Playground pickles

There is a mum at school who I keep smiling at. She has a child in the new reception class that my son has just started in, although which child belongs to her I haven’t quite worked out. I keep smiling at her and keep smiling at her and eventually, I realise, it’s because I think it’s someone off Instagram. Except it’s not. It’s just someone vaguely similar who is polite enough to smile back.

I wish I could say that’s the worst error of judgment I’ve made in New School Hell this week but it’s not. They say first impressions last and I’m not sure I’ve made a very good one. I know that other people certainly haven’t made one on me.

Poor Man’s Regina George

You may or may not already be aware that my child was dishing out kidney blows to unsuspecting four year olds earlier in the week, only to get his just desserts and be put on his arse by another little boy who apparently was, understandably, sick of his shit.

In straightening it all out and making sure there weren’t any ongoing problems, I had cause to talk to the teacher early one morning as the kids were going into class. This coincidentally was a day that some of the other children had a little wobble before school and there were some tears from some of them when it was time to leave their parents and go inside to start their day.

By the time I’d driven home there were barbed messages in the Parents Group Chat (which might as well be called ‘Women who live through their children and are no longer individuals in their own right 2k18’ because NONE of them are Fathers and nearly ALL of them are bellends) essentially instructing everyone not to take up the teacher’s time until after all the kids had gone in.

That’s fine. Except the author of this fnah-fnah-fnah message isn’t the teacher. The teacher never asked me to wait until after the kids had all gone in, otherwise I would have done. No, this author doesn’t even work for the school. The group chat is nothing to do with the school it’s just all the mums of the new children stewing in the juices of each other’s Stealth Brags on WhatsApp. 

It wasn’t even her own children who were upset that day. In short, it was fuck all to do with her. She is just the self appointed Queen of the Playground (or so she thinks) just because she’s got an older kid already there and already knows the ropes and has a couple of cronies to flank her. Nobody has to be in the group, and nobody is beholden to her or anyone else in it.

I suspect she was expecting some kind of fawning apology in the group chat from me. After all, the indirect comment could only have applied to me, so it was me she intended to feel chastised. Instead I remembered after a short period of feeling uncomfortable that I couldn’t give a shit about what these few daft cows think. None of them give a shit about my son. They probably don’t even give that much of a shit about the crying children, just saw an opportunity to be a busybody and apportion blame. And although agree in principle, the proper channel is to suggest it to the teacher and the teacher can broadcast the message in their weekly update. She just wanted to flex. Unfortunately for her, I’m not here for that.

I waited until the conversation in the group chat moved on to one which I felt like responding to, then added ‘earlier comments noted’.

And yet, I still wish I could say that this contretemps was the only unfortunate event in this – the first bloody week of school. Possibly one of the Top 20 most embarrassing moments of my life also occurred at school and I have written about that separately so that I can spare myself the blushes and go for a lie down with some smelling salts.

They say every day’s a school day, and I’ve certainly learned that no good ever comes of a large group chat of women.


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