I have recently just joined the small army of school mum’s at our local school now that eldest son is attending his pre-school sessions. The one aspect I was dreading from the start was the logistics of getting up to the school in time, finding a parking space and depositing him, all whilst juggling baby brother.
It all happened at once. He left his nice safe and secure environment of nursery, I gave birth in March and then after Easter it was the start of pre-school. I hadn’t wanted to take him out of nursery as I liked him having two full days there a week and he absolutely loved going. I thought why rock the boat and change it if they have a pre school class? Unfortunately when I received the run down of my maternity leave payments from my workplace, the realisation that we couldn’t afford it was like a sharp slap in the face. I wrote about my tears over nursery a while back and we have come a long way since then and the arrangement works okay for us at the moment.
What I didn’t expect really was to be thrust into the ‘school run’ quite so early. Whenever I used to drive past schools at dropping off or picking up times (seething about the fact I couldn’t get through for all the annoying cars double parked), I used to always think to myself what utter bedlam it looked like and how I wouldn’t be looking forward to it when the time came.
Well it’s all come early complete with an attitude problem from Beastie that you might expect from a four or five year old. We knew that there would be a lot of changes going on for him with leaving his existing nursery, gaining a baby brother and starting a new school but I suppose we could never predict how it would actually affect him. The changes in him are entirely another post though.
Considering I started the school run not long after having major surgery, things could only improve. Sometimes I wonder how I did it, but I just got on with it, well you have to don’t you? I had to start as I meant to go on and for all the faffing that is parking and lugging a baby in and out of the car for the umpteenth time, I’ve got my routine now and it works pretty well. My life revolves around pre-school days for the three hours he attends three times a week but I know it’s got to be done. There was a reason I only chose three days for the time being. Five days might have sent me over the edge and that can wait until he starts school full time.
So logistics aside I hadn’t considered what goes on in the playground. No I don’t mean what the kids get up to, I mean that small army of mum’s I referred to earlier. Low and behold I’m in my thirties but you could be forgiven for feeling like you are back at school again yourself. Now I haven’t experienced any problems but there is a distinct vibe of bitchiness that I would rather not be part of.
I like to park up in good time so I actually get a space within walking distance and this means I am there with ample time to spare. I hadn’t realised what a social gathering it is for some and there are several clique groups that are there well in advance, catching up on all the gossip (as us ladies do). I know because one of the mums there befriended me and she has told me so. I speak to her everyday and our little boys are now buddies in their class and we have have also spent time together outside of the school. She’s a bit of a ‘networker’, nothing wrong with that but it’s just not really for me. She has told me of a woman that has initiated a conversation with her twice now and on both occasions has cut her dead when one of her friends turned up. Not only did she cut her dead but she turned her back on her, the kids in the playground have nothing on her.
It seems that a few individuals are indeed fake and have little consideration for others, the same could be said for many situations in life. Only here there is a massive influx of them and you need your guard up. Some really do seem to revel in the school run as their daily fix.
I really can’t be bothered with it all if I’m honest. I am going up there to take/pick up my son and I can’t be doing with a mothers meeting and you’ve guessed it, I am most probably not going to be the best candidate to join the PTA either. Now you more than likely think that I’m a miserable cow that ignores everyone, far from it. I’m just aware that with this environment you need to tread more carefully and stay in the middle somewhere as if you fall out with someone there it’s going to be very awkward when you wait in the playground. Then worse still is the prospect of attracting a ‘cling-on’ (definition: A term used for a social and academic loser who, in a desperate attempt to re-gain popularity, befriends an individual to the near point of stalking them).
Here’s to many more years of school run fun and growing a thick skin I guess…