Life with three big kids is never easy and never boring. There’s always something going on. And there’s always someone (or something) willing to put a spanner in the works to make life that little bit more challenging.
But there’s always something that can be relied on to keep things running smoothly. The mum taxi. My trusty little yellow Mini.
Well, almost always…
I’d known that one of my rear lights was out for a while. And I know that isn’t legal. But it kind of didn’t matter in the summer, because I wasn’t driving in the dark.
But it wasn’t summer any more. Suddenly I was driving to dance lessons in the dark. And panto rehearsals are just around the corner. I’ll be out driving in the dark every day of the week.
I tried to sort it out. Kind of. I went to Halfords to buy a bulb and they offered to fit it for me. But they said they couldn’t fit it. The car needed to go to a garage. Of course my husband didn’t believe the car needed to go to a garage. He could do it himself. But he never did. And he didn’t book it into a garage either.
And then we realised my MOT was very out of date. It was a genuine oversight on our part. But I knew for certain the car was going to fail because of that damn light.
Actually, it failed on a few things. So I couldn’t drive it. But we hadn’t made any alternative arrangements. My husband had the other car and he was in London. My parents were looking after my niece and nephew and couldn’t help out. No other parents were doing the same journeys as me (although one lovely friend did offer to help out even though she would be going out of her way).
The mum taxi was down and I was stuck.
It was a particularly bad day. My younger son had a guitar lesson after school and needed picking up late. My eldest had compulsory revision after school and also needed picking up late. In the spirit of supporting other parents, I’d offered to take one of my daughter’s friends to dance because her parents couldn’t take her that day. But my daughter wasn’t even going to that dance school herself that day. She had a ballet class in another part of town.
So I had four journeys to make and no car.
There was no other option. I had to do something I’d never done before. I had to take a taxi. More than one taxi, in fact.
Along with my daughter and her friend, I went in a taxi to pick up my younger son from school. I dropped the three of them off at home, then the taxi carried on to my eldest’s school to bring him home. A total journey of about nine miles at a cost of £25.
My daughter and I then walked her friend to her dance class, then we were picked up by another taxi and driven to my daughter’s ballet class. A total journey of just over three miles at a cost of £12.50.
Getting actual taxis is a very bad alternative to the mum taxi.
When the mum taxi goes down, everything goes down…