The first term of the school year is already half over and it has given us all six long weeks of making small talk at the school gates. During this time, it is likely we will have established who's who in this year's line up of mums. Who do we envy, who has us rolling our eyes and, most importantly, who is the one who makes us all look a little bit more together than we feel? If you are new to drop off and pick up time, you may already have come to recognise some of the stereotypes that crop up year after year. Here's a few to jog your memory.
Mad Dash Mum
Every day, as the gates are closing, a screech of brakes heralds the arrival of Mad Dash Mum. Parking diagonally, probably in a bus stop, children emerge, stuntman style, from the barely-stationary vehicle. Jumpers and coats flying out behind, they make it through the gates as the clock strikes nine. Lunch boxes and P.E. kit arrive separately, sometime later, via the main office.
The older mum, who could be Granny, but no one is brave enough to broach the subject. It may be Easter before this mystery is solved, unless you can find a way to drop it into the conversation. Then you will be a hero, because it's bugging pretty much everyone.
This is the mum who always seems to have a brood of children around her. No one is sure how many of them are actually hers, and it doesn't seem polite to ask. She is always serene amongst the chaos and knows exactly when and how to keep them in line.
Pristine and polished, this mum seems like a physical impossibility in her perfectly styled hair and make up, not to mention the inappropriate footwear. Suspicions abound that she gets ready the night before and sleeps standing up. Her children never appear to be wearing their lunch and we suspect lunchboxes consist of celery and rice cakes. Not an exploding Frube in sight.
Super-organised, really popular, never forgets a thing, this mumming machine is something of a super hero. She is also really, really annoying. No one knows why, because she's happy and bubbly and has a winning smile for everyone. But there it is.
This mum is so laidback she's practically horizontal. She has no interest in playground politics or convention and offers everyone the same watery, slightly vacant smile. Usually half asleep, her dress-sense could be politely described as 'loungewear', but is most likely last night's pyjamas.
The question we should probably be asking ourselves is which stereotype are we? I think I'm somewhere between Mad Dash and Mellow, but I quite fancy trying out Model Mum at least once, although I'm confident I couldn't manage it twice!
Artwork by the perpetually talented Pixie Bee.