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To have picked my 4 year old up 15 minutes early from school?

(126 Posts)
Hanspannerly Mon 14-Jan-13 17:02:56

I live in the north east, it is extremely snowy today. At lunch time there was abut 4 inches and road completely covered and it was snowing heavily. I live at the top of a large hill at quite high altitude, school is at bottom approx 1 mile away. It is also about -1 today. I do not have a 4x4

I rang the school to ask if I could pick DS up 15 minutes early as I could not get my car out, it was stuck in the snow. Friend who has a 4x4 offered to take me and 2 yr old DD to school to pick up DS. it had to be slightly early as she then had to pick her own child up from a different school.
Receptionist in the phone was fairly rude but agreed I could pick up early.
So I arrive at school with DD and receptionist was v rude to me. Kept going on about how the head was EXTREMELY unhappy with this. I asked what I should have done. Apparently I should have walked with a small toddler. In 4 inches of snow! She told me off like I was a child.
The hilarious thing is that when I got to reception classroom, they were watching telly!
DS has excellent attendance and is doing very well at school. AIBU? I didn't think so...but she was so rude!

BeerTricksPotter Mon 14-Jan-13 18:30:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SallyCinnamonandNutmeg Mon 14-Jan-13 18:34:14

Whether or not OP COULD have made the trek down dale and up hill in 4 inches of snow with toddler/pushchair/ sledge/ songs and games on the way if she had had no other choice does not change the fact that the school - happily or unhappily -had agreed to let her come and pick up her child early and therefore in my opinion the receptionist was out of order and unprofessional to then tell her off about it!

thebody Mon 14-Jan-13 18:40:51

Oh hands so sorry wasn't meaning that you are one of those parents at all.. Just trying to explain the different types of parent and reactions from them to the school and visa versa.

As I said in my post its hard pushing a buggy up a hill, but added that if snow continues then you may need to do so.

Sorry if I offended you and to add the receptionist should never be rude, ours never are.

Zavi Mon 14-Jan-13 18:42:25


Under the circumstances what you did was very sensible.

I don't agree with others who think that its OK for a 2 yr old to walk a mile, uphill, in 4" of snow after a school day hmm. You would have ended up carrying him, possibly slipping in the process.

I would speak to the head, letting them know that Receptionist told you the head was extremely unhappy. Don't forget to mention to head that kids were watching telly when you picked you DS up wink

SeeBoobies Mon 14-Jan-13 18:42:48

Why is everyone being so judgemental? My town is on a very steep hill and there is no way a two year old could make it in snow. I doubt my 3 year old DD would make it.

CremeEggThief Mon 14-Jan-13 18:44:43

YANBU, OP. Also in County Durham, although not as rural as you, and a 1.5 mile walk in snowboots to pick up my 10 year old was plenty for me. We got the bus home grin (I know you don't have that option).

gobbin Mon 14-Jan-13 18:49:29

Ideal opportunity to get the sledge out and get pulling that toddler down the hill to school with a bit of fun on the way back. An opportunity missed, with a pile of whinging to boot. Get a grip!

In the big snows down here a couple of yrs ago many of us had to walk over a mile into the village for basic foodstuffs, never mind school. All the Close pulled together and I did my bit walking down with the sledge and bringing back food for self and others. My son thought it was great fun!

Waswondering Mon 14-Jan-13 18:50:04


I live in Aberdeen and at our school if it's really snowy, school formally starts at 0930 (but you can drop before). No child gets marked down for being late - we get a text reminding us of that and saying 'travel safely'. It almost never closes in snow - has to be REALLY bad. At the end of the day you can take your child whenever - P1 finishes earlier than the other classes, but all older siblings get sent home with the youngest.

We have a large catchment, it's hilly, and there are all sorts of reasons why it's good to let children away a little early - not least to relieve pressure on the car park.

I really can't see why 15 m would have been an issue to your school today ....

(NB it's been snowing heavily here since 3 pm .... Just in time for the school run! Wonder if tomorrow will be a walking day ... Chance to try out Christmas yaktrax!)

Hanspannerly Mon 14-Jan-13 18:50:09

Sadly a mouse ate my snow boots but my mum bought me some of those crampon thingies that go over your wellies. Ill give them a whirl tomorrow grin

BeerTricksPotter Mon 14-Jan-13 18:58:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LemonBreeland Mon 14-Jan-13 18:58:57

Well I said YANBU originally. And funnily enough from your description in your OP I was picturing Co Durham. DB lives there and my Mum lives 10 mins away in Tyne & Wear. If my Mum has a cm of snow DB will have at least a foot.

