You can feel their eyes on you.
Asking questions. Why? How? Again? Those shoes?
You're flustered. Hot from running.
Child dragging behind you.
Obviously this is not the about the other walk of shame.
Not the 7am walk of shame, hungover to hell, clearly still wearing last night's clothes.
Maybe some party popper crap in your hair. Knowing that everyone can read you like a book.
Even the bus driver smiles as you mumble for a ticket. Yes everyone knows what you did last night. Personally I've never really felt shame in those moment. I've felt pride.
And had I had the time. And more sleep. And no hangover. Then I am pretty sure I would have walked about with a sign saying BOOM POW. And been high fiving everyone. (This was years ago obv.).
But then I'm male and Lad culture is stupid encourages that behaviour. Sadly.
So to experience the walk of shame. Now.
At my age, thirty-plurburerber (coughs). On the school run.
Was a crap surprise.
<Shows off 'Boom Pow' sign>
Mate: 'You been reading comics again?'
Yes. Obv. But that's not why I've got the sign... <Winks> <Raises eyebrows>
Mate: 'Your eye alright?'
Yes. Ask me why I'm holding the sign! And look <Shows clothes from last night>...
Mate: 'I don't care'
Don't be an arse. CARE!
Mate: 'Fine. Whateves. Why are you wearing last night's clothes, and holding a sign saying 'Boom Pow'?' <Sighs>
Sorry. A gentleman never tells
Mate: 'Then why make me ask?'
Mate: <Sighs> 'Hang on… You slept at mine last night!'
<Does shifty eyes>
Mate: 'We played computer games all night and then you went to bed, ALONE, with some wood and paints?'
I hate you You can be a right douchebag sometimes you know...
('What's in the bag?'
Douche's. Obv... It's labeled?)
I'd like to say it wasn't my fault.
That I had to experience the walk of shame. But that's a lie. It was me. Not on purpose. Not planned. Just... yeah whatever. My fault.
I had BabyBoy2 to drop off at nursery and Miss5 to get to school. The exact same time of day as normal. Yet for some reason. Me We left late.
We do a loop on our drop off run. First to BabyBoy2's nursery and then me and Miss5 double back on ourselves, and head off to her school.
So, joyously, we get the full force of a walk of shame.
The School-Run Walk of Shame.
My suspicions were raised.
About our lateness. When I saw a work colleague passing in front of us. He is sickeningly young. Mid-twenties. And as such doesn't arrive early at work. Or late. He arrives exactly when he needs to. On the dot.
Unlike people with children. Who like to arrive early so they can get ready for the day. Have at least two cups of tea coursing through their veins before adults start asking them questions.
Or just time themselves for sanity purposes.
Boss: 'So ready for another day of work?'
<Weeps> Hang on... <Downs cuppa>
<Checks emails, Facebook, random sites>
<Has a wee>
<Remembers where desk is>
<Makes another cuppa>
Boss: 'Ready now?'
Yes... <Clicks a few more websites>... Yep ready...
What is it... that we actually do here?
Is it eating cake? Coz then I'm well in...
Boss: 'I don't know why I talk to you in the mornings!' <Grumbles off>
<Whispers to college> What IS it we do?
<Is handed prepared script explaining what we do, with my name on it>
It's a bad sign.
I normally pass Mid-Twenties much later on in our journey. Smeg.
I then pass a very old friend (in duration, not age). Despite being late. He's worth a quick chat.
But as he drops his daughter at the same school as I do and he’s heading the other way already...
Then late we must be.
I remind Miss5 she needs to scoot like the wind.
Scoot girl! SCOOT!
Apparently her legs now magically hurt. OK…
LIKE THE WIND!
We plough off and Miss5 does her best. I can't run because she isn't that fast on her scooter.
But we do a good pace. Until we wade into the stream of people going the other way.
I feel like salmon.
(Leap girl! Leap girl!
FishDaughter: ’You know there’s stairs right?’
… Really?... LEAP!)
Then The School-Run Walk of Shame starts in earnest.
I know a lot of the people passing me. Because they are Mums and Dads from Miss5's school.
Their children already dropped off. On time...
As we are going opposite ways. The conversations are light.
The Mums I know are kind.
I guess that they can see I am flustered. Late. And doing my best to corral Miss5 into school.
The Mums I know just say morning like it was a normal morning and we are stood in the playground waiting for a door to open.
The Dads though.
Of which I am one and would be doing the same. Make no mistake. Aren't as nice.
They grin. They smile. They mock. They enjoy my discomfort...
Go to hell!
'I've got that book you wanted?'
Shove it where the sun doesn't shine!
'... The north facing side of my garden? Huh?'
Schools are funny.
If you are on time. You end up waiting with the rest of the parents. At the school gates waiting for them to open. In a huge mass of people and children.
Then once the gates open a flood of people funnel into the school all moving in one direction. It's hard to go against it.
Some are rushing and nipping about. Others have all the time in the world, dawdling along.
There’s buggies everywhere. It's hard to move.
Then once the kids are dropped off the mass of people move the other way. And start streaming out of the school gates. You can the trails of people for about ten minutes after a school run. It's kinda of awesome.
And a battle field at times.
So when me and Miss5 arrive.
We hit the mass exit of people head on. And have to battle our way through.
Miss5 is fine and nipping about behind me. Adults that have children are like horses. They can weave their way around little people without putting their hooves down on things they shouldn't. It an parent magic power. Most of the time. Miss5 is fine.
Me though. I am getting bumped and knocked about. Having to wait. My progress is slow.
The Mums I know have gone past already. And now it’s the other people.
With looks of 'What a bad Dad?', 'Late? I wouldn't be late like that...', 'Typical man <Tuts>', 'That poor girl', 'Mrs. Amazing would never be late like this', 'Those trousers?'
, 'When will the BBC wake up and realise...'
It’s probably all in my head...
Then the stream of people stops.
Abruptly. CRAP! We really are late! Everyone else has had enough time to drop off their child(rens). Mill about a bit. Then leave.
And we've only just got on school grounds.
I tell Miss5 to scoot.
Miss5 has been very good and dismounted once we were on school grounds. As she is supposed to. But I want speed from her. I insist she scoots.
Despite knowing darn well she shouldn't...
Miss: 'OK. I suppose it doesn't matter if no ones here! I can scoot!'
I mentally add teaching her you can break the rules as long as you don't get caught lessons to showing Miss5 how to be late. Really going for the Dad win this morning.
We round the corner and it's terrible. Miss5's classroom door is shut.
I have to knock.
(C-3PO: ‘You sure this is the right place?’
R2-D2: <Beeps and whistles>
C-3PO: ‘Cool. Master Luke needs Vodka, 20 B&H,skins and three Curly Wurlys...’
R2-D2: <Beeps and whistles>
C-3PO: ‘Chewy? Screw him. He can get his own damn comb...')
They are nice.
They open the door and Miss5 bounds in. I apologise for being late. All the while wishing wish I had choosen to be dressed in full disguise this morning. Beard. Hat. Prosthetics. So Miss5's teacher doesn't know it's me.
'Oh no trouble at all, these things happen' she says. I hear 'Well that explains SO much...'
<Runs out of school as still late for work>
<Stops moments just around the corner as is a bit tired>