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being rebuked by other parents in public - have now managed this twice in two weeks - record?

(24 Posts)
lingle Wed 08-Dec-10 12:37:37

just when my faux pas rate seemed to be edging downwards after 3 1/2 years at the school gate I seem to have blown it not once but twice in the last two weeks.
First I scraped someone's car parking (damaging only my own it appears) and an excited neighbour came running after convinced I was trying to make a getaway (some would say 2 metres isn't a very good getaway destination but hey...). The car owner then gave me a lecture in a polite teacher-to-child voice: "It appeared to my neighbour that you were planning to just drive away". I went for a "don't try to explain, just keep saying sorry~" strategy - didn't seem to work. I sent flowers. She hasn't acknowledged them. strike one...

Then I was waxing lyrical in a cafe this morning on the subject of trying to combat bullying only to be cut off by an icy teacher-to-child "please watch your language" after having said "I was so pissed off to hear that xxx had happened again to this child" (rebuker's toddler was there).

I thought I'd be over this stuff at 40..... it's never going to stop unless I can change personality though ..... I don't want to annoy or offend anyone and I also contribute a lot of time to the school and don't want to stop doing this. I'm not even sure I want to be totally different - my friend with impeccable manners has confided that she would love to be more forthright like me and to call things as she sees them...... but I'm obviously inconsiderate or I wouldn't get into hot water like this. It's also very very hard to deal with someone using their teacher-to-child voice at you in public.

I'm not so much interested in discussing the actual episodes - I swore, someone was upset, it happens - but has anyone managed to overcome a tendency to blow it at the school gate?

Runoutofideas Wed 08-Dec-10 12:50:51

Sounds like you are surrounded by very easily offended people to me!

Unprune Wed 08-Dec-10 12:54:22

Just don't speak to anyone. Some days I do that. I am in constant danger as one of ds's friends has the most lumpen, ineffective parents, and virtually any preference I could give will be specifically critical of them.
I enjoy it some days.

SparkleSoiree Wed 08-Dec-10 12:56:53

If it is of any consequence I have never been accepted at the school gates despite many efforts of trying to get to know people.

I have had parents screaming at me in school car parks, horns bleeped at me by parents and dirty looks when I happened to laugh too loud in the playground one day waiting for my DD.

Some people go through their lives judging others in one way or another but I am lucky enough to have a fab circle of friends outside the school who are worth a million of them people that won't take me on.

Some people you get on with, others you don't. I have never overcome the school gates and just accepted I was not their 'type' and they are not mine.


lingle Wed 08-Dec-10 13:14:12

thank you and lol at unprune.

I do so want to be good and it is sooo hard to be told off like a small child in public.

MyBoysHaveDogsNames Wed 08-Dec-10 13:26:52

I'm ususally ok but yesterday practically shouted 'For Christ's Sake!' (with good reason, but that's another story) in front of some children and parents. I did then say sorry but in quite a distracted way as I was still, erm, annoyed! Don't know how offensive that would have been to people. I wouldn't perceive 'pissed off' as really offensive language.

You have had a couple of minor things happen together. Don't dwell on it, you apologised and behaved really graciously both times. The other people concerned sound pretty patronising. I'm sure you're lovely!

Catchthewind Wed 08-Dec-10 13:33:50

Oh God I remember your parking thread, it was awful for you, and you did everything you could.

I hate that feeling, you have my every sympathy.

As for saying pissed off in front of a toddler, well, I shan't post what mine hears regularly at home!

Can you move? Come and live here next door to me. You will never offend me grin

LB29 Wed 08-Dec-10 13:55:38

When the woman told you off for swearing you should have turned around and said 'don't you know it is rude to listen in on other peoples conversations'. I tend to ignore most of the parents at the school gate as i find it can be just like being back at school, and some are so bitchy.

lingle Wed 08-Dec-10 14:00:28

lol thank you for the nice replies. silly thing is that the offendees are I'm sure both very nice people too! and probably have started threads saying how nicely and politely they registered their displeasure.

It's hard too to be told off when (for once in your life) you are genuinely thinking about someone else who is more vulnerable than you (the bullied child) and you are focussed on that rather than the etiquette of the group around you. The poor offendee tried to throw me a bone by saying something like "perhaps you're not yourself today" - but I was myself, that's what I'm like blush. Ah well, now I'm getting a bit too excited and thinking I'm Bob Geldof or something (if only) - but perhaps he can be my role model - lots of gaffes and scruffy hair and uneven musical skills but makes a positive difference to the world....

<goes off to pray to st bob>

pawsnclaws Wed 08-Dec-10 18:33:44

Goodness you ARE surrounded by sensitive little flowers, aren't you?! And as for the poster told off for laughing too loudly, that's hilarious. You'll all be ticked off for standing the wrong way sometime soon.

