School mums. Is there anything scarier?
(Well yes, quite a lot of things in fact, including but not limited to antibiotic-resistant superbugs, dropping your car keys in the toilet after you’ve done a poo, house spiders, reverse parking, anal bleaching and vaginal ultrasound wands).
So, we’ve established that there’s nothing scarier than school mums **coughs**, but what’s even scarier than school mums is school mums you are trying to avoid because you have committed a social faux pas that makes you look stupid, heartless, arrogant or overly-permissive in the parenting of your children.
And that’s where I come in…
Look I’ve tied myself in knots trying to find a way to talk about this incident in a non-identifying manner, despite the fact that my blog readership hovers somewhere around 3.7 readers on average – not including my mother. BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T READ MY BLOG. But let’s not go into that now… She doesn’t love me. It’s no big deal. Whatevs.
So in order to provide some context I’ve decided to include a lightly-censored version of events, in order to relieve this person from the burden of having to spend her limited spare time sticking bamboo skewers into little blonde-haired mummy blogger voodoo dolls when it finally gets back to them that I have splashed the details of our school gate dalliance all over the interwebs.
Which it will. Everyone knows the rules of School Gate.
First Rule of School Gate: You do NOT talk about School Gate.
Second Rule of School Gate: The FUCK, dude!? This is SCHOOL GATE. We talk about EVERYTHING. Bitches here be leaking like menstrual cups at a menorrhagia conference.
Anyway, here’s what went down. Use your imagination to fill in the gaps.
OK in hindsight that’s not very helpful. Try this:
The short version of events is that my kid was a turd to another kid at school. Look, I know that the spectrum of turd-dom is as vague and sprawling as a Lars von Trier movie marathon, so – just to clarify – think turd in terms of “saying something unintentionally hurtful” rather than “sociopathic little shit who gets their kicks from emotionally scarring their school mates”.
TL DR; my kid said something stupid which hurt the feelings of one of his female classmates. She told her mum. Cue awkward school gate ambush convo.
I’m not one of those parents who will defend their precious snowflake at any cost but there wasn’t much I could offer in the way of satisfying closure to the other school mum other than my already fumbled apologies and the promise that my son would say sorry to her daughter. Which he did. But it was still awkward. Farting-on-a-first-date awkward.
After about 30 seconds of anguished deliberation I decided that the only realistic options left remaining to me were to:
a) Change schools (CAN’T BE ARSED)
b) Homeschool (LIKE FUCK)
c) Move to Canada (DON’T BE A DICKHEAD)
d) Spend $240K getting surgery to look like Kim Kardashian (TEMPTING)
e) Avoid her for the next 4.5 years (OBVIOUS WINNER)
I mean, it was a no brainer (note that “Have open and mature adult conversation” was not on the list of possible solutions here because I am a piss-weak little coward with conflict-avoidance issues).
God forbid these two kids end up at the same high school in a few years time (LIKELY), because that means I will have to spend the next 10.5 years of my life diving into garden beds or ducking behind parallel-parked suburban SUVs every time this person is headed in my general direction.
That’s a decade of my life. I might as well go into the witness protection program.
This strategy of avoidance is fraught, because the other day we accidentally crossed paths (AWKWARD AF). I offered a sheepish smile that said “Aw shucks I know I’m an ASSHOLE but I’m one of those LIKEABLE assholes” and she responded with a dead-eyed stare that made Hannibal Lecter look as affable as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama after a satisfying six-hour chant session.
It’s a shame, because she seems like a really nice lady, but we can’t be friends now because:
a) She thinks my kid is an asshole
b) She thinks I’m an asshole
c) I AM an asshole
School gate ettiquette, man. It’s fraught.
Moral of the story: Don’t send your kids to fucking school.
Oh no. Wait.
Don’t be a pussy like me. Be a mature grown up about shit.