Don’t you just love the school run! Is there anything that could possibly improve that little treat we get twice a day? It requires the planning skills of an entire Olympic committee at 8am and sometimes the honed negotiation skills of…well, anybody but the current British government. Everybody knows that for school running in the UK you’ll need, at the very least; a decent waterproof coat, some suitable footwear and your best wits about you…right? Well, after thirty five days as a participant of the school run whilst modelling a fetching peep toe fracture boot on my broken left foot, I have some observations to share.
1) You will probably be wearing odd socks: Even before you leave the house the weirdness begins. It’s March in the UK, you’re wearing a peeptoe boot for the school run, you’re going to want socks of some description. You’ll likely be all too aware that the toes on your bad foot are on display so you’ll want a decent looking sock on that foot…a sock that casually makes it look like every sock you own is a good sock. You’ll maybe, like me, favour a comfy black sock to blend in with the boot. The other socky consideration is that, with a broken foot to shield, you probably won’t want any tight hosiery, no socks that are hard to pull on. To solve this I’ve been stealing my other half’s black socks and wearing them on my injured left foot…he doesn’t know this – yet! So, you may wonder, why does that mean you have to wear odd socks? Well, I can’t wear his massive sock on the good leg, the one that’s not hidden by my knee high boot. It’d bunch up inside my trainer or poke up out of the back…nope, odd socks it is. To be fair, our house is overrun with odd socks anyway 😄
2) You’re gonna have to do some walking/hobbling: Unless you live quite nearby, have nowhere to dash off to afterwards or are one of those ‘I’ll-just-park-on-the-zig-zags-despite-receiving-58-parking-tickets-a-day’ types then the chances are you’ll have to park a bit away from the school and walk/hobble. At our massive school in its densely populated area this means a five minute walk through busy streets. That’s fine by me, I like the exercise, well I do when both of my feet are in working order. It’s a bit different with a broken foot though, especially in the beginning. You’ll be slow, you’ll get tired and you’ll feel like everybody’s staring at you. The only thing to do is style it out, just summon up your best grit and determination, plaster on a smile and hobble past all of the many obstacles (Paperboy style) to those gates! You’ll feel a real sense of achievement when you’ve dropped your cherub off safely at their class…then you’ll remember, you have to walk back to the car again – on your own. “Oh fiddlesticks” you’ll say.
3) Zig Zag parkers will doubly annoy you: This is especially true when, tired and sweaty on the last leg of your epic journey, you overhear one of them complaining that the grass verge he’d just torn up with his 4×4 was “very slippy”. “Something should be done about it” he raged, because it was dangerous for his daughter whilst hopping out of the car a metre away from the school. Seriously, this charmer was parked illegally on the zig zags right outside the gates, putting kids lives at risk, but he had the brass neck to complain about slippy grass! Meanwhile, broken footed parents like me were hobbling cross terrain. I had an urge to use my boot as a mallet, but I resisted.
4) There’ll be lots of tutting behind you: It ain’t the easiest thing hobbling along on these boots when one heel is as high as a Ziggy Stardust platform and your other sole is at least a good two inches lower. You’ll be bobbing up and down as you walk, like a defective jack in the box at the pace of a reluctant toddler. People behind you won’t necessarily make allowances for your lack of speed. Who am I trying to kid, people behind you will be tutting, sighing and generally diving into busy roads for a chance to overtake you on the pavement. You know what it’s like on the school run at the best of times. Parents dashing along like Linford Christie (showing my age there) so that they can deposit their child and then breakneck it to the office or back home to watch Jeremy Kyle. They have no time for slowcoaches, they care not for healing metatarsals (metatarsi?)…if you are shoulderbarged into a hedge with your broken foot it’s just collateral damage to them.
5) You’ll be scared of really small kids: For similar reasons to the above, you will become disproportionately afraid of small kids. Have you ever noticed how hard Year One kids play? They hurtle themselves around like cannon balls stopping only a millimetre short of brick walls or other humans. Their games of tag are conducted at a velocity similar to a NASCAR race. You will end up in their path, you will cower when they head your way and you may even decide to cling to the perimeter of a building for safety.
6) You probably won’t be joining in with #schoolrunstyle #whatiworetoday: To be brutally honest, no matter what you team your orthopaedic looking boot with, you’re probably not going to be matching the yummy mummies in the style stakes. To be fair, there are some ladies who I’m certain must get ready the night before and just sleep very still all night ready to spring up and leave at 8am the next day. Some mums put Dolly Parton to shame in the all out glamour stakes. You know how sometimes those mums make you feel dowdy on a good day? Multiply that by ten when you’re wearing your boot. Factor in that you’ll have to choose outfits based on what you can actually, practically wear with a knee high, strap on boot – as well as the fact that you’ll have to wear a shoe on the other foot that at least tries to balance out the height differential. This means that the likelihood of you driving to a nearby meadow, after you’ve dropped off kiddo, to take some artful shots of today’s outfit for Instagram is slim. Oh well, I can delete that google search for local cornfields now.
7) Weather: You will spend an unhealthy amount of time harassing Alexa for weather forecasts. Sometimes you won’t like her reply so you’ll go off and check bbc weather in the hope that their outlook is more favourable. The main reason for this desire for fair weather is that you’re going to be knocking around outside, in the British winter, in a peeptoe fracture boot which gets soaked through in the rain. Depending upon how you sustained your broken foot you may also have developed a justified fear of falling on your bum. This means you’ll be obsessively checking those weather reports every time your nan makes murmurings of there being ‘snow in the air’. The last thing you’d want to attempt is the school run in the snow or ice in a big boot!
8) Puddles: This ties in with the point above about weather. During the walk to and from school you will find yourself behaving like Peppa Pig in reverse, aka dodging muddy puddles. This will require you to build up your snappy dodging, wide striding and one legged leaping in a fracture boot abilities. You obviously want to avoid ‘soggy toe’ at all costs. Remember, you will be doing all of this whilst attempting to keep your kid(s) from wading through said puddles in their best light-up Clark’s, avoiding splash back from other people’s more loosely tethered kids and hoping the 92 bus doesn’t give you a shower with the murky water from the gutter next to you.
9) Dog poo: Now, I know this revelation might shock you, but people don’t always clean up after their dogs, even near to schools. It’s disgusting, pick it up people, or don’t have a dog! I stepped in some dog poo…with my fracture boot (of course)…and had to spend a lovely bit of my day cleaning it off *gag*. Like puddles, dog poo is something that I now spend a lot of time trying to hop over during the school run in my big boot. Oh the joys.
10) Hooray for the weekend: You’ll feel really rather happy when the weekend rolls around…it’s a funny old thing that isn’t it!
In truth though, I don’t really mind any of the above. The sun is shining outside and I’ve only got one more week left before my foot is healed and I can take off my boot for good! In fact, I felt so positively chirpy that I decided to wear this for today’s school run! 😎
Disclaimer: the above post is obviously just a bit of light hearted fun. I do know there are lots of people who have worse problems than this every day getting about. Total respect to anybody with mobility issues.