School runs are done differently here. It’s much more hands off.
In England, the children aren’t released from the classroom until the teacher sees their parents. So there was much standing around waiting for them to get organised. We would use the time to congregate, natter, catch up on news and gossip. The Yummy Mummies had their own patch – we would stand in the same place every day, and every now and then a Yummy Daddy (or Granny) would turn up instead. I miss the daily natter with my friends, as we stood around waiting for the kids to come out. The way the kids would thrust all their tat at your hands, babble something incomprehensible at you, then dash off to play. Watching the mum of four try to juggle four sets of lunch bags, book bags, cardigans and random tat (love you, L!).
But here, I was just standing inside one of the gates, all on my own, waiting. When the bell rings (there’s an actual bell), a horde of barefoot children come tumbling past in their rush to escape.
And now the girls are walking home on their own, which means I don’t have to join the pick up rush. They just wander in around 3:30. They seem so much more mellow, and less irritated at each other, than they are when I collect them. It’s good for their independence, and they like the freedom of having time which is unsupervised. On Friday, I gave them $1 each, to spend on sweets/lollies at the corner shop/dairy. They loved that.
They’re not too keen on the “physical exercise” aspect of it though. I’m pretty sure Squishy prays for rain at 2:55 every day, in hope of a ride home.
And while it’s nice to not have to drop everything to get to school for pickup, I do miss the social aspects of it. I miss you, my Yummy Mummies.