The Playground Mafia
The Mafia exists in every school playground, its just some mums (and dads) are better at ignoring it than others. Me, I see it from every corner on the walk to school.
The first group are found on the road next to the school. There is the truly yummy mummies, the ones who park their Range Rovers on the grass verge at jaunty little angles. They step out in their high heeled knee length boots and perfectly hemmed skirts. Hair is highlighted every 6 weeks and straightened every morning before school. Honestly I have to admire their energy into their own upkeep. I just don’t find the time. You can’t be part of this group if you don’t meet the high standards and if you try in your own scuffed runners or pushing a graco push chair rather than an I Candy or Bugaboo. they will be polite – because they all have manners learned from private schools, but will also scoff as soon as your back is turned.
The group nearest to the school are usually the members of the PTA. Now don’t get me wrong, a worthy group and every school probably needs them, just I have witnessed some rather absurd snobbery within the PTA and even after volunteering to help I was snubbed. There is a smugness about this group, like they have the all knowing power of what events will and wont be organised during the year. They hold your child’s social calendar in their hands. The leader of this group will be most involved in the PTA without actually doing anything. She takes charge of everything and delegates everything to her cling ons that she has power over. Probably threatening them in some cleverly disguised way that if they fail her they will be thrown off the PTA. If she doesn’t yet know you, you will be granted one conversation with her. If you don’t meet her criteria or she cant see you of any value to her social status you will forever more be ignored, except when they need more cakes baking.
What you think parents won’t do that? Oh but they will. There are the over achievers in the school playground too. They hover from group to group mostly and will ask you subtle questions about which colour books your child reads and how many spellings he gets for homework. They aren’t interested in him really. They just want to know and be reassured that their child is better. Now if your child is actually smarter then them, they will be straight at the front of the queue to the class door the next morning.
The queue at the classroom door every morning consists of the same parents mostly. The worriers. These are made up of the mum with the sickly child. The pale one who always has a bag of medicine handed over and a packet of tissues in his bag. The over achieving mum described above will be there wanting to know why her son hasn’t moved up a reading level in the last week worrying that he is falling behind.
Guaranteed if you are running late into the school playground for collection or drop off you have to walk through the real playground Mafia. The scariest group of mums in the playground. The ones that know everything and judge everyone. These are the ones that at first you think might be nice, might talk to you. You may even accidentally try and strike up a conversation with them. Only to be thrown a “ late again” comment with a snide smile or two!
The final group are always found in the nearest alleyway after school drop off. These are my favourite people. The ones most down to earth and most likely to talk to you. These are also the ones that will invite you to drinks out or round their house for coffee. If you unsure or shy please don’t be afraid of this group. This is where I have made most of my friends. This group consists of the oddballs to be quite frank. The loud mouth that means well (deep down), the working mums who will definitely be ready for a night out at the weekend, the church goers and the shy ones who just want to make new friends and then any other type that doesn’t belong to the groups above. These girls have become my closest friends, and obviously there is the odd fallout in the group but they are there when it counts. These are the people you ring when you need nit solution, a babysitter at midnight because the baby is poorly or a bottle of wine dropping round. These are my new school friends.