I think I can count on one hand the number of occasions that the school run has gone smoothly, in the 5 years I have been making the daily trek to and from school.
I have broken it down into possible senarios I have found myself in over the years.
A. 'to walk or not to walk' that is the question.
We are lucky enough to be in walking distance of O's school. Sound simple doesn't it. Wrong! Negotiating a buggy with wonkier wheels on it than the average shopping trolley down tiny pathways that were fine back in the day when people were smaller and didn't take the kitchen sink back and forth to school every day, is no mean feat. Chuck in my son's inability to walk in a straight line or sudden refusal to carry anything results in a number of collisons with the hundred other school children heading in the same direction.
Then there is the occasion when O steps in dog muck and spends the rest of the journey moaning about it and wondering how mummy will clean his shoes once we arrive at school. Don't get me wrong, I love a walk but not when I am up against the clock.
B. 'Baby you can drive my car'
The drive to school is usually pretty uneventful until you reach the school carpark. The car park of doom. The smallest car park in the entire world that is meant to hold all these enormous tractor like vehicles that people insist on driving. If you are lucky enough to get a space, congratulations, pat on the back to you. If not you waste a good 10-15 driving in circles, slow circles in case you run a school child over, looking for a space or waiting while someone 'drops and goes' but the poor child is busying emptying the endless amount of bags required for his 6 hour day.
Bingo! I have a space. Now to navigate O with his bag and H who insists on carrying a random pile of crap with him to drop his brother to school, across the car park. This is potentially lethal. We have some parents who like to use the car park as a race track so its a case of a wild game of chicken to get safely to the pedestrian area.
O installed in his classroom, H and I head back to the car totally avoiding any eye contact with any other parent as I'm up against the clock to get H to nursery so I really don't want to dissect my weekend or make small talk with someone who's child's name I cant remember. Back at the car and my amazing (diagonal) parking space, who the hell has diagonal spaces? I find someone has managed some award winning parking. They have parked so close to my door I am unable to open it without creating some serious dentage in both cars so I have to fold up my 5'9 frame in half and scramble across the passenger seat back into the drivers side. Good job I practice yoga or I would have never managed some of those positions.
This scenario is repeated at 3.30pm. My favourite time of the day.
C. Rain rain go away
If you are really lucky you will enjoy the school run in a torrential downpour rainforest style that is saved for either the hours of 8.30-9am or 3-3.30pm. In between those times its beaming sunshine. So wrapped up in wet weather gear we jump into the car and set off, extra 5 mins early to spend searching for a parking space. This is where the usually mildly crazy parking cranks up a notch and becomes unbelievably crazy. We have abandoned cars, people playing even more lethal games of chicken and children wild with post school excitement. Not to mention the effect the weather has on my appearance. Frizzball hair, mascara making its way down my face and rain dripping off my nose as my hands are full with bags, a snack and if I have found it, my brolly. By the time we get home we are all drenched, grumpy and arguing.
D. Enforced guilt trip into walking to school.
Once a year O's school hold a 'walk to school' scheme which on paper is great, encouraging exercise in the school children and also road safety awareness. So if you walk the regulation number of times to school in a week you are awarded a badge in assembly at the end of the week. There are a number of badges to collect and pin to your jumper. Ok so if I don't manage the walks all merry hell breaks loose and we have tears before we have left the house because the much coveted badges are in demand. So come rain or shine, usually rain, I drag my two to and from school usually all looking like we've been on a ramble with Bear Grylls by the time we arrive. But my son gets his badge and I can give myself a round of applause.
The school run should come with a health and safey warning I'm sure. It has the ability to cause injury or tears or at the very worst parking rage and that's just the parents!
|Today we were stuck behind this crane unloading for ten mins #schoolrun|