Will Lodge – Back to school already?

Seth, Finley, Mila and Mitchell on the beach during the summer holidays

Seth, Finley, Mila and Mitchell on the beach during the summer holidays - Credit: Archant

Superdad Will Lodge gets ready to go back to school

So the long summer holidays are drawing to a close – and yet it feels like they only started last week.

Our eldest went back to school last week, with the younger ones returning today.

All too quickly the back to school panic preparations are beginning at home.

Those safe, out of the way places we put PE kits need to be remembered and pencil cases replenished ready for the new school year.


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These tasks are relatively simple. What is far more complex is the uniform requirements.

Children have this pesky habit of growing, rendering existing uniform far too small.

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Fortunately with three boys there is a well-established tradition of handing things down, though school trousers rarely make it to even one sibling let alone two due to the wear and tear sustained in the playground. I think we are yet to have a pair that don’t eventually get a hole in the knee.

Growing out of clothes is also now having a knock-on impact on me, and not just on my wallet.

Our eldest is now approaching my size in some clothing departments and has a tendency to borrow things – including underwear.

Unfortunately this borrowing goes unannounced which can lead to some emergency washing when my drawer is suddenly emptied without my knowledge.

Among the back to school preparations this year is a new issue to us.

Our younger two boys will be travelling to school by taxi for the first time when they return for the new term.

This is due to a combination of our distance from the centre of our village, and the dangerous nature of the 60mph road we live on.

It appears there will be a minibus-type arrangement, with four other children also travelling in the same taxi, which makes me feel more comfortable about the arrangement.

While I am not worried about the driver (all of these things are of course rigorously security checked), it will be an odd feeling for us parents and maybe too for the children not to have us in the playground before and after school.

I am sure we will all settle into the new arrangement quickly, and for our family it is perhaps easier as the brothers will have each other, but it is a source of angst for the time being.

As all of these preparations go on, I can’t help but reflect on the summer holidays.

I think they have gone quickly because we have done plenty of fun things.

My wife is the true hero in all of this, as I have only had a fortnight and the odd day off, and I am always amazed at her ability to source different activities.

The summer break also seems to have wetter than usual, meaning fun in the garden has been more limited and we have had to be more resourceful.

But before I lament too much I am sure half term will arrive before we know it.

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