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Dear school-run so and so
Friday, July 2nd, 2010

For some of us, the daily school run is a necessary evil. We mitigate damage to the environment and to sanity by walking as often as possible (in our case, walking takes over half-an-hour, which is a long way for a five-year-old) and by car pooling with other families who live on our street. This sometimes means there will be six children in the car, all clamouring to open windows, change radio station (“Why all the talking? Give us MUSIC”) and show off about which booster seat has two cupholders. By 8.30am, as I crawl home, my brain has already taken a battering. Which is why I wish the following stereotypes wouldn’t crop up with quite such alarming regularity.

White Van Man

  • White van man. The most cliched stereotype of them all. Racing towards me at 100mph won’t make the single lane road any wider. Nor will leaning out the window, rolling your eyes and flapping your hands. My parking sensors have flatlined, which means I’m about to pull off someone’s bumper. Go back from the safe passing area from whence you came and wait your turn.
  • Pack of schoolboys. I get the whole “We own the streets and aren’t scared of traffic” demeanour. I know that you’re swaggering around so that you can try and catch the eye of the mini-skirted year-12 girl shimmying down the opposite side of the road. I appreciate that mums in family saloons are about as far off your cool radar as it’s possible to get. But don’t walk in front of cars just to prove a point. I won’t knock you over, but someone else just might, and even the girl in year 12 isn’t worth that.
  • When pulling out into traffic it’s not worth going so far into the road that taxis, buses and bikes have to swerve past. Which is why I don’t do it. So Mr Lorry, Mr Businessman in a Hurry and Ms Open Top Car, stop the beeping. When it’s safe to proceed, I’ll do so. Until then, use the opportunity to check your mascara or decide whether your blood pressure can really take the strain of the daily commute.
  • Fellow mum. I’m delighted to see you, and would love to catch up. But not in the middle of a busy road with the car windows wound down and a tailback of ten cars behind both of us. A cheery wave will suffice until we’re next on terra firma.  Though obviously I would quite like to hear what you-know-who said about you-know-what after the PTA party…

So there we have it from the biggest stereotype, the school-run mum. The next time you see her, take pity. She’s probably been on the go since 5.30 that morning, and realises that fellow motorists breathe a sigh of relief when the school holidays roll in. But think about it. If  she didn’t do the school run, the children would go AWOL, so locking ‘em up for the day is probably best for all concerned?

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9 Responses to “Dear school-run so and so”
  1. Heather says:

    Home tutoring, it’s the only way!

  2. angels&urchinsblog says:

    Heather – You might be on to something!

  3. Mrshev says:

    A while ago, I self-moved (nightmare!) and hired a 1 ton transit (‘ave it!) which was white and huge. It was a liberating experience as it was the automotive equivalent of wearing fancy dress and I loved being able to flip people the v’s whenever I felt like it and swear like a sailor.

    I don’t think anyone enjoys doing the school run. What’s mad is that I had to walk to school from the age of 6 (in London…a rough area of London) – I know that they’re our little treasures but what happened to independence?

  4. 40yr old mum (and not counting, really!) says:

    You forgot to mention the Other School Run Mum – the professional ones who conveniently flash you to go first when there’s cars parked on both sides and the road reduced to one lane. They just brake and sit there whilst you have to manoeuvre your car into the small space between the parked cars and around them. Walk to school I say! My doctor just told me if I walk to school every day I should avoid osteoporosis in later life…..

  5. angels&urchinsblog says:

    Mrshev – From the reaction recently given to a family who (from memory) allowed their five- and eight-year-old to cycle to school, you’d be arrested now for walking solo to school. Sigh.

    40yr old mum (who’s counting anyway?) – I recently ran, literally, into just such a mum as you describe. Both our cars ended up looking as though they’d done a round with Mrshev in white van mode (see comment above yours!).

  6. Lucy M says:

    The only way I get through the school run is with my iTripp. I’ve made various compilations, all of them filled with tracks chosen to guarantee peace and tranquility. Children start screaming in the back, I just pump up the volume!

  7. angels&urchinsblog says:

    Lucy M – Fancy sharing? Yours sounds better than my stress-buster of choice, Eminem!

  8. Sned them all off to boarding school. Keeps the streets empty and gives you much more time to catch up on the gossip.

  9. angels&urchinsblog says:

    Do you know anywhere that takes five-year-olds?! ;)

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