After spending half the morning filling in forms, checking with friends that it was OK to list them as emergency contacts, looking for phone numbers, and searching for a birth certificate, child benefit letter and council tax document; I took little Doris to enrol for primary school.
Every August, on the first day of the school year, we have taken a photo of the kids as they start school - or move up to their next class. It is still a slightly surprising thought, that this year there will be all three of them in school uniforms ready to walk down the road!
Opinion in the family is divided about the significance of 'Doris', joining her older siblings, 'Boris and Norris' at school, however. Mrs Hideous is already bemoaning the loss of her babies, and lingers under some delusion that a vacancy is thereby created. No doubt, little Doris actually going to the school, in a uniform, will be an occasion on which she is one of the watery-eyed Mums at the school gate! Personally I think its great that she's going to school soon - not that I won't miss her cheerful, bossy and hilarious presence in the day. I reckon she's ready for school and needs the next challenge and will soon begin to outgrow nursery. Our local primary school is a ten-minute walk from the house, and is generally a very good school too.
Little Doris herself seems in two minds. If I ask her how she feels about the prospect of education and she says that she thinks it will be good - but she was clearly very daunted when going into the place today, and wouldn't speak to the teachers but clung to my leg and wouldn't look out from under the hood of her coat - preferring instead to inspect her shoes intently! This is a far-cry from the eagerness with which she runs into the familiar nursery environment four mornings a week. No doubt she will gain similar confidence once school starts, as she was equally suspicious of the nursery on her initial visit there too.
Life rushes past at a constant pace. Our perception of time though is uneven - and there are times; milestones such as these, at which its' rapidity is suddenly breathtaking.