Thursday, 9 September 2010

Back to skool...

Ah, it’s that time of year again, when we head back onto the school run with death in our collective hearts.

Believe me, those of you who are either male or child-free, there is no arena so competitive as the school gate and it has been the downfall of many a knackered mummy who has (ahem, like my good self on occasion) turned up to drop off or collect, still in her pyjamas.  In fact, the school gate is positively tribal.  One practised glance at your fellow mummies and you can tell precisely which tribe they belong to.  They come broadly as follows:-

Cashmere Kate
The Cashmere Kates are usually tiny in every sense of the word, blonde and pretty in a cream-and-pink sort of a way.  Kate is always immaculately turned out and her clothes are expensive and classic, if not particularly trendy.  Kate never swears or uses vulgar language.  She is inclined to brush her hair and renew her lipstick before hubby arrives home. She drinks Earl Grey out of a china cup and saucer (never a mug!) and usually wears pearls.  She never raises her voice to her children or on any other occasion.  There is generally a vapid little smile on her lips.  She has an O level in Home Economics and another in Art.  She married well.  She is oblivious to the existence of...

Ballbreaker Belinda
Belinda has a job in the City, a massive mortgage and an Architect husband who can’t keep it in his trousers.  She is convinced he is shagging his latest PA.  Added to this, Joshua keeps calling the bloody Australian Nanny (what’s her name again – Charlene?  Raelene?) “Mummy”.   She strides down the road towards school, dragging Joshua behind her, ignoring his wails whilst clicking away on her CrackBerry with her free hand.  The sodding nanny should be doing this but the cow is hungover again.  She has no idea how it all ended up like this.   She has no time at all for Cashmere Kate but secretly envies...

Earthmother Ellen
Ellen has long, curly hair and freshly-scrubbed features.  She wears lacy layers or vintage nighties as dresses with wellingtons with a strawberry print all over them.  She cycles to school on her old fashioned ‘sit up and beg’ bike with a large pannier on the front, containing a Jack Russell puppy.  The children (Gaia, Atticus and Tertia) are hauled along behind in a three man buggy.  On very rainy days, she grudgingly drives a Toyota Pious, sorry Prius.  She always has dirt under her fingernails from the Organic Allotment.  She never shaves her armpits and is inclined to publicly haul one massive, leaking boob from the depths of her vintage lace layers and plug it into a beatific baby, quite unabashed.  Circling fathers find her either gross and slightly unwashed-looking or thrillingly sexy.  She has absolutely nothing in common with...

Susan the Social Experimenter
There is normally only one of these in any school and that is generally considered to be one too many.  Her children are given old-fashioned names, but not trendy ones, just bloody awful ones like Prudence and Gwendoline.  Her 11 year old daughter is still made to wear Doodles and Jelly shoes and Susan frowns upon little girls who wear jeans and shorts as they’re so unladylike.  They do have a television, but it’s just a little black and white portable and they only use it on special occasions like the Proms or a royal wedding because the picture's quite fuzzy really and the only way to get it clear is for Keith to stand and hold the aerial all the time.  Instead of watching TV, they play Grandmother’s Footsteps and What’s the time Mr Wolf?  Susan is sneakily proud of the mobile phone she bought second hand (for emergencies only).  It is 8 inches long (not including the aerial) and weighs 10lbs.  She truly cannot understand the likes of...

Gym Bunny Jenny
Jenny and her ilk are always dressed in the latest designer gym duds.  She is perma-tanned and fearsomely toned because she spends literally all day at the local David Lloyd, where she works out like a demon and then indulges in a tough sports massage.  After this, she meets a few of the girls in the Restaurant for lunch where they vie to see who can chase a lettuce leaf around a plate the longest.  She has had a bit of work done but would rather die than admit it.  Marcus must never find out!  She is terrified of losing him and (more to the point) his hedge fund manager salary.  She has given Marcus two adorable daughters – Poppy and Saffron – but knows he is desperate for a son.  She would like to have another baby but the potential effect on her 37 year old waistline gives her night terrors.  She looks with pity upon...

Average Eva
Eva is in the middle.  Middle class, middle aged and muddling along.  She does her best with two unruly children and a largely absent workaholic husband.  She works four days a week but would love to cut down to three, if only they could afford it.  She could do with losing half a stone or so because she drinks more than is strictly good for her but hey, what the hell?  If someone gave you the bottle of wine it doesn’t count and if someone else pours the glass, that doesn’t count either.  Consequently, she and her friends spend a lot of time pouring for each other.  She is constantly harassed and downtrodden by her children who inform her that every meal she produces is “like, puke innit?” and refuse to lift a finger around the house sighing “ugh, effort,” when asked.  She wishes she had Jenny’s body and Ellen’s insouciance but knows she will never have either and the bloody cat’s brought another mouse in.

There was one famous occasion when a friend and I went to watch our sons play football for the school. We got to the ground only to find that the newsreader Mark Austin was there – and jolly handsome in the flesh too – because his son was on the opposing team.  Blimey!  Poor bloke hardly saw any of the match, because he was constantly surrounded by Cashmere Kates vying for his attention.  And he was charming and didn’t tell a single one of them to “feck off, I’m here to see my boy play” which I would have been tempted to do.

There are probably more mummy types than this but I feel quite exhausted by this lot.  Watch this space – the Daddies are coming!


  1. I didn't know our children went to the same scholl! fancy that what a small world

  2. oops sorry typo I did mean school of course!!!

  3. You missed out Potty Mouthed Paula... the one who chain smokes, wears lots of bling and swears like Frankie Boyle in a monastery... ;-)

  4. Auntiegwen: They're everywhere, aren't they? Mind you, I love 'em really as they're such rich blogging fodder!

  5. Steve - funnily enough, I forgot to include Mrs Mini who wore a denim mini-skirt and vertiginous heels every single day of the year, rain or shine. She was a bling queen too. Stand by for the Dad version!

  6. Tee Hee, I bet I could even put a name to some of this lot! You forgot Carcrash Clare, who is always running round like a headless chicken, has a marked inability to ensure that her children arrive at school kitted out with the correct sports wear/cookery ingredients/money for school trip. She is generally in her pyjamas when she drops them off at school and may or may not have brushed her hair. Her children no longer call her 'Mum' they just stick out their hand and shout 'Taxi'. Her husband has some sort of 'creative' job that is looked down upon by the legions of bankers/hedge fund managers and she drives the wrong car. She's love to go to the gym but as she does her own ironing and cleaning, having failed to find herself a nice Polish 'lady who does' so she just can't find the time. She also likes Marmite!!

  7. Mme Marmite - you know me too well! You most certainly could put a name to many of this lot....wait for the Dad version! xx


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