Mother of the Tramp

Monday, 23 November 2009

Don't let my Mum catch you laughing at my uniform.
She's a total psycho and she'll kill you with her laptop.

So today was monsoon rain coming down sideways. The bots have to take PE bags in on Mondays which are so large, a small adult could climb inside. They also have huge bookbags strapped to their backs and we are like a band of sherpas making our way across the West Face of the tennis court. I rely on them to let me know if they are missing or have outgrown any bit of kit. I pretend this is good for their sense of responsibility but the raw truth is that I am, as I have mentioned, bone idle. Delegating Uniform Upkeep and Development to the children frees up the node in my brain that can be put to better use researching upcoming developments in employment law. Or thinking about lunch.

Either way, even I could tell that today, something was very wrong. Rose couldn't actually bend her arms, which is quite a handicap if you are carrying the equivalent of a Mini Cooper in books and sports kit. It turns out that apparently I bought her school coat when she was seven. She's now eleven and as tall as me. I have more chance of finding Narnia then getting to the on-site uniform shop during its ridiculous opening hours, so tonight I have resorted to using the on-line school uniform supplier. I forgot my top-secret password, but luckily both children shouted it through several times from where they are sitting in front of the wrestling. I was then subject to intense on-line interrogation as I have not ordered any uniform in two years, nor updated either child's measurement in three. Eventually, the site believed that I was indeed the mummy of two naked and non-growing children. There are three identical-looking styles of coat, one of which will be correct and two of which will result in immediate expulsion, if not public flogging or death by shocked stares. Anyway, I have picked one, chosen a size, chosen to have it delivered to work, lost all the credit card details and therefore the order as the two addresses didn't tally; I have just re-entered all the previous information and resisted the thought of a colossal vodka as it's only Monday.

The supplier has just emailed me to say that the selected item is out of stock. Please will I allow up to eighteen bloody years for delivery. Rose has just remembered that her school skirt ripped. It is pleated and therefore un-mendable by anyone who is not Yves Saint Laurent. I am going to hang the sodding expense and order her another one online. But I think first I'm going to need a colossal vodka.


  1. To this day I have not forgotten the uniforms I wore during my year at Lady Edward's in London. Nor the experience of walking into the enormous store where we bought them. We didn't have online shopping then. We did have vodka. Also gin. Cheers.

  2. Oh the memories of school uniforms. I used to really rile me when my public school (that has a different meaning in the UK doesn't it?) friends would grip about all the money I was saving on clothes. Well no not really you mindless twit ( meant in a positive way) I still have to buy the other gear for when they aren't in school.Plus drive 100 miles to get the proper skirt,or in our case risk excommunication. Sorry to ramble on, pass the vodka please.

  3. Exactly, where is the contradiction between vodka and Monday?

    Thank you again for your present/award.

    I had a pleated navy blue skirt as part of my school uniform, which of course I hated, but now that I think back on it the cut wasn't bad at all., it was the socks and shoes the ruined the total look and of course the short-sleeved Peter Pan-collar white blouse.


  4. "....the equivalent of a Mini Cooper in books and sports kit...."

    There you go again. I just blew pasta through my nose when I read that.

  5. LPC - cheers - yes, the bliss of one day, one list, real people, trying on and then some lovely old retainer to sew in the Cash name tapes...

    James - mindless twit in a positive way?? - More vodka for you

    Tish - Peter pan collar - we're showing our ages!

    Pasta, ADG? Not grits?

  6. Oh God... the wretched school uniform... I was always 'trying to get just another term out of it'.... and I am proud to say that we got the blazer to last from age 11 to 16 (thank god no school uniform in 6th form although that also brought on a lot of headaches too of another kind !!) - must admit the sleeves were a tad shortish during the last term!

  7. Grits? Not at night silly girl. Unless I'm in Charleston-on one of those swoon inducing verandas enjoying shrimp and grits.

    Onward to the office. Damn it.

  8. Shoot! Now I want to read "The Naughtiest Girl in The School"- leave that puppy out on the coffee table and see what kind of reactions you get!
    Agree with the "Mini-Cooper" quote- why do kids need all that crap?? They don't use half of it...

  9. What worries me is that I haven't seen my son's gym kit since roughly the second week of school. Somebody call me if they see the haz-mat truck at the school before the end of the holiday!

  10. All those uniforms - ugh! We always tried to improve them with oversized cardigans. Cool blog, lady. Greetings from the States and a referral from Tish Jett's fabulous blog.

  11. Anoninoz - well done you! That's a lot of time to keep a blazer going.

    ADG - Gumbo, bwana.

    Rasputin - they blimming well use it all in my house. I should know, I have to wash the bugger every Sunday. My library is filled with naughtiest girl type books - I'll leave them out and conduct a controlled experiement - perhaps you could do the same with your chums the twins at the Library?

    Kathy - good luck, bet he hasn't seen it either.

    Knit - thank you and welcome. Her blog is brilliant, isn't it??

  12. Like you bone idle on the school uniform front - usually buy uniform WAY too big, so at present six year old boy is wearing a shirt that comes down to his knees - luckily this is SO uncool that he always wears it tucked in and therefore gets gold stars for being neat and tidy. My idleness secret is safe for now...

  13. Having a great arsing-about-on-the-computer day today and discovered your blog. Priceless! Can empathise with being a bad mother on forgetting to buy uniform (despite six inches of ankle showing between shoe and hem of trousers), having a secret love of old Enid Blyton classics (Mallory Towers for me) and glugging the vodka. Thank you! Will certainly follow your blog now..

  14. Trish - how lovely to meet you - am also enjoying your blog - kudos leaving a 13 year old and a minibar alone!

    You are so welcome! Vodka?

  15. Hello, you are HILARIOUS! I love reading your humour. Thank you. As for me, I went from (un-uniformed) France and the US, to a Zimbabwe school. Total sartorial shock...especially the big black shoes and white socks- I attended the first 3 weeks with very fine navy penny loafers...and was rewarded with sneers. Nothing remotely ressembling Franco-American style allowed, I supposed. Maybe it was the way I insisted on wearing the Madeline-in two-straight-lines hat...


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