Friday, 26 February 2010

Playground Politics

Whatever next? First Tesco say “No!” to shoppers in pyjamas and now Head teachers are banning “slovenly mothers” from wearing nightwear when they drop their children off at the school gate in the mornings.
I can honestly say I have never done the school run wearing my pyjamas but I certainly don’t have a problem with people who do. I’d rather see a nice, clean pair of pyjama bottoms than a grotty, stained pair of joggers, wouldn’t you? In fact I’m probably too busy to take any notice of the other Mum's attire and therefore couldn't really care less what they wear.
Getting to school on time is pretty much like a military operation. It makes air traffic control look like a walk in the park. One tiny digression can throw the whole system into utter chaos. I guess this is why I am a little more tolerant about Mums doing the school run in their pyjamas than your average Headteacher.

I only have the one child and I find the morning routine utterly exhausting. Junior is full of beans from the second he wakes up. The simplest task cannot be done without being accompanied by a gymnastic manoeuvre.
Go and get your slippers on” I’ll groan with bleary eyes and he’ll spin twice, do a handstand and finish off with a Ninja move that would be envied by the Power Rangers.
Time to get your teeth brushed!” I’ll say and he’ll run up the stairs like a whirlwind, do a forward roll along the top landing and finish with a star jump.
I’ve learned to accommodate an extra five/ten minutes into the morning routine just to allow for cartwheels and body popping. It really can be draining and most frustrating when you’re running out the front door (carrying gym kits and school bags, packed lunches and wellie boot bags) with seconds to spare and Junior is tagging along behind acting out the scene where Darth Vader fights Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. I’m pretty sure my long-suffering neighbours could set their clocks to me yelling “Hurry Up! We're going to be late!”
Despite best laid plans - packed lunch made the night before, uniform ironed and hanging up, shoes polished and lined up at the front door - it is impossible to prepare for unforeseeable disasters on a school morning. And we’ve had plenty! A spilled bowl of cereal, an action man stuck in the U-bend, a coco pop stuck up a nostril, an escaped hamster, a lost shoe, an empty petrol tank. One tiny change sends the whole thing tumbling down like a house of cards. It’s hard to try and explain how many things I need to do in a single morning just to tread water. I simply do not know how people with more than one child manage. I am in absolute awe of anyone with more than two children and I completely understand why some people arrive at the playground wearing their jammies. I would never judge them. But clearly there are some who would.


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