“I’ve noticed mummy, that when one thing goes wrong, everything else that day goes wrong too….why is that?”.
“That my darling, is because mummy’s life is timed to absolute precision to ensure everyone else’s life runs smoothly, so if one thing goes wrong, everything gets knocked out of kilter…MOVE WOMAN!!!”
This, my conversation with the 9 year old at 8:55am on Friday as I am ferociously tail-gating a speed limit abider on the way to school…. very, very late.
Normal routine on a Friday is slightly different to the rest of the week, as I work from home, so can avoid the hassle of the commute to and from London. With this extra time in the morning, I do a bit of exercise, and leave the house 30 mins later than normal un-showered, and in my gym gear. I usually drop the boys at breakfast club in time to swing by the supermarket for my ‘click and collect’ food shopping before heading home to quickly shower and log on to work for 8/8:15.
This Friday was a little different as I had to go to the doctors for a monthly injection, but that was fine, I could follow the same routine and be at the doctors when they opened for 8:30, home by 8:40….no time lost.
It was also different to the normal Friday however, because it was NSPCC Number Day at the boys school. A thoroughly exciting day where your children could bring in their favourite book about numbers (seriously!!) and have a great day enjoying numbers. BUT…. the letter I received explaining all this, also included a double negative…..and I hate a double negative…….this wouldn’t happen on a “words” day I can assure you!
I probably don’t need to tell you how my epic fail began but I will…..
The morning started as usual, the alarm went off, and after a cup of tea, I donned the exercise gear and woke the boys up.
“Dress down day today boys!!” – their uniform was already washed and in the dryer from the day before (#organised!). The youngest being the fashion victim he was, spent ages choosing his outfit and doing his ‘Friday’ hair. The eldest simply dressed in what I had laid out for him.
As the boys were tucking into their breakfast I told them we had half an hour before school – mummy was just doing a quick burn on the exercise bike. As they were used to this, they simply carried on eating and relaxed before school.
7:45am, I was done, time to grab the boys and run…. In the car, traffic not great but manageable. We get to school in time for the end of breakfast club and 40 mins before school starts. But the first child I spied was in full school uniform, then the second, then as I looked through the window at all the kids in breakfast club, yes to my amazement they were in uniform….bugger, bugger, BUGGER!
In the reception I asked the teachers, “It is dress down day today isn’t it? You know for numbers day?” (even as I said it, it sounded ridiculous!) I’d even encouraged the youngest wear a t-shirt with numbers on it, ffs!!!. “No why would it be dress down?” was their reply in unison…
“Oh well boys, mummy will go and get your uniform and bring it in after my appointment…in you go, don’t worry mistakes happen”.
By this time the eldest was already crying. So embarrassed by his erroneous attire, he was utterly ashamed. Before I knew it he was back at the car, hiding from all his friend’s attention at the window. 8:10am crap….. ok I have time…
“Ok quick back in the car boys, run….!!”
Racing like a crazed manic back to our house, smack bang into morning rush hour… the frustration in me building. The eldest was sobbing, mortified that his friends had seen him, the youngest just devastated he couldn’t wear his new trendy jacket to school.
I had to drive straight past the supermarket, where right about now I was due to collect our weekly shop. … 8:20 stuck in traffic, I emailed the school from my phone, realising I would have to take the boys to the doctors with me, explaining they may be late for school, but I’d do my best……
8:25am, in the house, I stripped the boys in the hallway grabbed their uniforms from the dryer, threw on their clothes, school shoes, and school coats, and was back in the car 3 minutes later…..quick to the Doctors!!!
“Mummy, my sleeve feels wet”…..bugger!
The traffic was horrendous, I took every short cut I knew, and kept hitting the path of school buses, and school run mums cruising through their usual steady routine. I got to the doctors, 5 minutes late, but then couldn’t park, so by the time I dragged the boys through the door, my appointment had gone – “Sorry we just couldn’t wait, if you hang around she’ll squeeze you in but it could be 20 mins or so” – Agh agh agh, decisions!!!
Ok – drop the boys and get back for 20 mins……”Boys car now!!”
It was now 8:42am, the boys school drop off closed in 3 mins….maybe possible. The eldest was still worried his friends would say something, so I was trying to calm his nerves, whilst failing at calming my own….
“Move woman!! Oh my god, you’re in the wrong lane! Put your foot down you silly cow, Go! Go go go!!! FFS!!!” This is when we had our chat about how everything goes wrong together…
We finally got to school at 8:56, the office let me in and quickly hurried the boys into assembly like nothing had happened….phew.
Back to the doctors, again hitting the same rush hour traffic I had now been battling for over an hour. By now the surgery was heaving….nope my chance of being seen gone till 3:30. Satisfied I had something for later, I left pondering the conversation I’d had with the eldest only moments earlier.
As a working mum, every single thing I do is planned to perfection. Spontaneity has had to be put to one side for things to work like clockwork, or at least work!
In order to fit it all in, things have the be in order, methodical, and logical. The drive to the boys school hits a dual carriageway onto which you can only go right, so everything before that turning must be done on the way to school, and thus everything after the turning done on the way home. Last Friday I was on a vicious cycle, going around and around, missing all my crucial stop off points. One thing went wrong, then every single thing after it fell apart.
Ironically, on the way home from collecting the shopping I saw 2 magpies dancing in the roundabout – two for joy they say…
I finally logged onto work only 20 mins after 9, I had managed to secure another doctors appointment on the same day (impossible normally), I’d collected the weekly shop, I had had a quick burn on the bike and the boys were both in school, not in non-uniform (who says that?!), and no longer embarrassed by their mothers epic fail – Joy indeed!!
Note to all teachers out there, please help crazy busy women like me……if it’s not a non-uniform day, how about you just don’t say anything,…you have no idea the butterfly effect that can happen with such a tiny detail mis-read.
So busy ladies, I want you all to know; yes, we all balls it up once in a while, but they are still breathing and they don’t hate us, and that is what counts, doesn’t it??!!