I’ve been doing school drop off’s and pick up’s – the school round merry go round – for around six or so years, and I’ve seen some comings and goings in the school drive. There are the usual suspects day in and day out and we smile and greet every day even though we don’t know each other’s names. We know each other’s children’s names well enough since this what we each use when we shout (er.. I mean gently remind) our kids to carry their bags, watch for cars, wipe their faces, stop crying blah blah.
Since my youngest son started school there is now also the waiting zone, that half hour to forty-five minutes between one child being released and the other still in there somewhere torturing his teacher. Almost enough time to get home to drop and back to fetch but not really. It’s about enough time for fifteen tantrums, a quick food shop and some bribe time on the iPad. Definitely enough time for the five-year old to tell me “You are ruining my life, I just want to go home.” Seriously dude, I just asked how your day was. On the lucky days when there are more friends waiting for siblings it means he plays on the jungle gym and I chat with some other wait-zone parents. More often though it’s when I just sit on the bench, after handing over snacks and attempting to make conversation with the same five-year-old (you already know how that ends); then I let my brain free wheel and think nonsense things. Because you know my brain never thinks nonsense, only important world things.
But anyway, I got off track a bit there, but that’s how I got to be thinking about my fellow merry go round parents. The one’s I’ve seen doing the drop-off’s and the pick-up’s and the wait-zones. I reckon there are about five basic Looks. And before you go getting all “F**k, is she talking about me?” or “I’m never talking to her again, what if the B***h blogs me!” – Relax. I have been all of these Looks, sometimes in the same day, so I’m talking about myself! And if you happen to spot yourself in there somewhere … Well, come say hallo, it’s nice to know others are rocking the same boat!
- Ab Fab: This is when your clothes go together and do not involve jeans. Alright so it could be jeans but not anything with elasticated waists, leggings or trainers. It’s when you are wearing make-up and normal shoes. Often the preserve of working parents, I confess up front that this is my least common look. But it does sometimes happen to me when there is some kind of work meeting or I spend more than five minutes putting myself together ie my hair is not in a pony-tail. The kids are clean and there is no left over breakfast or break-time lunch smeared on any part of their body. It’s all great and you say “my Darlings” to your children and “have a lovely day” to the teachers.
- Sporty: This is when you are wearing gym kit, running kit, surf kit, cycling kit or anything that looks like you might have to get up off your bum. You are slightly stinky and sweaty; others move away if you stand too close to anyone else. There is a hat or beanie jammed onto pre or post exercise hair. Caution: I’m pretty sure not all sporty spices have actually done anything sporty. Got to love athleisure. Your kids are not happy to see you – they complain you smell and they moan they have a crick in their necks from the surfboard that has been shoved into the car next to them.
- Late: You are sliding in on the last minute or are five to ten minutes late. You haven’t actually forgotten your kids and would’ve been on time but those last two snooze buttons / traffic lights / truck on the road / idiot driver / last meeting / full parking lot slowed you down. If it’s morning your kids are eating breakfast in the car. If it’s afternoon your kids are sitting on the steps looking like you left them in the middle of the forest with no food and no shoes when meanwhile there is a whole school of activity happening right around them.
- Organised: You are exactly on time (early even), waiting in the designated spot for your child. You have a cooled lunch box with healthy snacks to tide them over until you get home. Or sometimes the snack is just a little filler so they don’t starve in the enriching after school sport / activity you have picked together. You move between activities and children perfectly in sync like trains in a German train station. Your kids are grateful you are on time and eat everything in their snack boxes, they give you a little hug in appreciation and tell you all about their day. Hahahahahahahahaahh! Gotcha with that last bit.
- Where-am-I-now : In the mornings this translates to wearing your pyjamas under a big coat and hoping no one will notice. Or wearing any clothes that you could’ve slept in. In the afternoons it means you might still be wearing the same clothes or you might just be wearing that Look. The one that says “What the hell just happened? I was sleeping / at home / working and now I’m back here again. Where did the time go?”
I’m sure you’ve seen more Looks on the School Round Merry Go Round! It’s not a working mum / stay at home mum thing – it’s not even a mum or dad thing if you ask me. Try it out for yourself and see how many Looks you can spot. I’d love to creep into the mind of a teacher to see what Looks they’ve noticed over the years.
That’s it for Blog Monday on a Wednesday! Hope you have a lovely day Darlings and remember: do not stand too close to me in case I’m stinky, do admire my hair if it happens to be out of a pony and do stand next to my children if I’m late. I will share my snacks with you if I’m on an Organised day. Oh, and please remind me which day it is if I have the “where-am-I-now” Look because I guarantee I will not know what after school activity I’m supposed to drive to next.
Have fun on the merry go round,
PS. If you are a teacher, I will take accept anonymous feedback …