I THOUGHT I had all the time in the world. Looking at the clock there was a good thirty minutes before getting Ben to his first session at school. It wouldn’t be a proper stay and play as I would be with him throughout the hour-long meet and greet with his new teacher and class buddies.

However, when I looked at the clock again somehow twenty minutes had simply evaporated into thin air, a messy nappy from Katie and I was totally derailed. I was left with the prospect of being late for our first trip to school – oh the shame.

It turned out to be quite a valuable research note as I discovered we could actually get to school in six minutes flat. This was useful knowledge to have come the day when all hell was breaking loose in the morning I could be calmed by the fact school was still a realistic goal in under ten minutes.

So, slightly breathless after a number of ‘races’ to the school gate, we arrived bang on time.

His little classroom was full of his favourite things, a box of dinosaurs, Lego, laptop computers. He probably thought this bore no resemblance to the picture painted by his dad and me about how it was for sitting nicely and listening to the teacher while she attempted to teach maths or spelling or some other crucial skill.

It’s all about learning through play these days so I suspect he will take to the regime with ease. Some of the current members of ‘apple’ class were also on hand to help the ‘new starters’ who were a lovely bunch, very willing to help or guide when necessary. We were about to check out the man-made bear cave in the corner of the classroom when one little boy advised us against it. “I wouldn’t go in there,” he said, “Tom went in there last week and cut his finger on some tape, blood everywhere.” “Crumbs,” I said, “Thank goodness the bear wasn’t at home too.” He then looked at me with a withering look that only a five year old could pull off.

If Ben could have said “You are soooooooo embarrassing” he would have. I thought it best to remain silent for the rest of the visit.

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