This month has been a very special month for us (and many other families, I know)… The Boy STARTED SCHOOL! All very exciting and emotional and fabulous all at once. Being in the UK, compulsory school starts after the 4th Birthday, as the children start Reception. Luckily, Reception is still very much about playful learning and The Boy LOVED going to pre school and couldn’t wait to be in “Big School”.
As a good Austrian mother does, I decided that The Boy HAD to have a “Schultuete”. Schultuete is a germanic tradition – where children who first start school, get a big “school cone” of goodies to help sweeten the day. I remember mine from when I first started school and I wanted The Boy to have one too.
Living in the UK, we can’t actually buy one, so I made one for him (check out how “How to Make a Schultuete” post). The key being that they are BIG and filled with LOTS of stuff.
We had already been counting down the days to school startings. The Boy being so excited. The uniform was ready and we talked about the friends we would see again from preschool. We talked about how exciting it would be to eat lunch at school and how it may be a little tiring at first with the long hours (9am – 3:30pm).
The day arrived. And The Boy got his cone:
Such a VERY happy boy. He loved all he received – a Spiderman Pencilcase, a Spiderman Drinks bottle.. a special 10 colour biro (a huge hit) and some Superhero notebooks I made for him. Off he walked to school. Bursting with pride at being a BIG BOY. And in he waltzed. Daddy took the day off, so we all got wave him off. A big hug. And he was gone. After school, we all collected him and went of for a celebratory meal. The Boy talked all the way to the restaurants. Told me about the TWO new friends he had made (but I can’t remember their names). How he had lasagna at lunchtime (I was only allowed one, Mummy, not all the food – which I interpreted as, that the children got a meal choice and he wanted a bit of everything). He told us about the THREE playgrounds and about how the boys and the girls have their own toilets (we have robots on the all, Mummy). At the restaurant he did lots of drawing in his new notebooks with his new pen. Ate some Bangers & Mash (what a good Brit), followed by Ice cream. An exciting day indeed.
On the phone to Opapa, telling him all about the day.
My boy is growing up!! Sigh.
Lovely to come from a multi cultural household – we are able to pick and choose the best of traditions and hopefully give our children ever lasting special memories of growing up!
The “funny bit” is… in 2 years, The Boy will go to The German School (yes, I have finally decided it is the only choice for us). And when he changes, it will be The German School “Year 1″ (German School starts around the 6th Birthday)… and he will get a Schultuete ALL OVER AGAIN. You are only supposed to get a Schultuete ONCE in your life, but if the rest of the class is getting for “starting school for the first time”, so will The Boy! Lucky him. I am hoping the second Schultuete will ease the pain of changing schools and make settling in over there easier!
A bit about us:
About our bilingual Family: I am a third culture Austrian (Austrian by nationality, but grew up in the UK going to a German School), married to a Brit (who only speaks English, but is trying to learn German). We have two children – a boy aged 4 and a girl aged 2. Though German is my mother tongue, English dominated for a long time (since leaving school). So I have had to get “back into” German when the children were born. I was lucky to find some German friends in my local area and we meet regularly. I tend to speak German to the children when we are alone or with German speakers, but use English the rest of the time.The children currently understand German but speak English. (PS I will replace that photo with a family photograph… tsk tsk).