If Sunday’s the day my children leap from their beds at 6am, full of exuberant anticipation; and Monday’s the day I rise relatively fresh to find children who just want to cling to their pillows; then Wednesday seems to be the day none of us wants to face.
I was born on a Wednesday, but at this stage in my life, they don’t fill me with joy. This is mainly due to the swimming lesson run, of which I could say much; and also perhaps the natural slump at the mundane middle of the week. (I *think* it’s meant to be Marvelous Middle and I wish I could feel this way about it.)
Today I have a particularly special Wednesday in store for me.
Between 3pm and 6.30pm this afternoon, these are the places we should be.
- 4.15pm-5.30pm Leo’s Beavers troop are having a water fight at the scout camp approximately 3 km to the, er, right of the school he attends (as you’re facing it, I’m sorry, I don’t do compass points). Outfit: Beavers T-shirt, waterproofs. Accessories: A waterpistol, mud.
- 4.30pm Watching week at Leo’s regular weekly swimming lesson, at the sport’s centre approximately 3km to the left of the school. Outfit: swimming trunks, goggles, swimming hat. Accessories: A parent, watching.
- 3-5pm The annual tea party for the Friend’s of the Commons society at a local hotel about 1.5km to the left of the school, involving tea, scones, strawberries, cake…Outfit: nothing specific requested, but presumably something dry. Accessory: the ability to have a sociable and civilised conversation with other adults without your train of thought trailing away.
- 5.30pm – Ceremony in which Leo will be transferred from Beavers to Cubs, back at the Scout camp. Outfit: A clean and neat full Beavers Uniform. Accessory: One proud and paying attention parent.
- 6.30pm – School play, at the school. Outfit: A pristine neat and clean school uniform. Accessory: Another watching parent, but not me this time.
- 6.30pm – Once a month meeting of the Waterstone’s book group, which pretty much makes up my entire social life at the moment. Outfit: Who cares, it’s only me, and it’s looking pretty clear that I won’t actually get there.
NB Elements to bear in mind while solving this logistical puzzle: * I don’t have a car. * At some point the children have to eat something. * My daughter is currently at a delightful phase in development where she keeps up an almost constant high pitched whine of dissent which pretty effectively scatters all my sane thoughts to the wind; but possibly she is protesting at being moved around by the cyclone of events, none of which concern her.
‘You’re ginger, You can do anything,’ pep talks a friend of mine. For a moment, because I’ve just been reading Harry Potter to Leo, I consider whether this is somehow true; is there some magical solution? Maybe not the power of ginger (if only there were such a thing) but some magic wand that could be waved that makes being in several places at once possible?
It seems to be a frequently required skill in the parenting arsenal. For example, tomorrow, when I need to attend another performance of the school play at 2pm, at which younger siblings are not allowed. Could a magic wand be waved that could somehow suspend the existence of younger siblings for say, one hour, for such occasions? I mean, I totally get why a hoard of pre-schoolers wouldn’t be ideal at the school play, but also: what precisely are we meant to do with them?
Further Hints: *Anything which I want to do is expendable, so; goodbye to the tea party and the book group. *Anything which is a one-off will probably take precedent over things that happen every week; and I have to be honest here, I’m not regretting the missed swimming pool run.
Solution: With a helpful lift in my friend Lucy’s car, and some on the move eating/outfit changing, we will probably make it to both Beavers and the school play, but it’s not too surprising that when I went into my local shop to buy picnic tea food this morning, I mainly came out with ready meals and wine.
Final Thoughts: While some things get easier as children grow older, the logistics definitely grow more complicated. A regular day is a rare thing, and if I’m honest, a little dull.