The start of the school year is a bittersweet moment for every parent – happy because we no longer have to entertain our children, sad because we have to be handsome first thing again. But with bleary eyes comes the chance that you will run into an encounter with one of these parental archetypes, so you must avoid the following:
1. The licking
You’ll hear them before you see them and loudly tell anyone who has ears that even though they had all the books bound and boxed up in June, and even though they had brand new uniforms this morning and everyone got up at 6am for theirs Spirulina smoothie, it was still a jump to get to the school gates before anyone else. The Lick will also have started a terrible trend of giving teachers a back-to-school gift, because that’s exactly what our pockets need right now, having to buy a potter’s owl for a teacher you’ll most likely openly hate before ending up.
2. The first-time visitor
Crying parents at the school gates are not an uncommon sight on the first day home, but more often than not, they are tears of joy as we drop our little demons down the open jaws of the Ministry of Education. However, the first-timer is really heartbroken – he whispers the lyrics cats in the cradle while trying to put on a brave face before collapsing in emotional confusion. Oh god, how will her beloved first born cope with being away from home for the first time?
Meanwhile, the first born lives his best life, hugging everyone, giving high fives to the teachers and excited to take the first steps away from their suffocating life at home. This makes it even worse for The First Timer, who has to be forcibly removed from the classroom during a short break, still in tears.
3. The veteran
The first day after returning is no different from any other day on The Veteran’s school calendar, as her heart has been hardened beyond repair by pushing multiple offspring through elementary and then high school. You know there’s no room for emotion here – if a child senses you’re weak or even vaguely considering keeping them home for whatever reason (which could be anything from suspected Covid to company for you don’t talk at the end). the cat) they will seize the moment and start sobbing uncontrollably. The veteran can see through all those crocodile tears and with a roll of their bloodshot eyes and a solid, powerful jab in their schoolboy’s back, they turn on their heels and are gone, disappearing into the crowd like Kevin Spacey at the end of the The usual suspects. Whether they’re heading home for an important meeting or for a cup of coffee, The Veteran understands the task of a drop-off – that is, delivering things or people. If they could do it without stopping the car, simply by shoving the kids out the door of a moving vehicle, they would.
4. The slumber party
They try to agree with them when in doubt – maybe they’re a front-line worker, just off a night shift and ready for bed, maybe we should clap or cheer them instead of judging them? But then you think, no – they’re in their literal pajamas with rags in their eyes, barely awake, back the first day. It’s not like they were caught out by the sudden end of those long summer loungers, they’re just in their pajamas at every school run year-round. The least they could do is have the decency to dress in designer casual wear like the Range Rover Evoque crew.
5. The Executive
Like a ghost, you’ll never see them – they drop by before the school opens and an unnamed relative takes over the collection. They’ve heard they work in finance or auctions, but who knows, they might run a cartel. The kid always looks like Damien Thorne The Omen, or a young Boris Johnson. The executive branch is the DB Cooper of the school levy.
6. The angry one
Beep, beep, honk, honk, here they come in their angry car, why is everyone standing in their way, why doesn’t anyone know how to park, where did you learn how to drive, don’t you realize you’re late to them bring them? Court Ordered Aggression Management Training? Hunched over the wheel, veins at their temples, all you can see is the whites of their eyes as they roll their pupils back into their skulls in response to your attempt to drop off your children without getting run over. The school’s defibrillator is most likely first used by trying to revive them when they pass out from an anger-induced heart attack.
7. The slightly chasing parent
You start the year the way it should go – every day 15 to 30 minutes late. There may well be a reason why they’re late, you’ll never know, because while driving away from school they pull around the corner in an 02 Zafira full of kids and animals with the handbrake on. Overwhelmed by an endorphin rush as soon as they get the kids out of the car and to school, they all chat up. Which is a shame as everyone else will be at home or at work by then.
8. The couple
They took the whole day off as they both just had to be there on the first day of little Fiachra even though Fiachra is in her transition year. They just want to be supportive and maybe talk to the teacher about some issues they raised last year or maybe just make an appointment with the principal about Fiachra’s subject choices and how they can postpone them to maximize his dissatisfaction. Less helicopter parent than tandem rotor Chinook, they’re just as noisy and annoying.
9. The WFH father
Does he still have a job? You’ll never know, he just shows up at school every day in his cargo shorts and flip flops and chats amiably, unhurriedly, although it’s known as a school run, not a school spree. There’s no sense of urgency here, and whatever utopian tech company he works clearly doesn’t want to spoil his enthusiasm, expecting him to turn on or off at any set time, or even do anything that represents real work. Don’t chat with him unless you want to chat about roasting your own coffee beans for 45 minutes.
10. The newcomers
Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact. They have that fearful, wild-eyed look, a frozen smile on their face as they walk their child through the gates, nodding their heads as they look around for someone to talk to. Oh god, here they come… Oh, you’re new to the area? I just moved here gosh how interesting look I’d love to stay and chat but…. Yes I can imagine it being lonely, I’m sure little gobnait will make friends easily as long as she doesn’t radiate the same neediness as you. Ain’t Tinder for coffee mornings? Why can’t you just move on? Middle-aged people don’t have time for friends, and if they had any, they wouldn’t pick them up at the school gates, but rather in the traditional way, by meeting them in the pub when they were drunk, or when they get together to try and read a book banned from the school curriculum.
11. The Eco Warrior
There they are, shuffling to school in the rain in their Patagonia ponchos. You’d offer them a ride, but don’t want to be looked down on for driving a diesel-chugging death machine. At the gates they just want to talk about beach clean ups or water conservation or their unsuccessful campaign to get an Educate Together for the area and how everyone is telling them to get into politics. They hope that they will run in the local elections and that an oil lobbyist will shove them in front of a bus.
12. The Favor Bitter
You may have spoken to them once or twice then one day they come up to you and ask if something happened and no one is available to pick up their child from school if you could and if you could don’t mind staying with them for an hour or three. Sure, why not – me, a total stranger, take care of your child, also a total stranger, shur that’s not how communities are built, takes a village and so on. Then, when they come to pick up their kid at 9 p.m., you find out they couldn’t get out of a Pilates class, and you start feeling like some kind of underling. Then when you ask them to help you one day, they tell you flatly no, they can’t, I’m sorry. The Favor Asker is the reason why you have trust issues.
https://www.independent.ie/life/family/parenting/12-school-gate-stereotypes-which-one-are-you-41945635.html 12 school gate stereotypes – which one are you?