Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Who's protecting you?

This morning Little Feet and the other children in Reception walked to a local theatre and had a very engaging tour, hosted by the theatrical parents of another child.  I was one of the mums privileged to be asked to help walk them there, and was provided with a high visibility waistcoat so I could stand in the road holding up the traffic, affording the kids safe passage across.  What I hadn't bargained for was that in the process of being a pseudo-lollipop lady (minus the stick), I would of course end up leaving the road after the last child, putting me at the back.  I would then have to manoeuvre myself very quickly past the long crocodile of children to the front of the queue in time for the next road.  And of course it was wheelie bin day, which meant performing a strange kind of slalom between bins, trees, meandering children and the ubiquitous dog poo.  I managed all right until I got chatting, forgot about the road ahead and had a very mad dash, streaking passed amused four and five-year-olds in my high-vis yellow.

While I stood in the middle of the road one of the teachers joked, "But who's protecting you?"  I missed an opportunity there as my slow wit only allowed me to chuckle.

Monday, 11 July 2011

You don't know what you've got till it's gone

For four or five years I've been meeting friends for coffee nearly every Monday morning, first with just Little Feet and then with Big Grin joining us too when she was born, and then without Little Feet as she went to Nursery and then school.  Over time the friends have changed too: people have come and gone and the numbers have waxed and waned.  The day we had a posse of 15 and had to push 3 tables together was a good day.  For the last 3 and a half years we've met in Ikea Coventry and availed ourselves of free tea and coffee thanks to their family card scheme.  We've learnt how to play the system, how to beat the queue if all you require is a few mugs and don't want to get stuck between the barriers, herded towards the 99p cooked breakfasts.

And then, all of a sudden, it was over.  Everyone except Big Grin and I had somewhere else to be, but it wasn't announced and celebrated.  We didn't have a Last Monday, clanking our Ikea mugs together toasting our lives and times.  There was just a realisation that we hadn't met for a couple of weeks and weren't likely to in the future except for exceptional circumstances.  And it was a bit sad.