Back to school musings with a C- mother
The first day back at school beckons and with it a hundred A+ Mothers holding a hundred squeaky clean hands. Their perfectly coiffed hair, skinny jeans and Zara blazers reflected in each other's oversized shades.
And heels. Always heels.
Their children wait quietly by their sides whilst Mother catches up on tales of holidays abroad and new gym memberships.
Meanwhile the rest of us huddle at the back of the pack, scrabbling to control our rabble as they dash in opposite directions with a ditch or hill or puddle in their sights. The C- Mothers. We stand awkwardly thanking the Gods that it's finally Back to School time whilst sweating the alcohol that got us through the summer from every pore.
But in the back of our minds we know that this free childcare comes with a price. Gone are the days of getting dressed at 3pm, the heading to McDonalds because you've run out of food, the joy of not having to make healthy lunches that come back uneaten every day, and the relentless ‘being there on time.'
When my daughter first joined school I had such high hopes for us all. I was so grateful that my child was being accepted into this lovely environment when the other schools in the area were, shall we say, less enthusiastic, that I made promises to myself that we would be the model family. My daughter would be on time each day, look immaculate, excel at her schoolwork; I would join the PTA, bake cakes, and go on fundraising missions. I would be an A+ Mother if it killed me God damn it.
Sadly two years and two kids later, that isn't quite the case. Whilst very much alive I have forgotten lunches, forgotten children, and not attended a single PTA meeting, I have let homework go undone, lost books, and fished dirty uniforms out of the wash basket on a Monday morning.
I managed to hit a particularly low point when I failed to even inform the five-year-old that he would be getting two needles stuck in his arm by a nurse that day - whilst other mothers comforted and cajoled their offspring with promises of ice cream and lollipops.
Then my daughter really proved my C- status when she informed her teacher that she ‘didn't have to worry about getting headlice as they only like clean hair and Mummy never washes mine...' The horror.
Though not being one to settle for mild mortification she also smuggled in a newspaper article I had written entitled ‘A lazy mother's guide to parenting' so that she could show her teacher what a class act I really am.