The School-Run

As I write this, I’ve now completed two morning school-runs. Just two, and I have to say, I’m not keen.

Boo is only at pre-school, so she goes for two full days a week. She is at the same nursery that she’s been at since January, but she did two afternoons then and on the one morning she went, I used to drop her off at 9.30 and very wisely miss the madness. I don’t mind the pick-ups, as I’ve time to prepare a little more. But I felt that now it’s her pre-school year, we should get her in at 8.45 and get ourselves used to the full day. Why, oh why have I mentally committed to this?! Yes, I know it’s the right thing to do, but I’m just two days in here, remember, and I’m not loving it.

school runWe’ve left the house at 8.35ish, though my learns so far are that it needs to be more 8.30. If Little Man obliges and wakes up, that would be a help. On the first run, he was still sleeping soundly at 8.15, and whilst I don’t mind him being in his pjs for the journey (is this acceptable, experienced school-runners?), I do mind him not having a nappy change first and he’d definitely mind not having his milk. Which does then lead us on to another problem. He’s still sick, or might be sick, just after his milk. It’s generally controlled as long as he doesn’t move about much for 10-15 minutes after the feed, and he has to have a dummy in, as the sucking helps him to control it. So that 8.15 wake up was a challenge, and I so hate to wake a sleeping baby. If he’s been awake for a little longer, and we can get some breakfast in him, too, then he’ll almost certainly need another nappy change, as he does like to ‘go’ within the first hour of eating. Joy.

The hound is also unhappy and not too obliging where this new routine is concerned. He gets in the way, doesn’t want to go outside to the toilet at this time, and then proceeds to howl as we depart. All adds to the warm-glowing feeling I have at this point.

To be fair, Boo is happy with it. She gets ready quickly, when I ask her to, and will be happily waiting by the door, coat on, bag in hand when the time comes to leave. At least I have that! And though the logistics with Little Man give me a headache, he seems to think it’s a great adventure and doesn’t complain at all.

Once out and in the car (it’s just that little bit too far for Boo to walk, as Little Man’s in the pushchair. I’m hoping by next year when she starts school properly, she’ll be fine and we can walk it), there’s a fair bit of traffic out there. Who knew? – yes, I know you did. And then the parking, and rushing and cars driving up kerbs in their haste to get a spot and drop their kids off is all a hideous chaotic buzz around us. I debate the speedier solution – hold Little Man or pop him in his pushchair, but that’s all based on how near we can get to park to the school (he’s quite a heavy lump now!). It is at about this juncture, that the idea hits..

You know how easy, good, old McDonalds try to make our lives with their drive-through facility? A drive-by drop-off anyone? Imagine the easing of traffic and congestion. Imagine the parents who no longer have to wrestle to get other children out of their cars to do the drop, or those that can’t parallel park, so no longer need to (I tend to be OK at this, but under the pressure of mummy gazes and with traffic building around me, I may just crack…). Now you’re telling me that that’s not practical, that it’s nicer to take the children in and settle them, that teachers and TA’s have better things to be doing at that time in the morning than be standing outside collecting children. I can dream, though, can’t I?

I suppose we’ll just get used to it. I’ve very deliberately not thought about exactly how many runs lie ahead of me, as I think it’s best to just take them one at a time. And I’ve very deliberately not thought about whether it’s the school-run that’s getting to me, or the knowledge that my baby is growing up and apart from me faster than I’d like…

Has it recently been your first run? How’re you finding it? And from those more seasoned at this than I, does it get better??

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26 thoughts on “The School-Run”

  1. We will be doing our first one today! Thankfully we are within walking distance because I see the chaos that ensues with the cars around here at around 9am and I am the worst parker in the world so that would be incredibly stressful for me! I love the idea of a a school drop-off drive-thru!

  2. In the US many schools’s have a drop in/off car lane, seriously. Mind you they’re very car centric .i guess. I too struggled a lot with the school run when my eldest was in reception and littlest was very small. He also used to be sick frequently. If it’s any consolation, it does get easier as thy get older! Then you have the school run being quite literal as you chase after your bike riding eldest and running after your youngest…..

  3. I walk my dog at times around the village and pass the school and I am staggered that for half an hour mornings and afternoons the parents drive like they’re possessed and take over the whole road, ignoring the hash lines outside the corner, parking on pavements and on corners. The selfishness involved and total disregard for anyone else astounds me. Good luck dealing with it !!

  4. We’re on afternoon settling in sessions this month in reception class which Annie loves, but the walk to collect her at 3 is treacherous. People park like total idiots just to get 20 feet closer to school. I’m amazed no-ones been seriously hurt because the majority of car drivers nearby seem so selfish, parking on pavements, blocking roads while they nip out to collect a kiddo, parking over driveways…! Shocking!

    1. It is awful. I live near a school, too, & people frequently park over our driveway. And near Boo’s school is really narrow roads, so you can imagine the chaos. Frightening!

  5. I am slowly getting back into the routine of the school run – although it’s a lot slower with Ozzys little legs joining us every morning. I find myself dodging the lycra clad mums though – never trust any mothers whose inner thighs don’t meet at the top I say!

  6. A drive through would be great. I’m only doing 2 days for the run to the village nursery for which there’s no parking and a very narrow road to park along against a verge you can’t open the door against. So trying to get a child out of a car seat from the wrong side of the car is a nightmare and worse so when you’ve got the cars going in and out of the village to and from the school (which is down the tiniest one car width road, although it does have a car park). Thankfully the school is only 60-70 pupils large with obviously less cars due to some walking and siblings, but it’s still manic. I have to drop at 9am and get to work 7 miles away in town by 9.15. It’s harsh as there’s no early drop off. At least his other nursery’s down a farm track (and this nursery has just got planning permission to move to a gliding club site where there’ll be off road parking and will be outside the village).

    1. That sounds awful! What a nightmare. And there must be plenty of you struggling with the same thing each day. I do wonder why they don’t look out there and try to do something about it.

  7. We do the school run walking….No car for us as neither my partner or I drive….We tend to get there early to miss the idiot drivers….I’m sure some of them got their licenses off the back of a cereal box….lol A drive through would be great….hahaha

    1. Oh we’ll be walking when she starts school next year. There’s no way I want to be involved in the madness every day, though just 2 days a week seems bad enough now. People are crazy drivers at school run time!

  8. It does get easier. Once you figure out the right timings for your routine. I used to carry one in the baby sling (he just slept), push the stroller, while the eldest walked. We have more problems with the commuters racing along our lane in the other direction, as we walk to school. (Honestly, why don’t these people leave earlier?) Eldest gets the school bus from the end of our drive now, so this term its very strange walking only two to school.

    1. I appreciate the reassurance that it does get easier. I think you’re right about the timings, as I’m still not sorted on that so it’s the plan to work on that next week! Thanks x

    1. Oh yes, the countdown to getting out the door. I thought we’d cracked it yesterday until I picked up Little Man to put his coat on and discovered I needed to change his nappy. So close to getting out the door!

  9. Oh hun, the logistics when you have a baby are a nightmare, I remember it well. It doesn’t get easier as such, you just get more used to it and find little short cuts to get you out of the door faster in the mornings (although it’s still chaotic!). I like the idea of a ‘drive thru’ drop off, they do that in America, don’t they? Great post x

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