Beware of Flaky Mum
We talked the other week about the scourge of nursery drop-off, Slow Mum, and this week I want to bring your attention to another one you need to watch out for: Flaky Mum.
The problem with Flaky Mum is she’s often in disguise. To all intents and purposes, she looks normal. She usually looks exactly like someone you might be friends with. In fact, she’s lovely, she dresses nicely, has good highlights and nice handbags, and she likes a glass of wine. When you first meet her, your friendship radar is buzzing: She could be a keeper.
But once you arrange that first play date for your child at Flaky’s house, you’ll start to see the full force of the flakiness.
In its most benign form, it will manifest as a last-minute cancellation, which will come after you’ve arranged, not just your life but the entire universe and the Milky Way, in order that you can be available to pick up your child from Flaky’s end-of-the-world house at six. Furthermore, the cancellation will come 20 minutes before Flaky’s due to pick up your child from school – and you’ll be naked, covered in oil and 45 minutes away (stop sniggering at the back, I’m thinking spa).
Other manifestations include forgotten pick-ups that involve panicky calls from the teacher and you being labelled by the school as an Unreliable Mum; age-inappropriate activities on play dates; unchaperoned visits to the mall for seven-year-olds; suggestions that the kids might like to ride in the front of the car sans seatbelts “just for fun”; and copious amounts of junk food.
If you’re in any doubt, sound your alarm bells if any of the following happen.
Five things Flaky Mum will have no problem doing:
1) Offering to take your child somewhere really exciting and cancelling at the last minute.
2) Letting your child ride shotgun in a taxi on Emirates Road, no seatbelt, no car seat.
3) Agreeing to collect her child from yours at 5pm, and not arriving till 7pm.
4) Letting your six-year-old swim in her pool without an adult watching. “Oh, the maid was watching from inside.” Yeah, right.
5) Agreeing that you will pick up your child from a play date at six, then being out and not answering her phone.
Trust me, all of the above and more. And she looks so nice!