When your children leave on the bus every morning at 7 a.m., it should come as no surprise that at 7 a.m. every morning there is a mad flurry of activity before they finally are extracted from the house and placed on a pavement, outside your house, to catch the bus. Some would describe it as fortunate to have the bus stop so conveniently placed. Others, such as our teenage offspring and us take it slightly for granted that someone can bang on the door at the appropriate time and yell that the bus is coming down the road NOW.
How then did they come to miss it on a day that my eldest daughter has an exam at 8.45 a.m.? Not only that, but having jumped straight into the car, me in my pyjamas and outdoor coat, to drive to another bus stop, for a different route which leaves marginally later, eldest daughter suddenly announces that she has left her bus pass at home. Have you any money on you Mum? She asks. As I have jumped into my car, in my pyjamas and outdoor coat, with only a mobile phone in my pocket (thought that if car breaks down I didn't want to be stranded in pyjamas and coat walking to nearest village in rural area, five miles from human contact), I have no money at all on me, and despite scrabbling around in all the likely (and less likely) areas where change might reasonably be left in car, still find none.
Have big grumble at eldest daughter for missing bus AND forgetting bus pass. Eldest daughter gets very cross and throws lip salve at back of my head. (Amazingly good shot considering there was a head rest in the way. Perhaps if the dancing career ever fails she should take up darts.) At this point, given that I had to go back home anyway to change into some sort of decent attire before possibly driving her into school in Gloucester, I stop the car and ask her to start walking home. She grabs my mobile phone and slams the door. We head off, with me praying that we don't break down or run out of petrol as would have to walk down road in pyjamas. Get to bus stop in nick of time and catch other bus by pulling in front of it with car at the bus stop. Turn car round, very carefully avoiding the bus driver's eye, and go back for eldest daughter. Meet up with her as she is being followed down the road by herd of sheep in nearby field clearly telling her that she has a bad mother and that they will look after her. Or something like that anyway.
I get home and ask hubby if he could possibly take eldest daughter into school on way to work. Opposite direction. Got a meeting early. Needs to leave in less than five minutes. Is extremely apologetic but can't help. Panic! Start to prepare to take 6 and 8 year old in car to Gloucester in nightwear with change of clothes . Only then did we both manage to remember that child number two, son number one was upstairs asleep as still on half term.
Go to wake a very annoyed Kevinesque teen boy, and ask him if will take 6 and 8 year old to school. Get myself dressed in double quick time while hubby organises 6 and 8 year old (too risky to leave Kevinesque to dress 6 and 8 as well as walk them to school). Drive to school, other side of Gloucester and get there despite rush hour traffic (it takes an hour and ten minutes for a normal 20 minute journey) at 8.43 a.m., giving eldest daughter exactly two minutes to get into exam on time. Wish her luck in the exam - are by now best of friends as have chatted for long time in car - and turn round to get back home in time for Doctor's surgery appointment at 9.20 a.m.
Get to Doctor's surgery at 9.20 a.m. exactly. Look at their clock. See it is set fast (Have just checked my radio controlled clock in car so know watch is right), so surgery time is 9.22. Look appealingly at receptionist who in a very charming and slightly patronising way tells me that the Doctor is free now, if I would like to go through. Arrive in surgery in slightly humble and apologetic way..........
Well.........how can you explain that you have actually been up three hours and driven half way around the countryside first? Would you?
4 weeks ago