January 21, 2014 by talkaboutyork
‘Do you have a snack?’
These are the first words that greet me every day when I collect my children from school. Not ‘Hello’. Or ‘Nice to see you’. Or ‘Yay, it’s home time.’ Or ‘Mum I missed you’ (yeah, I know, bwahahahahaha – as if).
Nope. It’s simply ‘Do you have a snack?’ I am normally presented with about three different bags to carry while this question is being asked.
My answer to this question will define the remainder of the day. What I pull from my pockets has immense power. If it is a banana or an apple, I might as well just stick my head in the oven and end it all. A home baked biscuit will get an eye roll and sigh with a reluctant acceptance, possibly with a nag for a ‘real’ snack later. A jumbo size bag of haribo on the other hand will be accepted with a smile, as will a bag of salt and fat saturated crisps. I am not sure when the word ‘snack’ was reclassified to mean ‘junk in crinkly wrappers’. I shall have to write to the Oxford English Dictionary people and ask them.
And then there is what happens if I bring nothing at all. Let’s all take a moment of silence to contemplate this horror…….
Should this atrocity occur, I might as well just pre-dial Childline so that my children can ring up and demand a new home. And sadly, it does happen. There are days when I run out of time or don’t have anything in the house or perhaps just feel like living on the edge. Because I’m crazy that way.
The post school snack is one of things that you just don’t contemplate until you are a parent. In the days before you had children, you possibly imagined your offspring charging out of school, arms flung wide, embracing you before skipping off hand in hand to have a fun-filled afternoon together, possibly eating some homemade flapjacks while your child regales funny tales of what they learned at school that day.
In case you don’t have children yet, let me fill you in. If I could, I would sit you down in front of me. I’d offer you a cup of tea and a custard cream, possibly hold your hand before whispering, ‘It’s not actually like that. At all.’
You see children after school are capable of two things:
1. Asking for a snack
If the snack isn’t the right kind of snack, the grunting makes way for nagging, whining or possibly shouting. But assuming you have given up on the healthy eating lark and have obliged your children with some nutrition-free piece of crap, this is how your conversation will go:
‘How was school today?’
‘What did you do?’
‘Well you couldn’t have done nothing. What did you do in PE?’ (choose a subject you know they like for a better chance of a response)
‘Can’t remember.’ (I said a better chance, not an actual chance)
‘What was for lunch?’
And so on. Such fun.
The only time you will get a response (from a boy child at least, girls may be slightly more chatty) is if you ask their sibling how their day was. Assuming a miracle happens and they actually have something to report (normally involving someone else getting into trouble and / or someone losing a limb in design technology), the minute one child starts telling their tale, the other one will remarkably remember a pressing story about how someone got told off for snapping a pencil or similar and will HAVE to speak over the top of the first child, thus causing an argument about who should speak first. Eventually, after a big row, everyone will be walking in silence, chewing haribo while you carry bags wondering why you gave up working/raced home in time for pick up.
Anyway, it is nearly that time of day again. And I’m going slightly off-piste with today’s snack. I’ve made cheese scones because we have nothing else in the house, not even bread and despite the fact that I walk past Sainsburys on my way to school, I just feel like living dangerously. I know. Fool. It’s not going to be pretty….