Definitely YANBU.

Hanspannerly Mon 14-Jan-13 19:00:11


BelieveInPink Mon 14-Jan-13 19:10:35

One mile?

Get a fucking grip.

Hanspannerly Mon 14-Jan-13 19:16:33

Not sure there's need for that language [sceptical]

Hanspannerly Mon 14-Jan-13 19:17:35

Haha! Try again hmm

sherazade Mon 14-Jan-13 19:23:05

YANBU. school teacher of four year olds here!

A girl in my class, who I know comes from an area where it was snowing went home 15 minutes earlier today. I noticed her mum hanging around in the foyer early so i sent my TA to ask her if she wanted to take her dd home early. she said she did but hadn't wanted to disrupt the lesson. I know she has 3 older dc in other schools and probably needed the extra time. It didn't disrupt my 'lesson' ( we were practising our assembly!) in the slightest. So speaking as a teacher... yanbu.

As a parent,I would have loved that walk in the snow with my child!

I wont expect that the girl would go home early everyday though but with it being the first day of snow I was happy to make the exception.

NoMoreMarbles Mon 14-Jan-13 19:24:19

Could you not have waited the 15 mins in reception for your DS to finish? It's not as if it's an hour...

I think YABU a little but the receptionist shouldn't have been rude to you.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Mon 14-Jan-13 19:28:22

I think it is totally understandable. School should care more about the safety of their pupils, not whether it inconveniences them. Used to be if it snowed school let out early so that it was safer for parents to pick up.

I do wonder though with the increase in snow in the UK if motorists are going to start carrying chains/cables for their car like they do here. It does make a big difference even though it is a thorough PITN. When I go to snowy places I also add a small fold up shovel and a bag of cat litter to my emergency kit in case we get stuck. Also households store small bags of de-icer and/or grit so they can get out of their drive/street if they get stuck. Does anyone do that in the UK? Even fireplace ashes work (although they are a bit messy) when sprinkled on the snow to give traction. Also those yaktracks or whatever they are called, the pull on traction thingies for shoes.

I remember one winter I was working as a nanny and we had a couple of snows that lasted over night. The buggy was useless on the walk to school so I used a sled from the garage with a blanket for my LO and pulled her to school because she was having a hard time walking and I didn't want to drive in the muck. I doubt I would have walked for more than a mile each way and not up or down a really steep hill though.

mummytotwins Mon 14-Jan-13 19:28:27

Yanbu! I collected my dts half hour early before Christmas as we won tickets to the cbeebies panto and it was going to take a while to travel there, I spoke to the head and she said they were my children and i could collect them when I wanted!

Some very judgemental posters on here!

Hanspannerly Mon 14-Jan-13 19:33:13

Maybe I should look into snow chains. It's probably worth doing purely for the fact that if I buy something for cold weather, it doesn't snow at all for the rest of the winter-sods law. Like when DH bought his land rover or when we got a special heater to keep the boiler outflow from freezing!

cakebar Mon 14-Jan-13 19:33:15

Toddler needs to go in a sling on your back and/or a sledge and it would be fine. You need to be prepared for snow. I hate driving in these kind of conditions and am far more likely to walk then try and drive it.

twofalls Mon 14-Jan-13 19:39:48

Well when dd1 was 2 she would have only been walking for 4 months and was very unsteady on her feet. A mile up a hill in 4 inches of snow would have been too much for her. Dd2 would do it all at a run and enjoy every second.

But honestly, this is judgey-pants mn at its best. I hate all this "oh we trekked 5 miles across the city in a blizzard with 3 kids strapped to our backs"stuff. It was 15 minutes. The child is 4. Other teachers have said its not a problem.


But these threads always attract the

Indith Mon 14-Jan-13 19:40:39

You can't use chains unless there is thick snow over the whole road, they are pointless here!

The crampons for you boots will help lots. Use a sling or sledge for the toddler.

Winter is cold. Often there is ice. Sometimes snow. Everyone needs the correct clothing. A mile, even with a hill, really shouldn't be an issue unless you have a medical condition you;ve not mentioned.

simplesusan Mon 14-Jan-13 19:41:16

I think what you did was perfectly reasonable. You had the chance of a lift and your 4 year old missed the last 15mins of school. That won't affect him.

great tip about cat litter, I never thought of that!

fluffypillow Mon 14-Jan-13 19:47:16 all.

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