Let me tell you a short story, no, hang on, a short tragedy, well, maybe a comedy, no wait I’ve got it, let me tell you a short farce. In fact it’s not even short, it’s just a farce. And this farce serves to illustrate some of the many intricacies of being a working parent. It is also the story of what happened in my actual crazy life this morning.
I awoke to my alarm feeling full of the joys of summer (ie: I threw the alarm across the room and groaned loudly). Glancing at my phone I see a text from my oldest, sent last night, asking for an early lift to the station. Extra groan, I’d forgotten about her trip to this weekend’s Creamfields festival, and the realisation that she can’t walk to the station with an overflowing rucksack, tent, extra welly bag and (obvs) a handbag.
Now, this morning had been organised as a relatively easy one, with no.3 child being picked up for a drama school event meaning I can start the day slightly slower, and no.2 planned to go to a friends later that day meaning I can head off to work in relative peace. What actually happened is this…
Being the lovely Mum I am (hmmm…) I agree to take no.1 to the station and so text the other Mum to say I will drop no.3 with her on the way to the station, attempting to be helpful and therefore avoiding leaving no.3 at home while I do the station run. I then run around waking no. 2 and 3, at 5 minute intervals in between jumping in the shower, taming my crazy curls and packing my work bag.
After all this they are still in bed.
Yell at no. 2 and then realise there is no reply from other mum.
Do I take no.3 assuming she has the message or leave her at home in case she hasn’t? Screech at no.3 to message her friend.
At this point I realise I need to make my work lunch now and not as I had planned, after no.3 had left the building. Leg it round kitchen throwing a salad together from random fridge contents.
No.1 is seemingly sauntering around so I give her another chivvy – “I might get the later train actually”… ARGHHH!!!! I remind her I have now organised to take no.3 as well and she needs to be ready in 10 mins.
No.2 child is now out of bed and reading an actual book over his breakfast. WTAF? Who is this child? Now I am worried, especially when he tells me he is going to spend the morning doing his homework. Hmm…. Is this actually a ploy because he knows I will be out at work later and is lulling me into a false sense of security when he will actually be on his X-box the nano second I leave the house?
No’s 1 & 3 are still not ready, we will now be late for no.3’s drop off which reminds me I still don’t know if she has the message. I pick up the phone and confirm we are leaving the house now, she is thankful for the drop off.
Yell at girls some more to get in the car. No.1 requests 5 more minutes. NO!!!
No.3 has had no breakfast, but decides in a fit of health consciousness (first time ever) to grab a banana. Winning at parenting.
Suddenly remember the pets. Realise it will be quicker to feed no.3’s bunny (against my better judgement) than wait for her to do it. Feed bunny. Mutter under breath about bl**dy pets.
No.3 is in the car. Result.
No.1 is attempting to squeeze another make up palette the size of an encyclopaedia into her rucksack. I am losing the will…
Grasp make up palette, shove it hard into tiny gap, grab whatever I can and throw it into the car.
“WAIT!” Yells no.1, “I haven’t got any wellies” (festival essentials)
Grab old pair from cupboard, stating that if they get lost or chucked away I literally don’t care at this stage of the game (they have a hole in anyway).
Finally we are all in the car.
Car won’t start.
Yes I know, you couldn’t make it up. The key won’t even turn, and no it wasn’t the steering lock, I am not stupid.
Right, everyone out, into no.1’s car – quick grab what you can.
“The rucksack won’t fit…”
Eventually cram us all into No.1’s tiny 3 door Vauxhall and zoom off to drop no.3.
Arrive at friends house, nowhere to park, stop illegally (and in my collar) get flashed/gesticulated at by taxi driver. Rude.
Finally she arrives and friend and Mum are in the car waiting already.
Yell at no.3 as she walks up street to apologise for me.
Zoom off to station. Rail replacement in force again (oh yay) which means the entire forecourt is cordoned off and all roads infested with lined up buses. Drive round corner to find somewhere to stop.
Stop in less than ideal place, unload no.1 with speed and a final mum’s talk about not letting your drink be spiked, and leg it just as a lorry needs to get past. Really should not have worn collar.
Arrive home. Try car one final time, nope dead as a dodo. Wonder if this is some kind of payback for rehoming the spider I found in it yesterday morning…
And now for the final act…
Despite the fact that I am now completely ready to leave for work – well impressed by myself about this – I then spend 10 minutes trying to give no.2 child, who is not really listening, a lesson in how to get the train – first time he will get it by himself to a friend’s house today. This involves locking the house, walking to the station, getting a ticket and obvs getting on and off the right train at the right place. I think the message has got through, if not I suspect my Twitter feed will be interesting later on. Praise the Lord for mobile phones.
Finally pick up work back to go, before remembering no.2 needs a gift for said friend’s birthday. Hurriedly stuff some cash into an envelope (who have I become?) with a final list of things to do before he leaves. No.2 mentions homework again, this is distinctly suspicious.
As I walk out the door at 8.45am I wonder if I am going to work for a rest, and then remember I have not had breakfast. Discover the final non-brown banana is in No.3’s bag on the way to drama camp. She better bloomin’ eat it….
Curtains close, principle actor falls in a heap…