Rant alert: A mother’s comeuppance

Last year, our morning routine was too good to be true: BB was picked up by bus and whisked off to school in a blink, while LB went to a nursery inside our compound.

Workwise, I could do a whole day in the office as a freelance, or bits and pieces at home – the sum of which were a drop in the ocean really in terms of the household budget, but at least made me feel like I was contributing in some small way.

But kids, they tend to start growing up, don’t they? And so it’s still something of a shock to me that this year I have two boys in two different schools (the hope is that in about 3 years’ time, the waiting list fairy will smile on us and BB will join his brother).

Why such an early school start? I’ve heard that in Australia, children with a 9.15am start go surfing first
“You have to leave by 7.20am to get to LB’s school,” my good friend warned, with a knowing, slightly worried look clouding her eyes (she knows I’m not great in the mornings).

And today, I found out why. Despite this school being nearby, to get there for the 7.50am start, you need to set out at least half an hour before to avoid the argy-bargying that goes on round the roundabaout, the tussle for parking spots and the queue snaking its way from the highway.

The drop-off completed on the late side, I headed back to our compound, thinking positive thoughts about going to the gym and getting groceries – all before 8.45am.

Thwarted. A power cut meant another hot and sticky, Bikram-style workout and at the store, it was as if Halloween had come early, with an assistant taking shoppers round with a torch, shining the beam down the dark aisles like a policeman scanning a dingy alleyway for baddies.

But my biggest bugbear this morning: LB is only at school for what feels like 20 minutes. His pick-up is earlier than nursery, just about giving mums enough time to do the shopping, come home, put the kettle on and go to the loo before heading back to the school to collect a child who will need entertaining all afternoon.

How being back on the school run, with less child-free time than before, feeling like a shadowy figure at the other school (BB’s back on the bus, bless him) and foraging around the grocery store with a flashlight is progress, I’m not sure.

I’m not going to get any work done this year, am I?

Rant over. Tomorrow I’ll beat the time thief. I’ll be out the door at 7.20am. Sharp.

10 thoughts on “Rant alert: A mother’s comeuppance

  1. Right there with you. Currently waiting outside number 2’s school. Will pick him up then have about 35 seconds to get two suburbs away and fetch the other. Considering spreading bad rumours about number 1’s school so parents pull their kids out and free up the waiting list

  2. When Son#2 started kindergarten in the US, his school day ended at 11 on regular days. On Wednesdays, when the whole school had early release (I loved this district: the only one I ever heard of that backed up all their talk about the importance of planning by providing actual substantial planning time for their teachers) the kindergarteners were released at something like 9;45. There were many Wednesdays when we kindergarten moms never even left the playground. We just brought our coffee and stood around talking until the kids came back out – there was almost no point in even going home, since you’d be turning around almost immediately…so I completely understand your time limitations!
    Are there any other children in LBs school in your compound? Seems like this would be an ideal situation for a carpool!!!

    • Oh wow, too short to even go home! I do get to go home – not so good for shopping tho, as lots of shops here don’t open until 10am. Maybe that’s a good thing! Yes, lots of kids do go to this school so there should be car pool opportunities 🙂

  3. The GOOD thing is….nothing ever stays the same…it’s only a season. A tough season, but a short one. Hang in there and good luck, I’m sure you’ll find your rhythm in due time! 🙂

  4. As Tracye says the first weeks back are the worst I think until your routine settles down. This is my last year of having them both in the same school….I plan on enjoying the ‘easy’ life while I can. That does mean dropping them to school early to avoid the manic parking/dropping scenario that takes place every morning 10 mins before start time. 😀

  5. Where’s Catherine the Great??? Having sent my son to a French school, he has been in all-day school since the age of 3 and I still rush around to accomplish everything in time for pickup in the mid-afternoon so I guess it never seems to matter how much time you have, the end of the schoolday comes soon enough. I had lunch with a friend who just sent her first child to college She said to me, It will come soon enough and then it will feel strange not to be needed anymore. . . She reminded me to cherish this time when they are little and need their mommy.

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