Two sides of parenting

Wednesday 8 May 2013

There has been rain overnight; the day starts cloudy but dry.
Shortly before 07:55 Mrs Wheeler’s car is parked just below the middle of the school-house garden. I can hear raindrops.

The Jethros’ car is parked alongside number 35; Esmé parks alongside the middle of the Old Man’s front lawn. Scarlett parks just this side of the Jethros. Small Boy is on the point of exiting via the fpd when a solidly-built mother and her child are about to squeeze through between the junction-box and the nearside of Scarlett’s car — Small Boy pulls the door almost shut again. Scarlett gets out, and has a few words with Small Boy who is now standing on the pavement; the mother and daughter are only just beyond the fpd, and seem to be awaiting developments. Scarlett presses the fingertips of one hand against the door-handle of the fpd, and touches the trailing edge of the fpd with her fingertips. It seems that she is telling Small Boy what he must / must not do, and that she is concerned about the car’s paintwork getting scratched or scuffed. The woman moves on, giving a strange gesture of the right hand over her right shoulder as she walks away — I take this to be a gesture of contempt, but to my surprise I later see Scarlett and the woman descending the far pavement side-by-side, talking amicably. Then Scarlett scurries on ahead of the woman, and enters the school via the lower entrance.
The Wormwoods’ car parks just this side of Scarlett’s. The driver’s window is open, and twice Mr Wormwood throws something out of the window — cigarette-ash, perhaps, or sweet-wrappers.
Scarlett returns from the school with two other women, one of whom very much resembles her. The three of them stop and chat outside the Ports’ house. Before Scarlett returns to her car, the Wormwoods’ car has departed.
After Scarlett has departed, Esmé’s car is still here.

In the late morning school-run, Mrs Fern’s car is parked part-way onto the pavement just this side of number 35; it drives off, then reverses — with a bump — onto the pavement alongside number 35 so as to allow a medium-size van to pass in the opposite direction. The car then drives off again. When I next look, the car is back where it was — it must have gone round the block.
Scarlett parks nose-to-nose with Mrs Fern’s car.
Mrs Cantor has parked, nose uphill, alongside the Ports’ house. Scarlett crosses the road, towards the Ports’ driveway.
There is a fair-size crowd waiting outside the middle entrance of the school. Not long after that, I see there is a static queue the full length of the walkway.
Scarlett returns to her car with Tiny Boy and drives off past the Old Man’s house.
Mrs Cantor puts a tiny tot into her car, at the offside rear.

In the afternoon school-run, a woman who resembles Mrs Wormwood — but isn’t her — crosses the road towards the driveway of the Ports’ house, with a pink push-chair that contains a baby. She reaches the far side just to the right of the tail of the Ojays’ car.
Scarlett parks just this side of the Wormwoods’ car, overlapping Vinnie’s garden-gates more than half-way. She and Tiny Boy cross the road to a point beyond the middle entrance of the school; when they return with Small Boy, they cross the road from much the same point. Small Boy, who is in the lead, looks a bit troubled. With the palm and fingers of her right hand, Scarlett gives him a maternally affectionate and reassuring pat on the back of the neck. There is no bravado about him at present — he is simply a young boy.
As the three of them approach the car, Tiny Boy is surprisingly far behind Scarlett. He is again toddle-running at no great pace.
When Scarlett drives off, she descends the kerb and then waits for the Ojays’ car, which is also departing, and which precedes her as they drive towards George Street.

The weather is still sunny during the afternoon school-run, but later the sky clouds over and there is a slightly dull end to the afternoon. It remains dry. Then at about 20:25 there is some blue sky, with pale clouds.

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