Today I woke up and smelt the coffee… and then remembered I don’t like coffee.
Anyway, I left my house at 8am this morning to drive my two children to school. Mini Cooper 2 attends a school that is a 7 minute walk from our house, yet he was late. Why? Because, Mini Cooper 1 attends a school that is a 20 minute drive away (in school run traffic traffic). I have a 10 minute window between dropping one child off and getting the other through the school gate.
This morning was the first time I have tried it with all three Mini Coopers. DH starts his 12-week training next week and there will no longer be the luxury of 1:1 school runs. Instead I will take on the challenge of getting two children to two different schools while juggling a baby.
And this morning I ended up a snivelling heap on the wrong side of a locked gate and here’s why. It appears that no matter how positive you are about something, once you are doing it there will be a number of things you had not considered that WILL happen.
Firstly Mini Cooper 1 lost his tuck money, brief delay over that. Then he went into the tuck queue but not through the door as I had asked, I waved like a nutter in the playground, he couldn’t see me and stood glassy-eyed, seemingly staring through where I was stood. Mini Cooper 2 then had his arm pulled from his socket as I raced against the flow of parents back to the car. ‘I’m tired mummy, you’re walking too quickly, mummy wait’, I managed a smile and one quirky ‘I got this’ comment over the shoulder to people I usually stop to say hi to, and dashed to the car.
Baby in the car seat. Mini Cooper 2 in his seat. Dropped car key down the side of the seat. Brief panic. Clambered in the back seat. Pulled the car door shut. Deep breaths ‘mummy come on you said we were in a hurry’. Retrieve car key from side of chair. Realise child lock is on both back doors. Clamber through to the front seat. On the road again. Wait for bin lorry to pass and maniac school run driver to mount the kerb and speed past. Navigate past a bus that stops for no reason, spot the bin lorry up ahead and cut through a different route to avoid it. Feeling good, I’m on this.
Drama at the school gate
8.49am and I am in the road Mini Cooper’s school is in. Swerve into car park, reverse, forwards, reverse, forwards, reverse, oh sod it (my car is massive, I can not park it). Jump out, no time for baby in sling. Mini Cooper 2 falls over PE bag string into car park with me screaming at him to mind the cars. Mini Cooper 3 has done a poo. I can feel it seeping through my new grey cardigan. A nod to a fellow soon-to-be-late parent and a dash across the car park. The outer gate is open, we have made it.
The inner gate is shut.
We have not made it.
Mini Cooper 2 is late.
I don’t really do failure. I have failed to get my child to school on time, despite being able to see my house from the top of the road. I drop to the floor. The moment I do it I realise I am being dramatic. This isn’t Eastenders. He is just 30 seconds late for school.
I gather myself enough to go and fill in The Late Form and send Mini Cooper 2 off into his day. Then peel the baby from my sleeve and make my way back to the car. At home I stamp about. Swear a bit. Tidy in anger (this may be an upside of the situation) and then sit and cry into my cup of tea. Studying is far from my thoughts. If I couldn’t concentrate before I certainly can’t now.
After all I have been lecturing myself over this situation for weeks: “It’s OK if he is late. It is just reception. You can’t change the situation. You are doing this for long-term gain. One day someone at the council might see sense. Just keep smiling and telling everyone it will be ok and… it will be ok”
So while waiting for the Rant and Rave to leave me I have written this post. It hasn’t got me anywhere in terms of my study; there are still Hama beads all over the kitchen floor and I need another cup of tea, the baby is asleep on my lap and I could have been doing those 10 other things but I do feel a bit better and I am now able to see some humour in the whole debacle. My mum’s words echo in my head:
‘You can only do your best’.
But today my best wasn’t good enough, and I didn’t like it.