My kids' school is a pleasing short walk from our house and all three kids (ages 4-14) attend the same school. This obviously has many advantages, particularly as the older two do most of their extra-curricular activities there and the little one is too young to know about extra-curricular possibilities. (Subject for another posting - Am I short-changing him?)
The big downside however is the 'phone-call-from school'. (Having caller ID, I can see who it is). Half the time it's the kids begging me to take something they've forgotten. I used to come to their rescue but, not wanting to spoil them, (ha!) the rule now is that school bags have to be ready and at the door the night before. My inclination therefore, is to ignore calls from school. Unfortunately I can't act on this urge, as there's always the possibility of it being the school nurse saying "We'll meet you at the hospital" or the principal saying "Do you have a moment?".
I fell into the trap this morning and answered a call only to hear "Mom" (lasting three full seconds and sounding very dramatic). "Pleeeeze can you bring my violin music to school. The teacher will kill me if I don't have it". I could have left her to face the music (agh sorry!) but I still had to take the 4 year old in (he starts later) -and she knew that. So I dutifully hunted for the music folder and headed off - - to the high school part of the building. Scary music - dan, dan, daaaaan.
And there they were, sitting on the floor in the corridor waiting for their next class. As I rounded the corner a collective shaggy mane turned lazily to appraise me, nonchalantly looking me up and down - and I felt like a teenager walking past a building site. "Keep your head up and look straight ahead" I told myself.
Now, I won't lie - I have looked better. Due to the single digit (farenheit) weather, I was sporting the fetching calf-length duvet coat, with huge padded mittens and a faux fur hat jammed down to my eyebrows, hiding the yet-to-be washed hair. (Workout pending.) In fairness though, I have achieved a certain "coolness" among the 14-15 year olds simply by being British, having seen punk rock first hand, and Thin Lizzy live at Newcastle City Hall. These kids were a little older however, and oblivious to my cachet. So I did what always throws them - looked them all in the eye and gave them my best, beaming "mother" smile. Honestly, it was like dracula faced with a string of garlic, - as one, they averted their eyes and studied the carpet intently. I think one was even whimpering!
I was also able to sneak out before being spotted by my own high-schooler, who would of course, have expired with embarrassment.
Kids - don't you love 'em?