Greeninkmama Wed 08-Dec-10 18:35:47

I was at a school event the other day with my DD3. Two of the mothers swore - worse than 'pissed off' - while we are there, but it would never have crossed my mind to object. Not least because they both do loads more for the school than I do! That mother-of-toddler sounds horribly sanctimonious (actually they both do). School-gate stuff = hideous!

ivykaty44 Wed 08-Dec-10 18:38:36

choose your friends better - people that can laff and don't mind piss as a word or bugger every now and again

as for the car you need to say well where is your magnifying glass cos I can't see anything and don't park in such a silly place wink

edam Wed 08-Dec-10 18:47:11

Blimey, I'm surprised the other parents at your child's school actually venture out in public – they seem ridiculously over-sensitive and officious, to boot. Next time one of them has the cheek to tell you off (wtf do they think they are?) give them a stony glare. Or just say 'Really?' in very 'don't believe it' tones.

Iwasthefourthwiseman Wed 08-Dec-10 19:09:21

How mortifying! Very patronising of both mothers. You don't need school gate mum friends, you have us and we don't fucking mind if you swear!

cat64 Wed 08-Dec-10 19:16:02

Message withdrawn

sageygirl Wed 08-Dec-10 21:06:00

I think I'm probably related to you OP, though you are at full liberty to disown me. I talk too loudly and other mums overhear and perhaps I just take too long to notice things. Anyway chasing my dd down the path on the way home from school yesterday, she is excited and yells "X was on the sad face board and Y was too and Z and etc - they are all naughty and I was on the smiley face board and the teacher said I was excellent." (This could be true, but is equally likely to be the version of events that my dd wishes had happened.) I asked why, dd tells me her version of what X did loudly and we walk round the corner into X and X's mum. Dirty looks and a huffy walk off result. Oh dear, something like this happens every week.

lingle Thu 09-Dec-10 10:49:09

ouch! for sageygirl.

I do hear what you say cat64 and no-one intends to be patronising and I'm sure my friend didn't. I think I am going to chalk it up to her being honest and outspoken.She didn't realise how much it would mortify me - - a bit like me perhaps?

Like I say, it's a dilemma - part of me would like to constantly be "pre-screening" what I say so I never cause offence. But as I say, I have friends who do pre-screen and who admit that they often feel trapped in their own cage of etiquette - and I honestly think it's too late to achieve 100% pre-screening now. Will just have to keep blundering and consider the rebukers to be fellow-blunderers in their own way.......... I mean really, the ones who say thing to our face are more like us really aren't they?

giveitago Fri 10-Dec-10 15:04:25

Lingle - with you - I was forthright - not criticising but just giving my observation on something and I had a number of mothers just lay into me (in a very defensive way which is odd as I wasn't at all attacking). The other mums, who I think agreed with me, were so intimidated they blank me now.

No bad language from my part but I think I hit a nerve on the old yummy mummy circuit and boy I'm going to pay. Just hope my ds doesn't have to pay. But to be honest their attitude just backed up my observation completely!

The school thing is hard - if you don't fit in you don't fit in. And perhaps that's just for the best depending on your point of view.

flimflammery Fri 10-Dec-10 15:14:22

giveitago: what was your observation, I'm curious.

lingle Fri 10-Dec-10 15:14:42

<goes off for cup of tea with giveitago and sageygirl>

this is reminding me - another lady made a (fairly big) error of judgment and has been frozen out completely - must take her off for coffee. she was in teh wrong but teh punishment doesn't fit the crime IYSWIM.

MollieO Fri 10-Dec-10 15:24:02

The best way to deal with the school gate is not to go there at all. Drop off at before school care (do not get out of car) and collect from after school care (not at school location). Interaction with other parents is limited to weekends only (at rugby - sensitive types don't tend to go!). grin

giveitago Fri 10-Dec-10 15:29:30

No issue re my observation - no big issue at all as it's a great school, but it hit a nerve. It was not a criticism at all and I portrayed it completely, 100% as an observation - but the mummy gang well, just ganged up. Really bloody quickly actually. and it just proved my observation completely. My comment would never hurt the lovely school but the reaction does.

Everyone has a voice - but if it goes against the school gate culture then so be it.

Lingle - mine is a tea with no sugar and dash of milk please.

KnowNothing Fri 10-Dec-10 15:31:01

I try to produce a politer version of my usual self at school. Doesn't always work and I do occasionally say things out loud to shocked faces (e.g. 'No DH, is not coming to the school Christmas fair, he'd rather gouge out his eyeballs with rusty spoons')

I like the genuine people best though. Much more fun!

My friend swears heavily - everything is fecking this and fecking that. I don't draw her attention to it in front of the children as it would be teaching them swearing. At the moment it just seems like part of her accent.

giveitago Fri 10-Dec-10 16:10:33

knownothing - I completely agree but clearly we're not at same school - lingle is not at my school either. Nor sparkle.

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