There are few things I hate more in life than the school run.
1. The mindless tit-fest that is The Sun ‘newspaper.’
2. Gwyneth fu**king Paltrow. Don’t get me started.
3. People who don’t pick up their dog crap (why is it always fluorescent?)
4. Going to the dentist (don’t mind needles and pain - just don’t like being told how to brush my teeth, ‘in a circular motion’, when I’m 42)
5. The Royal Family.
The reason I hate the school run is because I AM LATE for every pick up, for every drop-off, for every appointment. I say this to other mothers and in a well-meaning gesture of sisterly solidarity they usually say something like, “So am I. It’s a nightmare!” To which I should say: NO. YOU. ARE. NOT.
Just to clarify. I am not lazy. I don’t oversleep. I don’t go to Tesco Express in my pyjamas. I have even been known to be up and dressed before 7am, even in November. In fact, the daily psychic meltdown doesn’t really begin until around 8.30am, when the only remaining tasks are a) find a bobble for the bale of sticky hay masquerading as hair on my daughter’s head, and b) remember to take my son’s special beaker. Good going. Life’s a breeze. I can even afford to sit down and drink my tea.
Wrong. Because as soon as the tea touches my lips, Time accelerates. The kitchen enters the mouth of a wormhole, warping spacetime. The clock on the wall says 8.33, the clock on my mobile, on the other side of the kitchen, reads 8.45. I check the time on the desktop computer in the study: 8.47. I phone the speaking clock: 8.47. I am overwhelmed by the task of finding the bobble. I remember that my son’s special beaker is in the footwell of the passenger seat, unwashed since yesterday, in Listeria Heaven.
By the time I return from the school run, a kind of generalised anxiety disorder has taken hold. If the postman says something nice to me, I will probably cry. I drink another cup of tea. I wash the dishes. But it’s no good. I think about super-viruses, global warming, bird flu, giant asteroids, and intruders.
In the end, I go upstairs. Because sometimes, there’s only one way of relieving the tension.