On being let off the school run

I’d heard a lot about carpooling – an arrangement that lets you off the school-run hook two or three times a week, then bites you in the bum the rest of the time (you know what I mean – dragging multiple children and their bags, lunchboxes, art projects and PE kits to the car, and driving them all home through traffic while keeping up the pretence that you’re a ‘fun mum’).

I was so relieved, to be honest, that there was an excellent school bus service to BB’s school – organised by some like-minded mums in our compound who also didn’t want to spend their days schlepping backwards and forwards. There’s even a bus nanny on board, who three nannies ago, my older son developed a school-boy crush on.

The sensible thing to have done would have been to put my younger son in the same school, and on the same bus when he’s a little bigger. But, this is Dubai, and when is anything as logical as that?

Did I remember everyone?

Did I remember everyone?

Long story, but LB goes to a different, much nearer school, which frowns on buses for young children, has a car park the size of a hankie, and at which traffic congestion and parking are really stressful (it brings out the worst in everyone, and I wasn’t surprised to see police there recently marshalling the mummy-buses).

It’s a real headache – hence the carpool I’ve entered into.

Yesterday, I was upstairs when I heard my French friend’s car pull up with LB inside. She opened the car door, and the wailing wafted upwards like a siren shattering the peace on a quiet street.

A couple of startled birds who’d been pecking away in the climbing plant outside the window took flight.

It wasn’t LB, but her son. And I instantly knew LB was the cause.

I met her outside as she struggled with the bags, the snack box and the tortuous crying.

“What happened?” I asked, really concerned.

“Oo-la-la,” she said, through a forced smile. “He’s just upset because he vants to be a ‘beeg boy.’”

I looked at my normally sweet LB. His defiant eyes met mine. “He’s not a big boy,” he declared. “I’m the BIG boy.”

He measurably grew as he sounded out the words ‘big boy’, then to prove his point pronounced: “He’s only three…”

“And I’m four!

Yes, LB, but it’s really not a good start to our car pool if you make your co-rider weep, it is?

And, I’ve a horrible feeling [she says, wincing at the lack of etiquette] that he might have called him a ‘baby’ too – the ultimate insult.

It’s my turn this afternoon, and there’ll be withering looks and reprimands if it happens again. I enjoy the days when I’m let off the school-run hook too much to risk this carpool going tits-up.

I thought readers in the colder parts of America might enjoy this photo I saw on Facebook - marvellous!

I thought readers in the colder parts of America might enjoy this photo I saw on Facebook – I’m guessing dreamt up by a mom!

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About Circles in the Sand

Sun worshiper, journalist, mother, pilot's wife and distracted housewife living in the land of glitz and sand
This entry was posted in Children, Dubai, Expat, Family, Parenting, School and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to On being let off the school run

  1. Tania says:

    Hello, am new to Dubai and love your blog. Question: how do I go about organising a private school bus like the one you mentioned above?! School runs are a killer ….

    • Hi, and welcome to Dubai! Thanks for reading and commenting! I do hope the blog is useful 🙂 I agree, school runs are a killer! The company that runs our school bus is called Radical Transport – I’ll get a number for you. May take a week or so as the mum in charge is on holiday I think…when she gets back, I’ll ask and copy the number here. Hope you’re enjoying your new life in Dubai and beginning to feel settled – good luck with everything x

    • Hello again! I got a number for you for Radical Transport. If this doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll find an email instead: Shaju on 050 496 5016

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