Thursday, 19 March 2015

Gaaaaah! or, 'Tales from the Land of the Lost... Property'

The scene; this morning, Potski Mansions.  It's 8.05am.  The boys and I need to leave for school in three minutes.  I'm standing by the back door doing my usual normal morning routine to get them out of the house (that resembles nothing so much as herding cats), when it happens.

Me:  "Boy #2 - where's your coat?"

Boy #2:  "My what?"

Me:  "Your coat."

Boy #2:  "Oh, that.  I don't need it."

Me:  "What do you mean, you don't need it?  We live in Russia, for Pete's sake!  It's only March - it could still be -15degC outside!"

Boy #2 looks at me despairingly, and opens the back door, gesturing at the scene outside.  "Mum.  The sun is shining.  The snow is practically gone."

I splutter, realising that it's finally happened - I have become a Russian babushka - and that if I'm not careful I will start shouting at families who's children are not wearing snow suits to the park in May.  "Yes, but...  But... it's March!"

Boy #1:  "He's right - it's +5degC out there.  Practically tropical - I might leave my coat at home, too..."

Me (feeling very much as if the situation is slipping away from me).  "Hang on a moment.  Boy #1, you don't have to WEAR your coat, but you do have to take it to school.  Boy #2, you too."

Boy #2:  "Ah."

Me (sinking feeling):  "Ah, what?"

Boy #2:  "It's not here."

Me:  "Not here?  Where is it, then?"

Boy #2:  "At... school?"

Me:  "Where at school?"

Boy #2:  "I don't exactly know..."

Reader, I am not proud of the explosion that followed.  Or of the harrumphing and general bad behaviour as I drove the boys to school (the gentle and of course highly fulfilling amble filled with parental/son bonding that I had previously envisaged - prior to 'Coat-Gate' - having been cancelled out by the time this conversation took).

In my defence, the thought of replacing Boy #2's perfectly OK winter jacket at this stage in the game - when there are only a few weeks left when he will actually need it - was not an appealing one.  Neither was the thought of ferreting through the school's Narnia-sized Lost & Found cupboards every day for the next 2 weeks whilst Boy #2's coat works it's way there through the ether from wherever he left it.  I mean, what HAPPENS to the kids' missing stuff in the interim period?  Is there a kind of 'Room of Requirement' that is full of coats, hats, gloves, shoes, water bottles, lunch boxes and suchlike, where this stuff languishes until some evil house-elf decides that the parents have been tortured enough, and OK, joke's over, you can have this crap back now?  Is there?  IS THERE?

(Can you tell I've given this possibility some thought?)

Anyway.  Back on Planet 'Well, It's Just A Coat, After All', we reached the school.  I parked the car and noted that amazingly we were still there 5 minutes early.

Me:  "OK, Boy #2 - you can come with me to the Lost and Found section and look for your coat."

Boy #2:  "Fine, Mum. And whilst we're at it, can we see if the water bottle I left somewhere yesterday is there, too?"



  1. Oh... don't get me started. Our school's Lost and Found is unbelievable. They lay it all out on trestle tables twice a year and you could cloth an army. How do they lose things like coats?
    The parent response in our house, when asked "Have you seen my.....?" is "Nope, sorry, Not my day to keep up with it."
    We are currently missing one vital piece of paper to do with my teen's college entrance requirements. I have (secretly) turned the place upside down and he's.....playing the drums as I write. Oh well. Looks like he won't be able to complete his application.

  2. I've got so used to having other children's sports kit through my wash, that I've grown to accept the communality of property that seems a feature of school life, and I rather like it, really. All those hours we put into them as pre-schoolers teaching them that sharing is good...

    But yes, lost is different to borrowed.

  3. I know of which ye speak. Every other day we're about to leave for school and when I ask where my daughter's blazer/coat/fleece is, she shifts her eyes and says "At school" or "On my peg". Once at school, research shows that is another place it is NOT. Yesterday, it was her shoes that she left at school. Her SHOES! I ask you, how does such a thing happen? I'm almost certain it's not about bad parenting.

  4. Nappyvalleygirl20 March 2015 at 08:44

    I hear you - it has just got to that stage in the term when everything is going missing. We did so well up till half term. Then in just a few weeks, swimming trunks, brand new goggles, games tops and socks have all gone missing. Grrr!

  5. I just want to tell you how much I have enjoyed all of your blog. I found it recently and have read all 8 years. You are funny, perceptive and a wonderful writer. This post reminds me of when my boys were younger and the day they refused to wear rain slickers when it was pouring outside. It was one of those times when I was so angry that the veins in my neck were bulging. Not my best moment, clearly. I look forward to reading and hearing about your boys and what will follow.


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