Why I won’t actually miss primary school that much after all

I’ve been having a bit of a wobble recently about Belle leaving primary school, it being the end of an era, me practically being old enough for Saga car insurance etc etc, but last night I had one of those moments that reminded me why saying goodbye to primary school isn’t perhaps such a bad thing.

At 10.30pm last night I was presented with a selection of notes. One required me to send in £12.34 (?) for a school trip on the penultimate day of term (!). One was an invitation to a party tonight that required me to bring drinks and provide a selection of ‘whacky wigs and hilarious hats’.

Primary school

The other one said:

‘Just a note to remind you* that year 6 will be performing their Caribbean carnival this Wednesday** at 2 o’clock and all parents/Carers are invited. Children are asked to bring in a small amount of food/snack to share with others at the carnival. This should have a Caribbean theme if possible. Also children are invited to dress in a Caribbean/Carnival theme.’

(The random capitalisation of some words is the school not me, but not the most annoying part.)


So I am about to go to bed, having been up since before 6am, and what, I’m expected to whip up a batch of jerk chicken now and a quick fruit basket hat?

Damn it no. I will not.

I have had enough of being casually asked to do things like make a goat costume on two hours notice, or provide the ingredients to make a Swiss roll when all the shops are shut. Yes I’m sure it’s lovely that all the kids get to dress up so regularly, and I was quite proud of that last minute Anne Boleyn costume, complete with realistic neck wound, (although why Belle didn’t win the Easter bonnet parade that year when I made it all by myself remains a mystery), but enough is enough.

I have been providing poor quality, last minute costumes for 14 years now and it’s time for a lie down.

Now pass me the Caribbean fruit punch.

*This implies that I was obviously well aware of this already. I wasn’t. Possibly my fault that bit though.

*Yes, that’s today…



  1. 17 July, 2013 / 8:30 am

    Oh heck, my little one starts primary in September!! It’s just the beginning for me. I am utterly crap at costumes and that kind of thing! The Anne Boleyn costume sounds awesome ;)

  2. 17 July, 2013 / 8:33 am

    Ha. So true. My favourite this year was mufti day. Just wear own clothes right. No. Actually wear own clothes in colours corresponding to a given African flag. Oh and ‘be creative’. Said African flag – green, yellow and black. My children – both girls. Great thanks.

  3. 17 July, 2013 / 9:59 am

    my eldest goes to senior school this september and if it means no more last minute could you just… then yipeeee…. sadly for me tho my other two still are at primary and both go to different schools so i have two seperate themes for every occasion :o/

  4. 17 July, 2013 / 11:59 am

    Generally, our school is pretty good. There are some last minute things but they know they can’t leave requests for money to last minute as many families are on a tight budget. And they do give a bit of notice of costumes. Things have really improved since they started sending out ParentMail although at least one email seems to have gone adrift for some.

    Part of the issue is those notes. I have to ask the children every flipping day if there are any little extra notes because otherwise they won’t tell me until the last minute. Unless the note is something they want me to agree to and involves me spending money, that is. ;-)

  5. 17 July, 2013 / 12:19 pm

    I’m right in the middle of getting those ‘notes’ from school, in fact my children are in two different schools. One school is constantly expecting you to magic up costumes with only days to go until the event. I have twins in that school and I don’t think they take into account the fact that I have two outfits to sort out. Generally I don’t have the time nor the skill to make outfits so I usually end up buying them, which costs me a fortune!

  6. 17 July, 2013 / 1:15 pm

    2 of the classes in reception didn’t get the letter about the carnival, so although we knew it was happening because we’d had a request to bring food, it was only on the morning of the carnival that we found out 1) parents were supposed to be coming and 2) the kids should have been in fancy dress. We did it at the same time as another class, there they were in their grass skirts and lays (er, hello, they are from Hawaii not the Caribean) and ours just in regular clothes. I am impressed by how many parents managed to get there on such short notice though.

  7. 17 July, 2013 / 1:22 pm

    I’m with you on the costume malarkey. I’m rubbish at making costumes and so, as my youngest takes things literally and wants to look exactly like Willy Wonka/ Darth Maul/ whatever, I end up being fleeced and at the Fancy Dress shop every time.

  8. 17 July, 2013 / 1:23 pm

    Ha! Love this! I have two in primary school and two in secondary school so I guess I have the ‘best’ of both worlds. In my experience secondary school is much harder on your wallet than your whipping up a costume at zero notice skills. Ten pounds for this, twenty pounds for this…..

  9. Louise
    18 July, 2013 / 8:55 am

    Love this, this is my life! I have also managed to get roped into writing the PTA newsletter, which you would think means I know what is going on! Nope still in the dark!

  10. 20 July, 2013 / 7:31 pm

    You mean it stops when they start secondary!? Thank the lord! ;)

  11. 24 July, 2013 / 5:56 pm

    Oh no! Do the demands really get that horrendous?! We have obviously been broken in gently the first year! Hope she enjoys ‘big school’ and you get a break from the demands!

  12. zanuda
    30 July, 2013 / 12:31 pm

    OMG, and I was complaining to teachers and everybody around that they gave us a weak note!!! For me weak in advance – like only couple of nights doing things and only 1 day for shopping because we’re packed with activities and from time to time I need a break (from school runs, activities drop ins, homework help ant other house chores).

  13. calista
    18 July, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    wow ok I broke up from primary yesterday .Miss it so bad

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