Cheetahs In My Shoes

living with the imaginary menagerie and all that it entails

Foot In Mouth Syndrome


I’ve suffered from Foot In Mouth Syndrome for pretty much as long as I can remember.  You know, the one when words fall out your mouth without your brain being engaged.  Words that can, despite your best intentions, offend, upset or make you look really stupid.  You’re often acutely aware of what’s just happened (sometimes not) and trying to resolve the situation generally involves digging yourself deeper into the mire.

Other phrases for it include “doesn’t suffer fools gladly”, “says what she thinks” and “reliably honest”.

The syndrome tends to present itself more prominently in times of stress, or when surrounded byidiots other people who believe they know best.   The workplace can exacerbate the syndrome, as can now, the school run and the extra-curricular activity parent waiting area.

I’ve mellowed over time, I really have,  but add pain, tiredness or a dose of hormones into the equation and it starts to bubble up again.  Oh, and maybe a child who has a different agenda to yours…

This morning was a prime example… Another parent announced she was off to ‘have a word’  with the teacher about the fact that homework was being set on a Monday to be handed in on a Friday rather than set on Friday to be handed in on Monday.  Why?  Because her daughter has too many extra curricular activities after school to fit in homework.  So was it possible that the whole school homework policy be changed to accommodate her?

Now in the past, the foot in mouth syndrome would have set in good and proper and a my mouth would have let forth a tirade of abuse honest feedback about how 7 year olds are unable to manage their time on their own and it is indeed up to the parents what they agree to regarding extra-curricular activities.   Just because the darling daughter wants to do something, it is not a necessity.  Oh, and how dare they suggest to school a complete change in policy to deal with their time management issues.

But you know what I did…

I walked away.  I’m still slightly in shock at myself.  Maybe I have the syndrome more under control than I thought.  Maybe I’m become older and more sensible. Maybe I was just reeling in shock.

I didn’t say what I thought.

I’ve just blogged about it instead.

What would you have done?  Am I alone in suffering from this?


Author: Jenny

Life, photos and recipes mixed with family life, additional medical needs and a whole load of imaginary friends

9 thoughts on “Foot In Mouth Syndrome

  1. Eye-rolls work well for me, and a swift, fevered rendition of the events to a sympathetic ear…

  2. Am so with you on the thoughts, and actually I have always been a bit of a wimp – whilst I definitely wouldn’t nod and be sympathetic with selfish mum, I probably would scurry off without saying anything to avoid the confrontation…!

    • She so wanted me to agree with her, and I SO couldn’t! My retreat from drop-off was possibly the quickest ever – with steam coming out my ears!

  3. Not sure about the ‘politics’ of school policy and all that, but I have learned, rather painfully, to just keep my mouth shut – sometimes even when blogging. I’m sure you have done the right thing x.

    • I think the keeping my mouth shut when blogging is partially the reason for the lack of posts recently. Playground politics is a whole new minefield, especially combined with the mummy Mafia…

  4. I’m usually fine at holding my tongue in the playground, its at work when my memory for names etc often lets me down horribly, usually in front of someone important!

    • I’m not as good at names as I was (pre-children!), I am much better (thankfully) at holding my tongue at work which was always a major downfall!

  5. Pingback: School Gate Politics... The Only Time Adults Return To School! - Sim's Life

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