Yesterday I received a text message from my son, only I didn’t realise it was from my son until a full ten minutes later – largely because I was busy, my phone was over the other side of the room and I was challenging myself to see how long I could ignore it.
When I admitted defeat and retrieved my phone, this is what the message said:
Can u bring in hw (homework) i stupidly forgot on desk ict folder and maths shape meet u in reception sorry thanks
Aside from my instant desire to correct every grammar and punctuation error, three thoughts went flashing through my head:
- No way. I told you I was not going to bring your homework in ever again. You have forgotten it – take the consequences.
- Ah, the sun is shining, I’m in a good mood and he did say sorry – can I be that mean?
- Crikey. He sent that ten minutes ago which means I have less than five minutes to get it there before the end of break.
Now, I don’t know about anyone else but when I am working from home, I dress for comfort. Comfort (because I am still a long way off a svelte 5k runner’s physique) generally means jogging trousers, oversized t-shirt and brightly patterned socks. I figure that my husband married me for better or worse, the postman sees people wearing a lot less and if there’s a fire, all I’ll be concerned about is grabbing the cat. Having to take my son’s homework into school (ie. being seen out in public) does not usually come into the equation.
In the few moments that I had to get out of the door I decided that I could make my appearance somewhat acceptable by wearing my running trainers. That way I could be mistaken for one of those ever fit parents who had just finished an energetic workout. The only problem with this theory was that my running trainers were in the washing machine (courtesy of my ‘plod’ yesterday along a muddy path). That left me with dress shoes or, what can only be described as unisex, utilitarian clodhopper boots (walking boots if you want to be technical). With no other choice I donned the boots and prayed that my son had enough common sense to wait at the school gate – that way my foray into the public world would be limited and unlikely to be witnessed. What I swiftly remembered, however, as I pulled up to the school gate was that one thing my son lacks in abundance, is common sense. Of course he was not standing at the school gate. There was nothing for it but to walk into the reception area and leave his homework there.
Holding my head high I made the journey, all the while pretending that I was proud of how I looked. After all, doesn’t every mother wear clodhopper boots, grey jogging trousers and a bright blue t-shirt that proclaims the last (and only) 5k race she has ever run? And doesn’t everyone leave their hair to dry naturally in an odd, last been tamed two months ago, style?
Upon returning home I took stock of my situation. Having realised a long time ago that I was never going to be a trendy Mum I began to wonder, now that my eldest son is a teenager, if I ought to be representing him in a more socially acceptable manner?
I considered this for a full five minutes (?) and then decided that despite my appearance, a Mum is generally uncool at this age regardless. What was the point, I argued, in getting out of bed earlier to actually dry my hair, just in case he happened to forget his homework again?
Needless to say that today sees me wearing the same ‘comfortable’ attire – there is, however, a slight difference. I am no longer challenging myself to leave my phone if it beeps. The second a message arrives I am onto it. After all, as I did discover yesterday, five minutes to get from here to acceptable public persona is just not quite long enough!