Was a lad (easy). Now a dad to Daisy & Seth (less easy).

Things Are About To Change…


It’s been all over your Facebook feed this week, I guess?

Fresh-faced kids, dressed in their brand new over-sized uniform, standing on the steps of the house. Expertly placed in position by the front door, giving their best pose ahead of day one at big school.

Today, it was our turn.

Daisy bounded out of bed around an hour earlier than normal. I guess she knew that the big day had arrived.

“Please can you tie my hair up, I don’t want to get nits” she exclaimed.

If getting nits is her biggest fear about starting school then I think we are going to be ok!

Today represents everything I fear about being a dad. It’s the day that my girl gets just that little bit more grown up. I know it’s nothing unusual or unique but every landmark makes you sit up and notice that your little one isn’t the tiny baby you cradled in your arms anymore.

However, something about today felt a bit more serious. A smidge more grown up.

Perhaps it was the school uniform?

One minute she had leapt out of bed in her PJs, grasping onto the teddy that she still sleeps with looking all disheveled and small. Ten minutes later, she was wearing her brand new school togs and suddenly looked like a teenager.

Perhaps it was the attitude?

“Daisy, you look so grown up”, I said. “You know, just because you’re going to school doesn’t mean that you’re not my baby. You’ll always be my baby girl”.

To which she replied “not when I’m a great-grandma, because then you’ll be dead I think”.


I think the main reason it feels so strange is because Daisy going to school will fundamentally change the time I have with her. Beforehand, I’d drop her at nursery every morning for 9am, then pick her up at 1pm. I’d normally have an hour with her before going to work and I’d be back just after 7pm to tuck her into bed and read her a story.

Now, I’m taking her to school by 8.30am and won’t see her again until bedtime.

It really feels like I am having to let go of her for the first time. Daddy day care, my life for the last 4 and a bit years, is gone.

(I’m actually feeling a bit weepy even writing this – something that never happened to me before I had kids!

Deep breath.

OK; I’ve pulled myself together…)

We had, of course, allowed extra time for the obligatory photo.


Daisy posed, proud as punch, we hopped in the car and off to school we went.

My main worries had been as follows:

  1. Will she freak out?
  2. Will she make friends?
  3. Will she be happy?
  4. Will she eat any of her school lunch?
  5. Will she cry when I drop her off?
  6. Will I ever stop being such an overbearing, paranoid, worried dad?!

Initial signs after the drop off are that questions 1-5 seem to be just fine. Less so number 6… but I’m working on that!

Daisy rolled up to school without a care in the world. Some of her friends from nursery were there and they all seemed delighted to be reunited and given the opportunity to compare patent shoes.

I’ve never seen so many parents at a school. The amount of photos being taken probably rivalled the amount you’d expect during a Taylor Swift concert. It was relentless.

But most of the kids seemed perfectly fine. Maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal after all?

One thing I had wondered for a while was the final thing that I was going to say to Daisy before leaving her to get on with it. I wanted it to be impactful and be something she would remember.

Having given it a lot of thought I went with the following:

“Be yourself Daisy; because there’s no one else like you”.

I meant to leave it there and let her soak in my words… but I couldn’t help myself and then blurted out:


After all, this is the first rung on the ladder to her gaining a place at Oxford University! 😉

It was only upon getting home and starting to write this blog, reflecting on the morning’s events, that I realised the following…

Today wasn’t actually that big of a deal for Daisy.

It was only a big deal for one person.


(As always, please feel free to leave your comments and experiences below.)


Author: lad2dad

Dad to Daisy (aged 5) and Seth (aged 3) & Honey (aged hardly anything at all). And I chat on the radio for a living.

8 thoughts on “Things Are About To Change…

  1. Been through it 4 times and every time I’ve been more upset and worried than them. My eldest boy is starting Leeds Grammar school on Monday and I’m so nervous for him.

  2. It’s a very monumental day, they grow up far too quick & it’s tough. For us. My little Miss has just gone into Year 2 but likes looking after the littlies so she may befriend Daisy at some point (they are at the same school obvs!) Hope you get used to it soon! Ali

  3. Lovely pic Rich. Where’s the time gone to! You are right about first day nerves of starting school. The children get prepared by soo many and we the parents don’t! I bet you shed a tear didn’t you, well at least inside.

  4. Dear Rich,

    I think it takes a lot of courage to write down your feelings – I’ve always seen mothers at school being stressed and weeping because their kids were going to school for the first time. Turns out, they’re going to school to learn many things – french, math and so on – but they learn how to become citizens and future adults, I believe in that.

    And the cutest thing to me is, they teach us too.

    I’ve learnt so much from my pupils over the last two years and I’m not even a dad, so I can’t begin to imagine what you felt when the big day arrived!

    I hope she grows into a lovely and respectable young girl and woman, and that her teachers will care about her well being. I’m not doing my job to please parents, but what a reward it is when they are telling me that I contributed to a their child’s development. I teached them how to read, how to count and write, and I see them grow everyday. I realize that we, teachers, spend more time with your kids than you do. So I’m sure you will enjoy your dad-daughter moments even more, and she will have lots to tell you, which will lead to moments you will cherish forever.

    This blog post made me emotional a little bit, frankly because I can’t wait to have kids so I will fully understand why parents are so anxious when it comes to their kids and school!

    Please tell us more about her life at school later during the year! And let me tell you, I’m glad I ran once into your blog and your show, it’s great to enjoy some me time after school listening to you while working!

    Wishing you a great week


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