School drop-off and pick-up SUCKS! Why? Here are some things you’ll understand if you’re a parent in charge of the daily school run…
The weather is NEVER your friend: Look, if there’s even a remote chance of rain on the weather forecast, you can bet your arse that it’s going to hit at school drop-off and pick-up times. It doesn’t even matter what time your kid starts or finishes school, the rain clouds just know that you’re there, probably in inappropriate footwear, and they’re coming for you. The only thing worse is when the wind AND rain collide to cause pandemonium in the school grounds with parents everywhere losing their shit because their umbrellas have turned inside out and their
freshly straightened hair kids are getting soaked. It’s 15 minutes of pure hell and of course, your kid will step directly into the biggest puddle they can find.
The playdate request show-down: You can spot it a million miles away. There’s your kid, running towards you with another kid by their side, both with a crazy mix of anticipation and excitement in their eyes. Before you even get a hello, they chime out in unison, “Can we have a play date? Please? Pleeeaaasssseeeee….” Your kid has no regard for your plans, they just want to bring their friend back to your place so they can fuck the joint up. Impromptu playdates, much like unexpected drop-ins at home, are the WORST and I no longer cave into the pressure. I mean, didn’t you just spend the entire day at school together? With homework and dinner and readers and showers, etc, there just aren’t enough hours in a weekday anymore. I don’t always say no, but more often than not I do. My kids probably hate me for it, but I don’t really care. If they whinge too much, I play the Stones’, You Can’t Always Get What You Want on repeat in the car the whole way home and refuse to change it until they stop moaning. That usually does the trick.
The car park war zone: Some parents have this shit nailed and get to school an hour before the bell rings to bag themselves a primo car spot. Sitting out the front of school hasn’t been one of my hobbies since 1989 and these days, I like to live on the edge and make it to school by the skin of my teeth. This leaves me circling the school grounds like a mad woman while I yell to myself in the car, “Why aren’t there more fucking carparks around here?!?!?!” It ain’t all bad though, I get my daily cardio in with the ten minute walk from car to classroom, so I’m practically Jane Fonda. Just fatter and without the lycra.
Just a further note on car parks: Unless you’ve got a death wish, don’t park in the drop-off and pick-up zone for longer than three minutes. Parents can turn on each other quicker than #Libspill and I have seen some parking rage doozies at the front of our school. If you decide to throw caution to the wind and use the kiss-and-drop area as a carpark for your convenience, I’d suggest packing a pair of brass knuckles in your pocket. Maybe even some nunchucks.
PJ’s have become appropriate drop-off wear: If you use the three-minute drop off zones appropriately and have nowhere to be but home after you’ve unloaded your posse, PJ pants are totes acceptable. Just chuck a jumper over the top and whack on a pair of sunnies and you’re good to go. Just pray like hell your car doesn’t break down on the way home. That could be embarrassing.
The bag-check: Particularly when your kids are little, school bag checks IMMEDIATELY after your kid has left the classroom are even more important than they are at airport check-in. If they’re missing a jumper or a hat, this gives you time to frantically bust into their classroom and start searching for their stuff like a sniffer dog on the scent of crack. You don’t want to have to fork out an extra $ (insert ridiculous amount) to buy them a new one or worse – touch the Lost Property basket. That shit is gross.
The extra-curricular after-school rush: This is why I hate Wednesdays. My daughter has netball training at 4pm, which means we need to scoot like a bat out of hell to make it home, pack a snack and get changed to make it to training on time. Not put off by your frantic screams of “GO GO GO!” to your kids, someone always decides to start giving you a detailed history of their grandmother’s ingrown toe nail while you’re trying to wrangle the kids into the car. This is annoying, but you nod politely as you scream for them to stop in the confines of your own head.
“My mum said….” Oh God. 99% of the time these uncomfortable and embarrassing declarations come out of the mouth of my 6-year-old when there’s a group of parents congregated together. Every time he says, “my mum said….” or “you know what my mum did….” I want to shove a sock in his gob because I know it’s going to get ugly. He once very loudly declared, “Guess what? One time, my mum did a poo in her pants!” while we were walking to the car with a group of mums…..and about 500 other parents collecting their kids from school. I couldn’t even call him a liar, because he was telling the truth. Good. Bloody. Times.
What do you hate most about the school pickup? Or do you love it?