Once your toddler progresses to a pre-schooler, it begins. No, not the tantrums – (those begin at the brink of turning two) – but the equally-dreaded school run. It's something you will have to face every morning and every afternoon for the next decade or so (depending on the number of kids you have).
Come rain or shine, it has to be done. Whether you are among the luckier mums who always manage to find a parking space close to the school gates, or the 'damn, not again' mums who have to park miles away, it has to be done. It doesn't matter if your kid is skipping to school, happy as can be, or is whining all the way asking for the 800th time that morning why he cannot stay at home, it has to be done. So – to add a bit of fun into this otherwise mundane task, I keep my ears and eyes open and take in all the humour (if I can call it that, at all us mums' expense) of the SCHOOL RUN! These are the seven typical conversations you will hear during the rush hour…
MORNING – DROP-OFF
The hurry up, we're late – again! conversation
This is a given. Every morning. At every household. At the doorstep. And all the way to school. Nothing more needs to be said.
The keep your coat on conversation
Question: Do children have skin? Sensation? Only asking because while it's raining and freezing outside and mums are covered in coats and scarves
and grumpy faces, the littles are without jacket/ scarf/ gloves and seem to be feeling just fine! You will hear at least five mums shouting every morning: "KEEP YOUR COAT ON OR YOU WILL FALL SICK (and then you will have to stay home and I will not get my few hours of sanity")
The 'because every child MUST go to school' conversation
Child dragging feet along slowly.
Mother pushing baby in buggy and simultaneously pulling dragging-feet child along. Trying to walk as fast as she can because, well, we're late – again!
After the keep your coat on fiasco, it begins.
Child: I don't want to go to school
Mother: But you must
Child: But why?
Mother: Because all children go to school (otherwise all mothers would end up in mental asylums)
Child: But why?
Mother: So that they can learn new things, make new friends (and so that all mothers can have at least ONE cup of hot coffee)
Mother: YOU MUST GO!!!
AFTERNOON – PICK-UP
The 'How was school today?' conversation
So, how was school today?
Just ok? What did you do?
Nothing? For the whole time? I'm sure you must've learnt something…
I don't want to tell you now.
(But will open up and tell all five minutes before bedtime. Every. Single. Night.)
The all-important lunch-time conversation
Little kids talking about what they ate for lunch, and mums with aghast faces at the weird combinations their kids just ingested.
Then when the topic moves to desserts, mums faces drooling a bit – chocolate pudding again? Fruit crumble? I want some too…
The arts and crafts conversation
Every mum-on-the-school run will be seen carrying school bag/ a bunch of papers that their tots have randomly painted on through the day / a big cardboard-type thing which looks like god knows what but is supposed to be a spaceship / a scooter – and double all that if you have more than one kid!
Between the pile of stuff, mum tries to first figure out what the hell that cardboard-type thing is, and then applaud her genius child for his or her lovely creation.
So, what is this lovely thing you made today darling?
(Sighs) Oh dear!
Is it a… a… box?
A car? That hasn't been invented yet?
A… a…. why don't you tell me love…
It's a spaceship Mum, can't you see?
A SPACESHIP! That was my next guess. It's awesome!!! (Makes mental note of when would be a good time to throw it in the trash without child noticing its gone)
The stop, STOP, I SAID STOP shouts
Kids going to school – trudging along (see point 3 above).
Kids returning from school – scooting along at Usain Bolt speed.
Not looking back to see if Mum is there. Not bothering to stop when Mum shouts…
Mum calls child's name.
Mum calls child's name again.
Mum calls child's name, this time a little louder, with a STOP.
XYZ, I said STOP.
(Starts running towards child)
So, there they are, the most common conversations you will hear if you ever do the school run. Do you have any more to add?
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