School: playground politics and the dreaded “clicks”

We have had a whole week at school and ploughing through the logistical nightmare of the introduction and holding down a full time job – with no annual leave spare cuz I’ve used it all up prior to Maternity leave starting.

The first 2 days Ella was in for an hour and a half, and then starting Monday she was in from 8.55 – 12. This is a nightmare. I am supposed to start work at 9 and I don’t finish until 5. I have been arriving 20-30 mins late for work, and then using my lunch break to pick Ella up and take her to nursery. Unfortunately I only get an hour for lunch and the afternoon session at nursery doesn’t start until 1pm. So that has meant me taking extra long lunches and praying no one is clock watching when I leave.

I’m feeling guilty that I am shovelling lunch down Ella’s throat, whilst trying to get her out of her uniform first, I can’t face having to wash it every night. (I did buy her a couple of pinafores, but made the mistake of buying different ones, and she currently has a hatred for one of them grrrrrrr!) and not really having the time to sit and chat through her day at school. I then drive her to nursery and practically dump her outside and speed off back to work.

A week and a half left of that and then yippee she’s in full days… except school finishes at 3.15. Such a nightmare – I know that hundreds and thousands of people have this issue, but I really do not know how they all manage to juggle it all and not get the sack! Thank god maternity leave starts in a few weeks. I’ll have to think about what happens when that finishes, but not right now – I have a headache!

Amongst all this rushing and dashing about I have picked up on the early start of the school ground politics. It started with a particular group of mums discussing the cars they drive, then they moved on to pre-schools the children attended and where they go to get their nails done. All pretty innocent, making small talk kind of stuff. As the mornings have progressed I have noticed by the answers mums provided the group is getting smaller. (NOT EVEN A WEEK INTO SCHOOL) I lost my place in the “cool club” when we all had to bring in wellies for the children to be kept at school. There are about 6 mums in this collection who were all proudly holding a brand new pair of pink or purple Hunters and I rocked up with Ella’s blue boy Wellies from Clarks, decorated with sparkly stickers so she knew they were hers. Apparently that was my out – as for the last 2 mornings I have been offered the groups back.

I had heard that there will be “clicks” amongst the mums and it really doesn’t bother me. I won’t buy something for my child so that I can show off to other parents; I won’t teach my children that judging someone on their appearance and belongings is a way to behave. I love that Ella chose the Wellies she wanted and that she has not got a clue about what a brand is, and why should she. She is 4. I am well aware that there will come a time when this sort of thing will matter to her. A lot. And I will probably cave in and get her something so she feels she fits in, but she’ll have to work for it in some way. But that is a long way off, and I hope she will have a sense of her own individuality by that point.

It just makes me a little bit sad that this actually still happens. I thought I’d left this all behind WHEN I LEFT HIGH SCHOOL!