Nine inevitable truths about losing things at school

Found yourself on first name terms with the school lost property officer? You're not alone, as these Mumsnetters will attest to.

1. To a child, all coats look the same

Putting on a child's coat

“Have you ever seen children collect their coats off the pegs at the end of the day? It's the equivalent of letting 60 five-year-olds loose at the airport to select their baggage from a carousel of almost-identical black wheelie suitcases.”

“It's even worse if you have a uniform coat. Then you are truly fucked.”

2. They're also vague on the definition of 'a pair of shoes'

Jess from New Girl asking what something is

“Two days after buying a pair of school shoes, my child came home wearing one new shoe (size 2.5H) and one rather older shoe (size 13.5E). £42 those cost me!”

3. The swapping of said shoes is apparently hilarious to them

Minions laughing

“My two-year-old had to have an emergency paediatric orthopaedic appointment as she'd suddenly developed a severe limp with no other symptoms. Luckily nothing was found, but then several weeks later she said: 'Daisy's got the same shoes as me and some days we wear a big one and a little one.'”

4. Size really doesn't matter

Tom Hanks in Big

“My son is the tallest in his year; his friend is the shortest. They came out of school one day last year wearing each other's trousers. They'd got them mixed up in PE first thing and neither had noticed all day. My son's were mid-calf and the other lad looked like Charlie Chaplin.”

5. Anything can be lost

Girl sitting in a laundry basket wearing a dress

“My daughter once came home in her PE kit, saying her school dress had disappeared while they were getting changed. Later that evening I got a text from one of her friend's parents: 'Sorry that your daughter came home without her dress. When mine got into the bath I realised that she was wearing two dresses, one on top of the other. Will return tomorrow!'”

6. And we mean anything

Woman looking shocked

“There's a lost-and-found sign up at my son's school, which is updated weekly. This week it says that two children have lost their pants. How?!”

7. In the world of lost property, time moves in mysterious ways

Alice in Wonderland white rabbit with clock

“My eldest had left Year Six and we had a three-year gap before the youngest started. He'd been in reception for quite a while before he came home with a sweatshirt with my eldest son's name in. It must have been in the lost property for over three years!”

8. It's all mostly beyond your control

Dolores Umbridge shouting for order

“Years ago I remember reading a book where children were sewn into their underwear at the start of the winter. Every so often I think that their parents might have had a point.”

9. And on the plus side, they will find things again – just not their own

Boy holding his tooth

“My nephew went on a school trip and came home with someone else's pillow (but lost his own), an odd sock and… another child's tooth.”