had a little panic two weeks ago when our 5-year-old non-Catholic boy showed me how he’d learned to bless himself in school.

I didn’t show HIM the panic obviously, this mammy does her best to keep her emotions under wraps around the kids, but inwardly, I hated it.

I am not a Catholic, nor is Ass Monkey (although he believes in ‘god’ more than I do at this point) and our kids are non-religious.

So why did we send Jacob to a Catholic school? Well, it was the best option to us in our community.

We knew we would have to stay relaxed about certain things, such as the language of the Catholic religion that we knew he would most likely come home with but we would stand firm on others, such as not permitting him to make his communion and trying to keep him out of any masses that the school were attending.

I think I just wasn’t expecting it all to kick in so soon, he shared his class’ daily prayer with me within a couple of weeks of him starting.

So we asked to have a meeting with the principal and his teacher (who also happens to be the vice principal) and we had a GREAT chat with them about it all.

They are so lovely and relaxed that it was easy to sit with them and say, ‘Hey, this is our first time down this road, what should we expect?’

Jacob’s school is in a tiny village in North County Dublin and they are as progressive as can be while doing their job in following a religious curriculum as set out for them.

They assured us that they will not spend any longer than 20 minutes per day on teaching religion, there are certain aspects of the curriculum that Jacob’s teacher refuses to teach (such as the immaculate conception which she described as ‘promoting rape’ and the Creationism aspect which she described as ‘nonsense’ – I LOVE HER).

There are no major masses at the school and the local parish priest really only visits the communion-making class each year – at which point, we’ll talk to them again about how best to proceed with our little man.

These fantastic educators agree that we may see an end to one particular religion having such a stronghold in our children’s schools but that it might take another 20 years for that to happen, and I am in agreement with them.

In the meantime, I truly believe that we made a wonderful school choice for our son who, totally unprompted, has now decided that he no longer wants to say the daily prayer and we are totally OK with that.

If you want to see the video chats we had online about this subject, you can catch them here: 

Followed by the update here:

If you liked this then please also check out other great Back To School chats:

Back To School: Label Everything Or Die Tryin’

Back To School: Label Everything Or Die Tryin’

The act of sending your firstborn to school is much like heading back there for the first time yourself – particularly if it’s been a VERY, VERY long time since you’ve actually been a school kid (I can’t tell you precisely how many years it’s been for me because it’s too early in the week for despair).

I’ve done all the regular research that’s available to me – I chatted to other mums who have been on the Back To School train before me, I attended the induction day at the school (although Jacob was having a bit of a meltdown so I missed a good part of The Chat and left it to Ass Monkey who has since relayed precisely NONE of the information), I read all the school literature and I bought all the books and uniforms well in advance.

So far, so very unlike me. I’m not a particularly organised mum to date but for the purposes of getting the Son (Moon and the Stars) off to Big School, I was willing to pull up my school socks and put the effort in.

And then I lost a week at the end of the summer. I don’t know what or how or why it happened but when it got to the last week in August, I assumed I had two more weeks to get all the ‘fiddly bits’ done when in fact, I had only days.

Cue much panic purchasing of labels, schoolbags, water bottles and wailing over What The FUCK are we going to give him in his lunchbox?!


On the very last night before school began, I searched high and low for the labels that I’d bought. I’d heard through the grapevine that you have to label everything – EVERYTHING – when your kid goes to school because they lose everything.

‘Even their underpants!’, I heard, and I somehow believed that mother. It was the tone she used – beaten by the Clothes Going Missing Beyond The Schoolgates Scandal.

I couldn’t find the blasted things for ages and berated myself for proving, yet again, that I was untrustworthy as an organised mother and human being in general.

How could I send my child to school without a label attached to every corner of his belongings? What if we lost a school jumper, a precious school tie – what if we lost HIM? Should I affix a label to the back of his ear?

3am and the labels were located. The iron and ironing board were dragged out and labels ceremoniously affixed to every navy and blue and navy-and-red-striped item that we had purchased for our lad to take the major leap that is the next step in his education.

Come morning and we were all up early, excited about this latest adventure.

I dressed my son on the landing upstairs – just he and I, alone in our little ceremony.

I didn’t think I would cry – I have been so happy for him to get going in primary school. I know he’s ready and I know his mind is really ripe for learning.

He placed his tie over his head and we stopped for a moment to look at each other and then he threw his arms around my neck.

‘I love you’ I told him, bursting into tears. My boy, the little man.

And as I placed his school jumper over his head, the final piece of his armour – his uniform which says, ‘I grew up overnight, did you know that?‘ – I noticed something that I will never forget.

There was an inbuilt tag on the fucking neck of the jumper – I hadn’t needed to iron new ones on at all.