But I knew she would know exactly what it meant – because we speak to each other in mum code.
Here’s what we really mean when we text these three words to another mum.
I’m running late, and you can guess why
“I’ve just left” simply means I’m running late but I’m also on my way. It gives another mum an indication of exactly how late you are going to be. She can mentally calculate the time it will take you to drive to where she is waiting (hopefully with takeaway coffee) allowing for a last-minute toddler trip to the loo before you reverse out of the driveway and then drive around the block to grab the drink bottle you forgot.
“I’ve just left” is also code for – “I’ve had a sh!tty mum morning and am feeling frazzled”. For me, it usually means the time I allowed myself to dress my two monkeys, pack snacks, tie my messy hair up into a mum bun and brush everyone’s teeth before shutting the front door, has been messed with.
My toddler wouldn’t stay still for a nappy change, and now I have poo on me.
I caught my kids hiding under a blanket eating jelly crystals they stole from the pantry, and now I need to clean it off the carpet before it’s stained raspberry red.
After searching for and dressing my sons in clean clothes, they have gone outside and played in the mud and are now soggy and need a whole new set.
My five-year-old lost his other shoe. We found it in the vegetation bin. Go figure.
No one would listen to me when I was yelling, “It’s time to go”.
My preschooler wanted to sit in the front seat and it took me ages, as well as a banana bribe, to convince him to sit in his car seat and for me to buckle him up.
I could go on. But I don’t need to, because the words “I’ve JUST left” explain it perfectly to another mum.
I know that when she gets those texted words from me that she’s smiling knowingly.
When I get to the playground
After sending my text, I relax. I know my friend has understood the code and also that we have a wide lateness birth these days. We get it.
When my phone chirps back, “Me too”, I laugh a little because now I know she’s having the EXACT same morning as me, and soon I will hear all about it.
Thank god for mum friends who 100 percent get the code.
This story was originally published on October 24, 2018.