Arrive at school with barely a minute to spare and realise there’s nowhere to park. Find a space which would usually take a five minute walk, but this time you sprint it in 90 seconds.
Remember to leave your coat and other layers in car, freeze on run to school, but know from experience it’s worth it.
Find your children and decide on an area you want to go to. Child A wants to do quiet nature study, Child B wants to attack the messy room. Five minutes later, with neither child backing down, decide messy room is best way forward as it means less chance you’ll have to wheel the PVA out at home.
Get to messy room and discover everyone else made same decision, but five minutes earlier.
Scout around for a space for your children to settle whilst you figure out how best to replicate the astounding artwork on the walls, whilst all you can find is one pebble and a lollypop stick. Return to your children and manufacture a space for them to get crafty.
Begin to emulate a magpie, hovering near other stations whilst you nab the good stuff. i.e. glue sticks, googly eyes and shiny paper whilst sticking out your elbows to fend off other, harassed parents attempting to push through.
Return to children thrilled with your finds.
Discover they’ve ‘finished’ their artwork in this room and want to go somewhere else.
Spot a newbie parent looking more lost than you, indicate you’re vacating your space and give them your precious shiny cargo. They eye you suspiciously and you hope they understand what you went through for that bit of foil and the one good googly eye.
Wander off to find another artspace, same problem with both children. Neither can decide what they want to do so you choose the still life area as it’s calmer and you envisage time sat down, watching the children.
Stand up to get pencils for them.
Stand up to get paper for them.
Stand up to take Child A to the toilet.
Return to find your seat has gone because Child B ‘didn’t think you’d need to sit any longer as your bottom is big enough already’.
Find another seat and start doing a little sketching yourself. Look pleased with results and smile over at the children. Both children ask what it is you’ve sketched (a pinecone, okay? A FREAKIN’ PINECONE). Cast a glance at the parent next to you and realise they’re an accomplished still life artist who brought their own pencils.
Hurriedly label own drawing with Child B’s name.
Child B claims (insanely loudly) that she would ‘never ever ever ever, never draw a picture that bad’.
Inwardly cheer when teacher tells you it’s tidy up time.
Same time next year?