When Molly was born she was already booked in at a local nursery. When Molly was 1 she'd got herself a place at the primary school we wanted her to go to. Sure, that had meant me lying to a nun about my religious beliefs - but then again Church Of England isn't that far away from complete agnostic is it? Louise wanted the catholic thing, not me. Although when we looked around at the primary school choices it was obvious to me that Catholic was the unfortunate route we had o go down - hence the lying to a nun.
And before we moved up to Pocklington we were beginning to get a touch worried about where on earth she was going to go to secondary school even though she was only in Year 1 at the time. Our basic choice of secondary school in Birmingham ran: Local comp, King Edward's Grammar, Private. The local comp was the sort where they probably have metal detectors by now. King Edward's Grammar has something like one place for every thousand applicants and private was a little out of our price range.
Moving up here, one of the first questions we asked at the primary school we wanted for her was what secondary schools were available. After Birmingham it was amazing to hear that it was automatic entry to one of two schools; the local Pocklington comp or the York Catholic school.
The relief was amazing. No more worrying. We could just leave it until she got to Year 6 and then let her decide.
And back then Year 6 seemed so far away. But not anymore. Last week we went for the first of two open evenings for Molly. This was the local Pocklington comp. As you would expect, they laid on everything they could to impress, and for Molly it worked. She's talked of nothing else since. Me, not so impressed - remember, I used to work in secondary schools and know exactly how much veneer and polish is applied for these open evenings. But nonetheless, it's a good place for her to go. The advantage is that it's a good school, results are good (although to be honest I have very little worries there - Molly's honestly the sort of kid who'd do well almostanywhere) and it's local - a 10 minute walk. But that's the disadvantage as well - living in such a small town means that going to the local comp rather limits her. Plus it's big - 1200 odd.
In a few weeks we're off to the York Catholic school. Advantage - split sites, with Year 7,8 & 9 on one smaller site - making it feel like a much smaller place than the Pock comp. Disadvantage - it's an extra hour morning and night on the bus into York for her.
But, no matter what, we're determined that it is still her decision. At the moment, having only seen the local comp, she's sold on that one. But once she sees the other she may change her mind. I'll be sure to let you know.
Of course, the most horrible thing in all of this is that my baby is growing up. It's just not fair, not fair at all.