The Year of Lasts.


We were driving to school this morning when it occurred to me.

This is the last school run we’ll ever do with Flea wearing this school uniform. The last day she’ll wear her school tie. The tie I remember painstakingly showing her how to tie for herself, smiling every time she went to school so proud of her wonky efforts.

Today is the last day of term. When she heads back to school for summer term, she’ll be in her summer uniform.


School run, Whittle-style #dogsofinstagram #westie

A photo posted by Sally Whittle (@tots100) on

Then, a couple of months later, it will be goodbye to primary school and a whole new uniform in September.

Wow. This stuff goes fast.

Last night was the junior school disco – I suspect it’s another last to add to my growing list.

Flea was full of chat, and one of the stories she told was about how Girl A would probably spend all her time with Boy B – they’re dating, apparently.

This past year has been a bit like that. Lots of the girls in Flea’s class have “boyfriends” and they have super-dramatic relationships that would put Hollyoaks to shame – with romantic overtures, dramatic break-ups and even more dramatic reconciliations.

Some of my friends think it’s evidence the children are growing up too soon but to be honest, I’m not wringing my hands just yet.

I tell Flea I think it’s sweet (which is the single most effective weapon in your arsenal when you’re dealing with 10-year-olds, I find). And I also point out it’s play, in just the same way the younger kids play Mums and Dads and pretend to drive to work.

“When you’re older, and your body changes, and your hormones have kicked in, then you will start to feel attracted to people in an entirely different way, and that’s when you’ll understand what dating is,” is the mantra I’ve been using for the past year or so.

The funny thing about the last year of primary school is how grown-up your kids look in that setting. Personally, I can’t wait until she’s the tiniest kid in school again.

But at ten, Flea’s definitely very much still a kid. And I’m glad she doesn’t seem to be being pushed too soon into worrying about selfies, and image and being cool.

So I’ll admit I was relieved that Flea couldn’t have cared LESS what she wore to the school disco. Unlike some of the kids, she didn’t bother with nail polish or lip gloss, heading off in skinny jeans, Nikes and an LA Raiders t-shirt. She reluctantly let me brush her hair.

We chatted in the car on the way to the school. And it was lovely. Flea said she didn’t understand the point of spending all night with just one boy. “If you’re just with one friend you can’t hang out with all your other friends,” she said. “Me and Tess are going to eat 10 refreshers each until we’re high on sugar, and then I’ll just dance and jump around and lie down in the cloakroom.” 

It’s nice. For all she’s growing up, she’s very much still a kid.

I like that.



13 thoughts on “The Year of Lasts.”

  1. Furiously takes notes… I like that! “Oh how sweet…” *adds to future arsenal*. Please don’t forget any of this stuff as when your kid is no longer the littlest in the school, mine will be and I’ll sure as heck need some help. I’ve always loved Flea’s very own sense of style *shakes nutritional therapist in training head at Refreshers*. I do love these posts of yours Whittle. Your travels are amazing, the daily comedy that enters your life always amusing but these, these are my favourite ones xxx

  2. Alexandra | I'm Every Mum

    It was our eldest’s 10th birthday yesterday. These will be our days next year and it’s making me all a little bit emotional. I like that Flea isn’t bothered about committing to just one person yet. Isis seems quite content in her tiny school now (I don’t think there’s even a boy in her year), she had a girlfriend at 6, that’s quite normal when you have two Mum’s at one home I think. I hope Flea’s last Summer term will be epic for her, that she’ll enjoy all of her friends and be super excited for high school. Thanks for writing this xxx

  3. My eldest started secondary school last September – he’s already dumped a girl by text message and told another one he’d think about going out with her…. I’ve accidentally created a monster! His younger brother who starts secondary school the September after next year dumped his ‘girlfriend’ its much cooler to be a ‘Single Pringle’ …. I suspect I’ll be a grandmother by the age of 40 and or having to ring girl’s parents to apologise on their behalf…

    Stevie x

  4. This is so sweet, I love that Flea isn’t one of those girls who’s in a hurry to grow up and get dressed up for the disco or be with boys. I was exactly the same. I turned out OK. I think 😉

    The last year of primary school makes you feel so grown up! Some kids are in a hurry.

  5. I remember this stage so well, I use to think my daughter was so big in her primary school. I loved how sweet and innocent she was and sometimes wish I could re-wind to her being ten and playing with lego friends again. She is 13 now and in year 8 and is starting to get to that grumpy teen / make-up wearing stage which I am clueless about as I rarely wear make-up. It is so bittersweet when they grow up isin’t it xx

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