Monday, February 11, 2008

God bless 'em

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?


  1. I am so for not letting the 4 year old know about on earth can that be manageable when I am running around with my head dangling off after the other two??

    Maybe this is why most people only have 2 kids!

    Oh well too late!


  2. I agree - don't go there until you really HAVE too! I have a friend who's told her third child that basketball doesn't start until 3rd grade. As long as his classmates don't squeal, she's got it made.

  3. Love the mother treatment for the cool kids - it also works wonderfully to say something cheery and watch them run.

  4. Way to go EPM - face them down, it's the only way. (But Thin Lizzy?)

  5. I may have to cave this summer. Three months is probably too long to go without signing him up for something!
    And I was obviously decades ahead of things as Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back in Town" is now a featured song on one of our PLay Station games. Who can resist that one really?

  6. Teenagers are hilarious. I think you should have found yours, given her a big hug and said at top volume "here's your violin music darling! And I've got your favourite - hot dogs for supper!" She'd have been so mortified she never would have forgotten anything ever again.

  7. Funny post. I was next door to our Primary school, and if I forgot something, it was gone. I feel jipped.

  8. G'day from Australia,

    These three posts made me smile. I'm a Dad of three and I can identify with this.

    You saw Thin Lizzy live? Ma'am I salute you.....

  9.'s the Thin Lizzy part that caught MY eye, too! COOL!

    Great story!


  10. Gbs - great idea! Must try it. It's obviously what my hubby is doing now. I used to complain that he only packed for himself when we went anywhere. He is currently driving me nuts, trying to pack for Saturday but it's all things that the kids still need! Grrr!
    Abd- living next door to school. Yikes.
    david - welcome! It's dawned on me that it's summer where you are so that's made me rather depressed. Enjoy!
    janet- Hi. I had a crush on the guitarist with the long hair and still have photos from the concert. That was back in the day when you could stand right up against the stage.

  11. :)

    Was it the City Hall? The sweat used to drip off the walls in there...

    I like the fact American teenagers think brits are cool - which, being from my part of the world, I'm sure you are!

  12. I have left you the "Keep Up The Good Work" award!

  13. Mutterings - no less. I WAS very cool. TO be seen at the Mayfair on a Friday and later a Monday night (rock nights), The Cooperage (where I had my 18th) when it was dangerous to go down on the Quay Side, and The Jubilee, the bar opposite the city library. It has gone through several reincarnations and I have no idea what it's called now. Alas, far from being cool these days, my teenager thinks I am a walking "What Not to Wear" ad.
    gbs - thank you so much, and great to see a new award (not that I have tons) but it's very pretty. I will now do the bloggerish thing and pass my 2 awards on.


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