Regular readers will know I spend an awful lot of time driving my kids round in the ‘mum taxi’.
On a normal week, I do the school run for my younger son every day, including one late finish for rugby. I drive to four dance lessons over the course of three days, my husband drives my son to football, another parent takes my boys to Explorers and I walk my daughter to Scouts. In addition, there’s usually someone who will need picking up from school late or taking to a friend’s house etc.
But last week, things started to step up a gear and the mum taxi really got out of hand…
My daughter is doing her Grade 4 ballet exam in a few weeks. It’s a huge step up from Grade 3 and the whole class are having an extra lesson a week, so now we’re at five dance lessons over the course of four days. Her weekly rehearsals for the new panto started on Wednesday, which meant driving her there straight after her extra ballet lesson.
My son swapped evening football for evening rugby with the local club. He was also able to go back to his athletics club, after that had clashed with football for a few weeks. My husband still had to drive to football as he’s the coach and I had to find another parent to deal with the rugby lifts. I’m not sure if this is a permanent arrangement, or if I’m going to just have to manage it myself in future. Of course I had to deal with the athletics myself.
As a one-off last week, my eldest worked three evenings at his new job and my younger son went into school to help out with the open evening, plus I had my eldest’s parents’ evening.
The whole thing got so ridiculous that one day I literally had to take all three kids out in the car to drop one off at 5, one at 5.30 and one at 5.45. I was out myself for an hour and 20 minutes, just driving round the local area. Then I had to pick my daughter up at 6.50 and the boys up from different places at 8.
On parents’ evening night, there was no time to take my daughter home after ballet, so I just had to take her with me to her brother’s parents’ evening.
And how on earth are we all supposed to eat when people are going out at around 5 or 5.30 and I’m too busy driving the mum taxi to cook? It’s easier for my younger son as he’s home from school earlier, but the other two aren’t getting home until about 4.15 and if we need to go back out at 4.35, and my son is then out until after 8, it’s almost impossible to cook and eat.
One day I resorted to microwave meals for the younger kids and myself – with my son eating at 4, me eating at 6 and my daughter eating at just after 7. My eldest had a pizza in the oven when he got in after 8. There are so many reasons why microwave meals are not a good idea and it’s not something I would want us to do regularly.
It’s the sort of thing that can wake an insomniac up at 4.30.