School-run experience was a learning curve

I’VE had my first experience of the school run – and none of the boys are even at school yet.

Jacob goes to playschool two days a week – a Tuesday morning and a Friday afternoon.

I don’t know if all playschools are like this, but Jacob’s is actually next to a school. And schools get really, really busy – especially in the morning.

He starts at 9am, but at five past I was still driving down the narrow streets, looking for somewhere to park.

When I finally did find a place, I was soon told to shift by a woman in her dressing gown, who had obviously taken it upon herself to be the guardian of her bit of the pavement and was on the look-out for fly-by-night school runners like me.

Naturally I pretended not to see her, but soon got the message when a single-decker bus came driving towards me with no chance of squeezing through the gap I had created.

I can still see the woman’s smug face in the rear view mirror as I retreated with haste.

I eventually managed to park up a ridiculously long way from the playschool, and had to negotiate a pavement of badly-parked cars, dodging the doors as they were wildly flung open by equally stressed-out parents.

And the cars were so tightly knit together, I had to walk twice the distance past his playschool before I saw anywhere safe to cross.

All this while carrying 15-month-old Benjamin in my tired arms, while Jacob strained on the lead which clips onto his backpack, desperate to get in and play Fireman Sam with his pals.

Many a time I had to tell him to heel and yank back his strap like one might do with an excitable dog as he tried to make a bolt for it.

We eventually got there in one piece, but terribly late. Getting his coat off while he could see his pals playing with all “his” toys – and still holding Benjamin in my even more tired arms – was a skill I never knew I had.

By the time I came out, the road was clear and the traffic was gone. The woman was still in her dressing gown, but that probably says more about her.

I don’t usually do the playschool run – it’s normally mummy, who seems to cope much better than I do. She also sets off a lot earlier.

But it’s certainly an eye-opening situation and one that I’m obviously going to have get used to, unless I home school them.

Then I can stay in my dressing gown all day and glare at the people who park outside my house.