I got 2 pre-schoolers walking the streets…I need ya, Dad. This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the School Runner; I need your magic.
Not quite what Jake & Ellie’s pre-school teacher said to me. But it might have been.
And, to be fair, she hasn’t actually said anything like that to me at all. I just couldn’t resist appropriating a quote from one of my favourite films
– for I am now officially a School Runner!
Cue swelling spacey Vangelis synths while my spinner car swoops over city skyscrapers before descending onto the mean streets of suburban south Wales
In my head, anyway…
The reality is slightly different.
Jake & Ellie have been eased gradually into their new life as pre-schoolers: at first 2 afternoons a week, then 3, & now they’re up to the full 5.
To start with the Mummy & I were dropping them off & picking them up together; now we ‘take turns’. She likes to do it herself when she can, & she does. I can usually go with her on her days but we want them to get used to just 1 of us collecting them as she can’t go with me on my days.
They are really enjoying pre-school & are usually excited to be going. We just point them in the right direction & off they go; taking them there isn’t a problem.
Picking them up again afterwards, however…
I gaze with envy at the other parents walking along sedately, hand in hand with their little darling – or little darling & slightly bigger & more mature little darling – trotting along sweetly at their side.
I’m not sure what they think when they look at me. They’re probably too busy trying to avoid a flying Jake as he attempts to become the fastest 3-year-old on Earth. There’s a nasty chicane at the gate which is always trouble, then a long lane which is perfect for a little boy intent on doing his best Usain Bolt impression. The lane leads to a footpath then a busy road, & he hasn’t quite got it into his head yet that running onto roads is generally a bad idea.
There’s usually shouting.
Ellie on the other hand likes to dawdle. There are lots of little walls on the way & she sees it as her mission in life to walk on every one of them, very slowly, balancing with her arms in the air so she doesn’t fall off. Except she sometimes does. Some of the walls are in people’s gardens. “That belongs to someone else” is a sentence which just doesn’t seem to register in the world of a 3-year-old, or at least our 3-year-olds.
There’s usually shouting.
Of course I try to grab their hands on exit. They’re surprisingly quick, especially Jake, so that often doesn’t happen. Even if it does they’re also surprisingly strong & are experts at wriggling free.
We’ve tried wrist-straps, but that caused World War 3. They actually seemed genuinely hurt so we haven’t had the heart to try them again.
The one time I used the buggy, strapping them in, was during a freezing rainstorm where they seemed to accept my argument that we were doing it so I could get them to the car as quickly as possible. I’m not convinced it would work on a normal day, but that’s the plan for my next time.
I’d love to hear about the experiences of other School Runners, especially other parents of twins. Is it smooth sailing getting them home or are yours little terrors like ours?
It seems to me to be a twin thing, but I could be wrong!
I don’t think there’s any real danger; it’s just stressful so I’d like it to be better! We always make it home more or less all in one piece, unless you count stress as an injury. Where, even if I don’t manage it, I feel like having a sleep – and when I do I hopefully won’t dream of electric sheep or unicorns 😉