I usually start my walk down the mountain to meet her and walk back up with the kids. Often time I find another mum is already walking with them.
Still, thinking that 90 minutes is a good time for a 3.8km walk, three odd kilos of baggage, a 10 % gradient and six year old legs I do ask what made them so late.
So far we have:
We had to take rests.
The school has a very strict no playing on the way home rule but allows rests. So Meg and her cronies find themselves in need of a 'rest' at each pocket park, shrine and temple ground they go past. Hmmmm....
Someone had to pee.
They pee before they leave school. They are not carrying water bottles yet. There is a public toilet on the way. But they were told in an emergency they could go into any of the shops and politely ask to use the loo. Between Meg and her buddies they have had 'emergencies' at the post office (chaperoned loo experience), the JA office (cold toilet seat) and the old people's clothes shop (dark toilet.)
Someone's umbrella got stuck in a drain.
The local kinders have a (very sensible) no umbrellas rule. So 139 kids are having their first taste of the umbrella-ed life and I think sales in umbrellas are probably 200% up on last month. Yesterday Meg's friends H and A stuck their umbrellas in a drain to see how deep the water was. Both umbrellas got stuck in the grate. H pulled hers out hard and the end broke off. A pulled hers out hard and it got snagged. A shop keeper came out with scissors and freed her umbrella. Meg decided not to stick hers down there (smart girl) but tried to use the end to lever up the grate instead. Her umbrella is now bent. Nasty mean mummy has said she is using a bent umbrella or no umbrella and live with her rain jacket for the rest of the season. Cruel, I know...
We were collecting things that smell nice.
Meg and H stopped in front of each house on their way up the mountain picking off leaves and flowers and smelling them. They kept the fragrant ones and discarded the rest. Of course they waited till they reached the neighbourhood where they're known before doing this....
We were hungry so we ate some nectar.
I'm not sure the name of the plant but there's a weed around here with small purple trumpet like flowers the kids pick and suck the nectar out of. It is sweet and tasty but it takes a lot of nectar to assuage hunger!
Phew.... that's all we've got so far but I guess it could be worse- one of Meg's class mates was marched to school by an old woman farmer after she fell into the farmer's rice paddy. Ouch!