I’ve always heard the term ‘school run’ used on a daily basis however never really comprehended why it’s called a school ‘run’ and not a ‘walk’. Now I know. It’s because you’re always running so bloody late that even if you manage to keep your pace at a brisk walk, your child is having to run like a bat out of hell beside you.
I think it’s true what they say, the closer you live to school, the later you are. One minute you’re sitting in the living room trying to wrestle a pair of shoes onto one child, persuading another to brush their teeth and trying to stop the third from crying as he’s ready to nap, and the next minute you check your watch and chuck everything on the buggy ready to go. Well you would, only now Middle F has removed his shoes and refuses to wear a coat in temperatures of -7 and Big T has busily returned to his latest art project and is trying to reach the glue.
It’s absolutely vital that by the time you cross the threshold of the school gate you have returned to a family scene with utmost composure, perhaps have enough breath to hold a conversation with your children and pass the odd joke between you and chuckle. Your school aged child must now be calmly walking beside the buggy and your 3 year old sitting calmly within it, perhaps singing a sweet nursery rhyme, not being remotely bothered that it’s strapped in and unable to roam…wouldn’t want to appear that you don’t have 100% control over this situation after all.
Every Wednesday Big T and I chant his number bonds on the way to school. On the surface I may look like a pushy parent using every given opportunity to support and progress his mathematical skills. In reality, we are supposed to practise them on a daily basis ready for him to be tested once a week, however we forget all week until the day itself, and just before leaving think ‘Holy crap! Those bloody, shitting number bonds!’ and then we panic revise in the 5 minute run to school.
When we reach school it’s the mass handover of school goods as Middle F is unleashed and makes his bid for freedom into the school trees to find his daily stick. Managed to persuade Big T when he had chapped lips from the playground that the best thing for it was nipple cream, so there we are as he is supposed to be going through the classroom door, liberally applying nipple cream to his lips. I’m sure that’s a normal thing to do.
I just about manage to persuade Middle F to stay in the buggy on the way to school on the promise that he can walk home. He gallops off like a gazelle as I jog with the buggy and Little B, narrowly dodging the copious amounts of dog turd on the way. Middle F has the time of his life, wielding his stick around, doing Power Ranger moves right beside shiny cars making me shit myself that he’ll end up giving them a hefty scratch. I find myself calling out ‘steady’ as he takes off to quickly- who calls out ‘steady’ to their child!?? Isn’t that what you say to an excitable animal?!
It’s always a case of attempting to juggle 100 million balls at once, or in this case just 6. Prior to leaving one morning, I managed to at one point be breastfeeding Little B, have Middle F sitting on my shoulders playing the tambourine and have Big T sitting beside me reading his school book, all whilst I applied mascara. Why was there nobody here to see this?! I thought. Boom! Or at least it was boom worthy until Middle F slipped, dropped the tambourine on Little B, my mascara shot up my forehead and Big T was pissed because he thought I wasn’t listening.
Oh how far I’d fallen. Luckily I knew exactly what had happened to ‘Hungry Floppy’ as we’d had that one twice before so knew precisely what shenanigans he’d got up to on that camping trip. Close shave.
Middle F likes to run straight across roads when walking to and from school so currently have him on a training road safety course (run by me).
Today he shot straight across a road (thankfully a quiet residential one) before I could grab hold of him. I think I lose one of my nine lives every time he does it instead of him due to the heart attack I endure with each kamikaze dash. On the other side I managed to grab hold of him and in slow motion get my foot caught in the buggy, being smooth and totally in control of the situation I floored us both onto the pavement in the process. I’d skinned a couple of my knuckles but thankfully he was unharmed. I picked him up to check him over and when I put him down discovered that he had done an almighty wee all down the side of my coat. Would have been ok if it was wipeable but being stuffed with feathers it wasn’t.
The last bit of the wee soaked walk with a screaming toddler felt like a million miles.
Getting extra paranoid a couple of days ago about an itchy head I thought I’d treat it for lice. I checked all the boys hair, nothing, no itching from them either but figured what harm could a bit of lotion do?! At 7am the lotion was generously applied, thought there was no point scrimping on this sort of thing so filled my boots and on it went. I combed it through vigorously but no lice or eggs to be found, not one creepy little bugger was lurking there after all. Grateful for the false alarm I went to quickly wash it off before the school run, plenty of time. Well, there would have been if I could get the bloody stuff off my hair.
FOUR washes later and it was still like rats tails. Beginning to feel a bit panicky I thought I’d get out and dry it, I’m sure all will be fine then. Time was ticking getting closer to needing to leave for school and the boys were still running around half dressed popping in and out of a den they’d built, laughing about wiggly willies.
I then dried it. And dried it, and dried it, but it wasn’t actually getting ‘dry’ and hung round my head like an oil slick. There was a dusky cloud forming in the room as Little B was lying on the bed, I crapped myself I was gassing him out so quickly stopped and opened a window. Big T asked if I’d also washed my feet with the lotion, when I replied no, he said that may be a problem and there will still be lice there. Helpful chap.
Still looking as wet as when I’d started I had to abandon ship and scrape it back for the school run, was going for the ‘fresh out the shower after my morning workout’ look and completely didn’t pull it off. Did however pull off the ‘greasy, rank and fresh out a deep fat fryer look’ quite nicely.
Wanted to tell everyone I saw on the run what had happened so they understood my new look, any stranger needed to know, perhaps just a little point at my head saying ‘Nit lotion’ would suffice, could put it with a jesty tut and a roll of my eyes as if to say ‘Oh silly me’…
Got home, hadn’t told a soul.
Clearly needed to sort it as it’s one thing stepping out with freshly washed hair in the morning, but quite another if you return to the school gates 6 hours later and it still looks soaking wet. Thankfully with a bit of help from Dr Google and some baby shampoo, normality was restored before afternoon pick up.
Next time I may wait to find evidence of lice before treating my head, or even splash out on the more expensive lotion if I’m really pushing the boat out.
Treat. Your. Self. Boom boom.