We are actually walking distance from my son’s school.
We love it.
We hold hands, the little one skips on ahead, the big one prattles on about how great his day was, the sun shines warm on our backs and beautiful home baked goodies such as zucchini and beetroot scones await our homecoming.
Not even close.
(Yep…it was the home baking that took it too far, wasn’t it?)
Generally, it involves me screeching at the little one to come back, or screaming at her to stop at all the driveways and feeling my heart literally stop as she skips to the very last millimetre of footpath before the road crossing.
My son is quite the expert at giving one word answers, and despite me trying to be creative with my line of questioning, it is like getting blood from a stone to even hear about what he did at lunchtime. He does still hold my hand (bless), but twists and wiggles and walks all manner of crazy walks, as I twerk (not the cool kind, FYI) and contort myself along beside him. I carry his bag (I know, I KNOW; but he just still looks so tiny with that massive pack doubling him over) and no doubt I have a few bags of shopping cutting fine lines around my wrist.
But the last few days has seen belting rain hit town. I mean the sideways, upways, gutter river rain, that makes me (albeit guiltily) give the two finger salute to the environment and buckle up in the car. This is not without a struggle of course. I have already lived through the, “but I don’t need to go to the toilet, Mummy” dance with my three year old, and have managed to lock a wriggling, dripping wet force in to the back seat, and this is often when my resolve begins to waver.
It really is a two minute drive.
Positive thoughts. I visualise the prize. I see myself slide in to that A1 rock star car park that we all want. I see my umbrella pop open effortlessly in one painless manoeuvre as I step out of my car and walk the few metres to the front gates.
5 minutes later I am circling.
But that’s OK, because I have left a little bit of time up my sleeve.
10 minutes later I am shooting anxious looks at the clock and circling like a vulture.
12 minutes later and I am swearing (inside my head of course) at that bitchorama who has just sailed in to the street and popped my spot that I lined up on the last lap.
I tear towards the break lights that I spy 50 metres up the road and utter my mantra, “Hail Mary full of grace, let me find a parking space,” and sit with my indicator on. SHE IS CHECKING HER PHONE!!! She has popped the seat belt on, started the car and is now sitting there taunting me with her lights. Oh there’s the little, “I’m not going” wave as the cars bank up behind me and I flap out a special little ‘wave’ of my own.
Right about now I rue the day I ever decided a bit of rain on my shoes was worse than this.
Around and around we go.
“I need a wee,” is suddenly declared from the back seat and I focus on happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.
But wait…is it? Is that a park?
It’s a tight one and I must admit my parallel parking skills are fairly average without the pressure of pick-up traffic and flogging rain, but I’ve got to give it a go. Or two. Or three. Bugger it. Too hard.
I give up and circle right back and grab a park down the hill almost back to our house. I grab the little pissy one from the back, thrust open an umbrella and it is immediately blown inside out by the wind. I leg it.
“I want you to carry me!”
There I am. Scrambling up the hill, with a broken umbrella and a three year old, and I remember that I am not match fit. Not even close. I arrive at the gates, puffing and blowing curses under my breath, with streaming wet hair and my pathetic attempt at makeup for the day streaming down my face.
“How was your day?” I purr at the others and I pretend that I can still feel my toes, and the water streaming down my face is not really happening.
I breathe out and smile. We all get it. We are all in this together. We chitty chat about the rubbish parking as the little cranky one makes another dash for freedom.
“STOP,” I squawk at her, and she hits the anchors. Right in front of the kerb. Right in front of MY rock star car park that the perfectly coiffed PTA president has just pulled in to.
Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.
Wine; I know it’s a school night, but I’m coming at ya’.
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