Thursday, 5 September 2013

My first school run

It's been a momentous week.

We've moved into our new house in London, and both the boys have started at their new schools, Littleboy 2 yesterday and Littleboy 1 today. I've spent all week unpacking boxes, labelling uniform and pencil cases and shoes, and making tedious phone calls. The Doctor, meanwhile, has been wading through reams of cable trying to make all our various media work properly, setting up direct debits and making tedious phone calls.

At least one of my biggest dreads - the sewing on of hundreds of name tapes with only five days between acquiring and wearing said uniform - went smoothly in the end. Thanks to the Doctor's aunt and a friend of hers, all name tapes were sewn on in one long session, sitting outside in a Greenwich garden one warm evening accompanied by bottles of prosecco.

I still have to sew on the "large initial" name tapes, which haven't arrived yet and which must apparently be attached in exactly the right place on sports kit or else who knows what will happen (see uniform booklet, the whereabouts of which are unknown).

All was organised for the first school run. The Doctor would take Littleboy 2 to school and I would pick him up at 12.30 (it was a half day start). I would take the local train one stop, and make a leisurely trip to a nice-looking bakery before picking him up and travelling back by bus.

All was fine until I reached the station - although I did notice there was a huge queue of traffic on the road and that the police had closed off one section, although you could still walk to the station. Turns out a lorry had hit a railway bridge, giving a knock on effect on both trains and traffic. I quickly worked out I was very unlikely to be there at 12.30 if I took the train. While this might be OK in a few weeks there was no WAY I was going to be there late to pick up Littleboy 2 on his first day at a new school in a new country.

I started sprinting up the road to the nearest bus stop. No mean feat considering that a) I haven't run in a year due to my chronic pain problems, b) I was wearing flip flops and c) and it's unusually hot in London this week - more like New York temperatures in fact. The buses were there, but stuck in a huge jam - the first driver told me "you'd be better off walking, luv". I rang The Doctor and told him to jump in the car and head for the school in case I didn't make it.

So I carried on running, at least half a mile, in my flip flops. Eventually the traffic eased (I saw the lorry which had hit the bridge) and I managed to jump on a bus for a few stops. I ran the last hot, sweaty 100 metres, and got there just as Littleboy 2 emerged into the school playground with his class. (The other mothers were all serenely chatting about their holidays in the Algarve and no doubt wondering who this wild-eyed, red faced newcomer was).

"Mummy, why are your hands so sweaty?" Littleboy 2 asked me as I took him firmly by the hand. By this point The Doctor and Littleboy 1 had also arrived and parked around the corner. We flopped into the car, hot and exhausted, then had to go off and look for lunch which I had failed to buy.

I'm really going to miss that yellow schoolbus. Still, if nothing else, my first school run taught me that I am still capable of running. I might be donning my trainers next time though.






12 comments:

Was Living Down Under said...

Well they don't call it the school run for nothing ;)

I'm sorry to hear that you're still having your chronic pain issues. I hope you're able to get it sorted out.

Iota said...

Oh gosh, that's such a nightmare. Glad you got there in time.

I recommend iron-on name tapes, next year. They are great. Though the Doctor's aunt and her friend sound great too.

Expat mum said...

Iota beat me to it - iron-on every time. I found a fab label company over here (well, Canada) and they do water-proof stick-on labels that never come off clothes. A life and sanity saver.

Was Living Down Under said...

Speaking of labels there's a company here in Canada (wonder if it's the same one?) - they do labels they call "tag mates" that you can just stick onto the clothing tags. They don't fade or come off in the wash. And better still don't require sewing or ironing - just peel and stick! I believe they deliver internationally if you're interested :)

MsCaroline said...

I hope you didn't hurt yourself doing that run in the flip-flops! On the other hand, I am so encouraged to hear that you're even just thinking about lacing up those trainers...I hope this means that some of the pain issues have been gotten under control a bit? Hope the 2nd and subsequent days were a little bit less adrenaline-filled!

Gina Howie said...

Wow! That was quite a first day. I love the sewing session with proseco. I too am still running around in flip flops and thinking trainers might be a better idea. Here's to better days ahead. It is always a relief to get that "first day" out of the way.

nappy valley girl said...

Iota et al - re the labels: the school demands that they be sew-in name tapes, no iron-on! (can you believe that). However, the Canadian company sounds interesting - I wonder if the school would notice?

nappy valley girl said...

Ms Caroline - thanks, and while the pain issues aren't quite under control yet, I'm encouraged too..

Circles said...

What a first day for you! I bet Littleboy2's day was much easier! First school run is always the worst - can only get better! I hate doing the name tags too - I remember being up past midnight last year, sewing them into socks. Then they had the audacity to CHANGE the uniform this year and my first thought was, Noooo, all.those.name.tags...again! I'm going to see if I can get away with a permanent marker. Xxx

Kit said...

Nightmare - nothing worse than all your best plans being foiled by traffic - so impressed that you ran all that way in the heat and flip flops and that you made it in the nick of time.
Sew-on labels aagh!

nappy valley girl said...

Update - Thursday went OK but Friday was another stress-fest, with Littleboy 2 arriving back late at school after swimming, meaning I was then late to pick up Littleboy 1, who finishes 15 minutes later.....

Almost American said...

I have some name tapes that I bought for my son that are iron-on, but they look like the sew-in ones. I iron them on, and then add a few stitches just in case the glue doesn't hold (which in fact it always has.) Still faster than sewing them all the way round though :-)