Potentially the most stressful time of my day falls between eight fifty and eight fifty-five. The time most commonly referred to as drop off.
To any non owners of school age children reading this ‘drop off’ is not the time where us tired frustrated mothers hang our beloved offspring over a cliff edge and ‘drop em off’; nor am I referring to the time I visit the bathroom for my morning constitutional. Instead ‘drop off’ obviously refers to dropping the kids off at that free childcare place we lovingly refer to as school.
But cor blimey governor what a palava it is.
We drive to school which means I have signed up for a lifelong argument of arguments with the ‘locals’ as I struggle to park within a mile of the gates on a daily basis so often when running marginally late I sometimes accidentally park in non popular places (read: in front of someone’s drive/garage/car.)* So it is no wonder my heart is already pounding as I attempt to remove my children from the warmth of my car.
I should describe the car at this point so you can get a visual. I won’t bother telling you the make and model as true to my gender stereotype I haven’t got a bloody clue. My car is a cross between the A team van and Postman Pat’s funmobile. Twin boy is always incredibly proud of the fact it has six seats which means it is brilliant. In fact he once openly mocked a father and son team as they stepped out of their two man Porsche by pointing our how small their car was and very ‘uncool’ as it lacked our four extra seats.
Our car is red and has sliding doors; thus far I have resisted the temptation to allow the children to hang out of the doors humming the A team theme tune as I hurtle along country roads but have no doubt that one day it will happen. But anyway, in short my car is not what one would describe as ‘inconspicious’. It is a bloody great big people carrier!
So at 8.50 I screech into a dubious parking space and put plan drop off into action. First I unclick the babies seat belt, whilst twin boy and girl unclick their own and hurriedly rush to my seat in order to randomly try to get in my way to prevent me safely removing bb from the car. Twin boy often likes to turn the radio on at this point to add a bit of background music to my rising stress levels.
With bb unbelted, I leap out of the car and crawl to the boot on my belly so the owner of the drive I have just blocked will not be able to identify me in a line up later. Out of the boot I retrieve the buggy and spend a good five minutes trying to assemble it and usually break a couple of nails in the process. Whilst I am busy doing this the twins take the opportunity to have a good fight in the back and usually simultaneously burst into tears. At this point I am tempted to use my rather tremendous shouting voice but again don’t want to identify myself in any way to the owner of the drive I have just parked in front of.
Once BB is secured into buggy using a five point harness in case she suddenly learns to do acrobats and decides to leap out without warning Istart the business of extracting the twins from the big red fun bus. Twin boy chooses this time to hide his water bottle under one of the six seats and twin girl likes to open her lunch box to check out what mummy has put in. In addition if she doesnt like what I have put in there is a good chance she will wail about it.
The time is rapidly approaching 8.55 and so far I have one child out of the car who doesn’t even go to school.
As I demand for the last time for the pair of them to shift their backsides and join me on the pavement they both decide to leave the car together which basically entails pushing and shoving until they emerge red-faced and angry. They are both then sent back into the car to retrieve lunch boxes, book bags, scooters, PE kit and various assortments of ‘modeling’ materials we have collected at home. If he is on particularly good form twin boy likes to take this opportunity to ‘accidently’ clobber twin girl with his scooter – just for fun.
Eventually we all stand looking like a defeated army on the pavement by the car; hair ruffled, coats hanging open and arms full. Twin boy and girl set off at haste on their scooters chasing the sound of the ringing school bell leaving me behind with a pram with a small mountain piled on top of two book bags, two PE kits, two water bottles, two lunch boxes and two boxes full of crap for the modeling table.
Luckily though with so much stuff treacherously balanced on the buggy there is no way the owner of the drive I have parked in front of will ever be able to identify me in court!
*I am not proud of this but confession is good for the soul