In which our reluctant hero faces a change in routine.
My wife started a new job this week. Not a proper job, like a bus driver or binman or Gender Equality Champion at the Lady Doritos factory, but a job, nevertheless.
We’ve somehow managed over five years of stay at home parenting for the little people. Go us! This seems like a minor miracle with the various strains of 21st Century life, but one, thankfully, made easier by Jesus inventing Lidl, newspaper holidays and bullet journal based budget trackers.
Our five-year old has taken it in her stride. As the world’s best eater of breakfast, she is ecstatic at getting to have three, maybe four or five, breakfasts of a morning thanks to the extra ones at Breakfast Club. We’re not sure how many exactly as the first rule of Breakfast Club is: you do not talk about Breakfast Club.
She loves the hour or so at After School Club too, although I’m not yet convinced that she gets that it’s playtime and not school time. The biscuit mixture cemented to her tights at home time last night may be an indicator of progress, though.
The boy hasn’t taken it quite so well and is a little confused. Why does big sister get to disappear off in the car with mum when he has to scoot to school with Dad or get a lift with his school friend? Why is our car on the school car park when he gets there and why is mum in the office? Why are there suddenly loads of letters to post every morning?
“Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A. A. Milne
There’s much more planning to be done too. Butties need to be assembled the night before, uniforms need getting out and all of the other random rubbish they take in and bring back each day needs finding. Even tea needs thinking about a night ahead. Emergency beige food is surprisingly off the menu as there just isn’t time to bang it in the oven before bed. Hoorah for freezers and Tupperware.
The job is term time, which is massively helpful for holibobs. Seeing as my wife be off for around thirteen weeks a year, I’m assuming that I can take my leave when everyone else is in. Maybe I can also go to somewhere other than Butlins. Seems reasonable, yes?
The school run walk on my working at home days has been pleasant (asides from this morning’s unexpected blizzard) and 8,000 steps of my ten a day are done by not much after nine. I even get to do my second best fun thing to do by popping into the Co-Op to scavenge for bargains from the reduced aisle. Sixteen pence for a pack of sausages the other day, without a lie.
The house is nearly always child free, so should never get messy again. Probably.
And even better than all that is we’re (apparently) going to be better parents from now as we’ll appreciate the little people more and want to do fun things with them and read more stories and have more cuddles. Or something.
While this is a lovely thought, I’m more used to doing the being out all day thing than mum. Despite best intentions, dealing with tired kids after a long day doesn’t always make Daddy Bear the most cuddly or tolerant giant mammal in the woods, especially if he has a sore head and failed to find any toilet paper during walkabout.
Short-term it’s only the dual drop offs that present any real problems. Fortunately, there are only a few months before summer, after which both little people become imprisoned in HMP Education System until they are sixteen.
At this point they can forget about all that highfalutin “A Level” nonsense and leave to take up one of the two professions absolutely nailed on to coin it in come 2030. Plumbing and Tattoo Removal.
Plumbing, because everyone needs to keep their plumbing in good working order (especially at my age) and Tattoo Removal because have you seen what folk who really should know better keep doing to themselves these days? Didn’t they learn anything at school?