I’m going to have a rant.  I hate being late.  And because I hate being late, I hate other people being late.  It’s a big bugbear of mine.

So many times I have been stood at the door ready to go, getting more and more irate with my husband because he is not ready! I would spend 3 hours preening and doing hair and make-up before a night out, (obviously in my life before kids) and husband leaves getting ready until 5 minutes before we need to leave.  Or, decides that even though we are going out, and even though he has had all day, now would seem like the ideal opportunity to bleed the bloody radiators!

Even now I can get myself ready, two kids ready, and bags full of crap we need ready, and I will still be waiting for him.  It drives me crazy.  He knows this.  This rant however, is not aimed at my long suffering husband. It’s aimed at those mums that never get their kids to school on time.

I have relaxed slightly on my punctuality since having children.  You learn very quickly that the precise moment you are about to leave the house is when your baby will do the mother of all poos.  Or when you have an appointment to get to the baby will decide this is the day they are going to have a really long nap.  Shit happens.  I get that.  But being late for school should be a very occasional occurrence because something out of the ordinary has happened.  When being on time for school has become an occasional occurrence, you are doing something wrong.

late 1

We all know the culprits.  Normally I am halfway home when I see the same mums every morning heading towards school.  And let me put this in perspective; Firstly, my son is in reception, so I take him in, spend about 5 minutes cajoling him to take his coat off, do the register, and put his book bag away.  Whilst he proceeds to chat with all his buddies, oblivious to the fact I am waiting to go.  Then there’s giving in the various permission slips to the right person, and putting the right book in the right tray depending on what day it is.  Secondly, after parting with the big one, I have to get the little one strapped back into his buggy and cosyed up.  Thirdly, I might have a little chat with another mum in the playground. Then, finally, we begin our walk home.  This also involves stopping every 30 seconds to retrieve the glove, hat, or toy that the little one has thrown from his buggy.  School drop off is not quick.  So if I am halfway home, and you are passing me heading towards school, you are not just a little bit late.

I wonder what these mums put as their reason for arriving late when they have to sign their kids in at the office.  Is it the same excuse every day? Or is it a challenge to think of a new reason each time?  Why aren’t they embarrassed like I would be?  I mean, It’s school, the headmaster will tell you off!  I don’t care how old I am, I do not want to be told off by the headmaster!

But more serious that that, I don’t want my kid to have a black mark against them for their entire school career because I can’t get them out of the door on time.  How does it make the kids feel?  What if being late every day stresses your child out and makes them feel anxious?  What about the time they are missing out on, playing with their mates in the playground before the whistle blows (yes, there is a whistle, but you probably don’t know that as you’ve never made it in time).  Maybe your child doesn’t care about being late.  But is that ok?  Is it ok that they don’t understand the importance of punctuality?  Do you think that will set them off on the right foot as an adult?  Do you think employers will put up with such tardiness?

I see mums carrying the scooters abandoned half way to school.  I see mums with streaming colds that look like they should be in bed.  I see Dads suited and booted ready for work. I see parents with 4 kids in tow.  I see elderly grandparents bringing the kids to school because mum and dad are at work.  I see mums with disabled children.  I see mums heavily pregnant waddling into school, or bleary eyed with new born babies.  Do you know what they all have in common?  All of them make it to school on time, come rain or shine.  If the rest of us can do it, why can’t you?

When the same thing is happening day after day, week after week, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.  Be more organised.  Get up earlier.  For heavens sake sort your shit out, because your lateness is really bugging me! Get your kids to school on time. EVERY TIME.

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Does lateness wind you up as much as it does me?  Maybe you have another bugbear you need to get off your chest?

If you liked this post you might also like other rants such as Dear Stranger In the Supermarket Car Park and Why Breastfeeding in Public is Unacceptable.

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Claire Kirby

6 Comments on Don’t be late!

  1. Oh God you’d HATE me. Honestly you’d stop talking to me. The only reason we get there on time now is because my husband runs the place like an army drill sergeant. But when he was away for 2 months at a time over 2 years I nearly had a breakdown with it all just trying to leave the house. And since launching the blog go to bed even later and am even more dog tired in the mornings. Our school is very laid back but I’m glad the kids are getting there on time because it’s made a difference to our eldest who was embarrassed being late. I think I’ll stop there…

  2. Ooh yes I see this too, and yes it’s always the same Mums. And they don’t even seem that bothered, but surely this is setting a bad example for the children for their timekeeping? Bugs me too!

  3. As a teacher this drives me nutso. Especially seeing as we usually have phonics in the first lesson so some kids miss out every day. It’s much worse abroad though. Lots of kids strolling in up to an hour late and ten minutes late is seen as being on time. Little kids can only sit for so long so often 10 minutes late is missing my entire introduction. Grrr….

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