Mothers across Dubai were either breathing a huge sigh of relief or sobbing into their hankies this morning as they dropped their children at school for the start of the new term.
But rather than simply depositing your offspring into the classroom roughly on time, it seems there are plenty of tactics you can use (some of them underhand) if you want to achieve a flawless drop off. Much is doubtless universal, but there are certainly some skills that are specific to Dubai schools.
Tips and tricks:
● Even if you only drop off one child, make sure you drive your 7-seater SUV right up to the school gates.
● Drive at speed, prepare to race other parents from the red light, bully your way round the roundabouts and take every opportunity to jump the queue.
● Ignore the car parking attendants and remember to cut up your best friend to get that prime parking spot.
● When alighting from your car, greet your friend with a cheery smile and a wave.
● Pay special attention to your chosen outfit. Currently trending is gym wear, preferably black. Whether or not you actually go straight to the gym from the drop off is entirely irrelevant.
● Make sure you and your children are perfectly laundered. Even the slightest trace of toothpaste, breakfast cereal, chocolate, snot, vom or poo will make itself glaringly apparent at the worst moment.
● Although a huge pair of sunglasses will hide a plethora of cosmetic tardiness, make sure your nails are perfect and you hair is pristine.
● Do not rush or run. Do not push or drag your child. Irrespective of what is actually happening, glide serenely through the school with a relaxed and happy expression.
● Greet each member of staff and wish them good morning. Train your children to do the same.
● When engaging in small talk with other parents keep to the following subjects: how charming the children are, how much the children are growing, how lovely everyone looks, the weather.
● Never admit to another mother any homework not done, lost library books, tantrums endured either at home or in the car, diarrhoea or head lice.
● Of course, all of the above also applies during pick up – although you must ensure that whatever you wear is entirely different from the outfit you were sporting only a few hours earlier.
● The only possible exception to this rule is you may return in the same gym wear, creating the aura of a potential six-hour work out. Sweat patches, however, are not acceptable.