Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The politics of the playground

I just read a funny mummy blogger post about the types of mothers you find at the school gates, and it really struck a chord with me. I think there are a couple missing (such as the Perennially Late Mother who always parks right outside the school and makes her children run in since they always arrive after the bell has gone), but overall it's pretty accurate.

It's funny how we all fall into a specific pattern every day - parking in the same place, talking to the same people in the playground, realising that despite having written reminders on the calendar we haven't provided our child with any money to (a) buy a poppy, (b) buy a cake from the charity cake sale, or (c) pay for her hot dog on "it's hot dogs for lunch" day. Yes, I have done all three of these in recent weeks. I always seem to take Isabel to school carrying only my house keys and mobile phone, so never have any cash on me. I'm not sure why writing things on the calendar doesn't help - I also forgot to send her in with a toy the other day for some class project, and had to quickly whip a cloth book off Emily's buggy as a last minute offering. Went down OK, luckily.

It's true though, we are such creatures of habit. The same people are late every day (not me - I may not have everything I need, but I am at least there on time!), I park next to the same people every day, and get stuck on the path behind the same slow woman pushing her baby in a buggy while her two year old dawdles alongside. Lord, she's slow. And the path is narrow, and very muddy on either side, so there are very few opportunities for a quick nip round the side. Meanwhile Isabel's ducked past on her scooter and is miles ahead. Luckily she's been trained to stop at landmarks along the way, so I can at least catch up eventually. It's when I get stuck behind the same woman on the way back to the car that I start to get impatient (impatient, me? Hard to believe, I know). Playground rage anyone?


  1. A good friend of mine is late EVERY day as well. I feel for her children -- who are also marked late on the register. But I don't feel like I can talk to her about it -- she gets very defensive when I bring it up. Uughhh. I highlighted your blog on BMB this week...

  2. This is why I don't have kids - they would always be late for school! :)