I’ve been waiting for the mini-ferals in school playgrounds for the past six years. (Not continuously obviously!)
Mostly minding my own business and getting the job in hand done. I don’t really talk to many people, aside from a little polite chit chat. On first glance, I am a bit of a miserable cow; my resting bitch face is probably not that approachable. Apart from all that I’m actually an OK sort.
In the last year or so I have made a couple of friends through school, don’t get me wrong they are not A-Listers; but a few women that actually understand my sarcastic sense of humour and don’t judge me when I walk up to school after a boozy Cheshire housewives style lunch. I have my feral pals to tell my deepest darkest secrets to, and this suits me just fine.
I’ve observed that everybody fits into a certain group. I’ve even taken Amelie along to observe and study this phenomenon, and assist in the classification.
Do you remember in high school biology? Classifying species? Taxonomy? Well it’s a bit like that! I have devised these categories myself but I think you will be able to relate..
To my knowledge, there are eight classifications….
The Busy bitch
Don’t confuse the busy bitch with someone who could be your mate she is just a full on nosy cow who wants to reveal your secrets to the entire universe and beyond. This specimen makes pointed statements that require you to ask her more about herself. She loves to tell you her life story in great detail. A bit like those annoying sorts on Facebook that write “Having a bad day” or “OMG I could scream!” so that everybody has to ask why. E.g. “You ok Hun?”
Basically a attention seeking whore and an annoying pest. Keep your wits about you.
Ahhh these are your pals. Kindred spirits. Sometimes you really can make true friends, hard to believe really.
I’m not going to lie though-it will be exceptionally hard work to find these. You’ll need to put the hours in.
Firstly you must make sure they are not telling everyone your shit. Perhaps test them with a bit of non-damaging gossip and see how far it gets. Once their ‘non-busy’ status is confirmed, feel free to catch up with them outside of the playground for a cuppa or even a wine! You can tell them all about your feral antics at the weekend and how much of a little shit the young feral has been without judgement. Never to be confused with the ‘busy bitch’, who will just want to tease you into thinking that you are buddies, then talk to every Tom, Dick or Harry about you, behind your back.
Like an intrepid dog walker, the child minder will arrive confidently with a pack of small children tethered to her by leashes. She will be suited like a climbing instructor, carabiners and leads aplenty ready to hook the rest of her charges up to the rabble.
She may or may not also have a giant pram, filled with babies and will never engage in small talk.
The childminder is focused, will have nerves of steel, muscles like Popeye and be a God damn hero of a woman.
We salute you!
Heavily embroiled in the PTA, earth mothers who think it’s child abuse to feed their child sugar. Can usually be found wearing knee-high wedged boots, body warmers, a cagoule or ‘outdoor shop’ attire paired with a denim skirt. They wear their hair in the same style every day; proudly displaying salt and pepper around the crown. Not a scrap of make up in sight.
I have had lots of stupid comments made to me over the years from these sorts of mums. A great example is “I knew YOU wouldn’t read the newsletter!” I would love the woman in question to elaborate on what she actually meant by this, but mostly I’m just glad I’m not an absolute twat like her.
Can be heard bellowing across the playground at ear splitting volumes! You will almost certainly hear the gobshite before you see her. This one is always overly nice to her offspring. Every other sentence will be about how much she loves them and how she just cannot wait for 3:15pm!
Oh look at me, I’m fucking super mum! Look at how lovely I am, surely I’m the best mum in the playground?!
It’s unnerving if you ask me. Just not natural. As if she doesn’t spend the mornings, evenings and weekends screaming like a banshee like the rest of us . Personally, I wouldn’t mind them being in class until 5pm, gives me time to have a little nap after my busy day of chores.
Gobshites can also be found bragging and talking about their job/car/holiday/arseholes so loudly that anyone within a half a mile radius knows the ins and outs of their amazing life.
If I wanted to know, I would’ve asked. Now pipe down gobshite!
The 20 kids and counting
Can usually be spotted arriving at school like the Pied Piper; with a stream of kids behind them, ten or so minutes after everyone else. Usually sporting a double buggy complete with pyjama clad children, who may or may not be eating a Greggs sausage roll for breakfast. Arrival in a car (or likely a people-carrier) will almost certainly guarantee a parking spot on the chevrons right outside the school gate.
These specimens often use foul and abusive language within range of little ears and may frequently boast about the most disturbing of things, like who they ‘banged out’ in the local at the weekend. Don’t talk to them, don’t cross them, don’t go near them. Just steer clear.
There are two sorts of dad.
The first type (the vast majority) do not communicate with anyone. They will avoid all eye contact while nervously checking their watch. Just wanting to get in and out and avoid any of the bizarre and/or boring conversations going on around them. He will grab the kids as soon as their feet hit the tarmac and skidaddle.
Every once in a blue-moon you will come across a dad that thinks he’s pretty darn fine. ‘Loving’ you off at any given opportunity. “Hiya love” “You ok love?” He thinks he’s gods gift and will flirt with any mum, childminder or grandmother in sight. Which is fine, but nobody likes a cocky fucker and I personally really hate getting called love by strangers.
This dad peacocks it about and thinks he’s best mates with all the other dads, slapping them on the backs and declaring that they will have to go for a drink soon. Nobody likes that many people, know what I mean.
Bewildered and possibly confused, the Grandparent will dash into the playground (as fast as their ‘mature’ joints will allow) thinking they are late. Glancing left and right to ensure they are in the right place.
Sweets and chocolates in hand, they may seem overly excited and will be ready to spoil their grandchildren away from the prying eyes of their own children.
These are the only playground collectors I have observed to receive a genuine, raucous welcome from the children, for obvious reasons.
Have you come across any more species of caregiver found in the playground?
If so, comment below we would love to hear about them!
Love Freya and Amelie
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