I swear some Mums are worse than the kids themselves! We've just got back from our first school run of the new term. It's always going to be a bit fraught isn't it? Surely everyone's in a hurry and a bit on edge? I assumed that was a pretty universal feeling.
Two things happened on our school run this morning that have made me seethe. We walk to school each morning. We are lucky enough to live in a village with its own school and we're only a short walk away. We got up, ready and left the house, running late of course. I'd forgotten to write in That Baby's reading log and I really wanted to point out how hard she'd be practicing her words and how desperate she is to read, so that set us back a bit.
On our way down the road we saw a lady from the village who is a mutual friend of a number of my close friends, but on a personal level we've never really clicked. I think we have quite differing outlooks. I am naturally quite positive, her glass is very much half empty. I've made a real effort to be nice to her and to be inclusive, but to be honest I've pretty much given up the ghost. I'm only ever met with sarcasm from her or (really quite patronising) comments. For example I once said "This Baby had a better night last night" she retorted with something like "Well your children are just perfect aren't they?" Now I am not a naive person, I fully comprehend that you can't get on with everyone and that sometimes through no fault of their own, people just aren't your cup of tea. I'm even quite happy NOT to be everyone's friend. I don't feel the desperation I felt in my youth to please everyone, to fit in and be liked. I am who I am. I'm not changing that. Take me or leave me, I don't mind. But have the common courtesy to at least be civil to me.
This morning the lady is question was walking her children to school just ahead of us. Generally speaking when you spot someone walking close to you, clearly on the way to school you walk together and chat right? Not her! She pulled her hat down over her face, pretended not to see me and nigh on ran to get some distance between us. I'd like to say I wasn't bothered, but it truth I found it quite hurtful. Seriously, can she not even stomach a five minute conversation with me for the sake of politeness? Sod you then!
We carried on walking, purposefully slowly now and arrived at school just after the bell rang. This Baby's classroom is up a small alleyway and isn't the easiest place to negotiate with a buggy. At the top of the path, blocking our way with a gaggle of children too young for school was a local Mum who had completed her drop off. She was stood with a few other Mums on their way back out. Sadly she is another person I've never really been particularly friendly with, though we're capable of conversation, I just don't really trust her. I've noticed that she has a habit of getting people to say something negative about a person, by backing them into a conversational corner, then quoting their (forced) comment back to the person they'd been discussing. I don't like to talk negatively behind other people's backs, though obviously I realise it happens. And i suppose I do it sometimes, but only with people I really trust not to blab. Because of this practice I feel guarded around her and make sure nothing I say can be misconstrued.
On my way past her this morning my buggy wheel caught on something and I couldn't get it to move. Instead of helping me, she put her hands in her hips and said loudly and sarcastically "Come on Kate, sort it out!" The gaggle of Mums she was with all laughed as though she was hysterical.
I know that's not much of a thing, but after the little bit of unpleasantness on our walk in I felt close to tears. I said nothing, though I probably looked daggers at her, yanked the buggy out of its predicament and quickly walked That Baby to her classroom. It would have made the world of difference to me if someone had even offered to help me rather than pointing out my lateness and my stuck-ness and laughing at me. I felt like a child surrounded by bitchy girls again!
I've got home now, had a cuppa and a think about it and I've decided, you know what, sod the lot of you! If that's the way you roll, I don't give a stuff. I've decided that my future response will be to "out nice" these women. I'll shout "Good Morning" at the top of my voice to the woman retreating across the road at speed. I'll tell the condescending moo who belittles me that "I'm so happy to see you after a week away". Let 'em hate me for it, I don't care. At least I will still be smiling, I'll be dammed if they're going to break my spirit!
Happy Monday to you all! To every single person in the whole world. Miserable sods and lovely sweet people (my readers) alike. Have the most wonderful Monday you've ever had in your whole lives!