When the clock chimes 12, I pack up my stuff, switch off my computer and head towards my car which is parked in an outdoor furnace which, on entry, feels like entering the Devil’s sauna. Well, it’s not always that clear cut. Often I leave at 1pm (or later) and am racing to the car, more concerned about toppling over in my heels than entering hells’ gates….AKA Nissan Armada driver’s door.
When co-workers see me wander/bolt past, they assume it is noon-ish and think about ‘downing tools’ for lunch.
‘Ahhhh…..your day is over’ they crow with sludge green, seething envy.
This reaction grates. It makes me cranky.
My reaction verges on a lecture:
‘Day over? Are you kidding me?’
‘This is what yesterday afternoon looked like for me’.
– Race down Sheikh Zayed Road just fast enough to evade a speeding fine.
– Park at the school gates. Sit there for 30 mins in an idling car which is clearly crying to move and get the AC circulating.
– Meet DS2 at the shuttle bus. Drag him and his bags into the shade for a 20 minute wait in 43 degrees.
– Meet DS1 and DD and herd all 3 across the playing fields to the about-to-combust car.
– Sit in a line of oppressive, sweaty traffic for about 15 minutes (Note: AC does not function particularly well when the car is crawling at snail’s pace).
– Race back down Sheikh Zayed Road to where I came from 1.5 hours ago to stock up on the pantry’s dwindling goods (all the while battling with red faced, glistening kids to move quickly from one shaded spot to the next).
– Note: By now, I am fit to cry and pack all 3 kids off to boarding school.
– Another car journey to the gymnastics hall. Scour the place for a shaded parking spot. Ask all 3 to change out of their uniforms and into gymnastics kit/civvies, fill water beakers, pack homework, iPads, cash for snacks, wet wipes, antibacterial hand gel, epipen, phones (work and personal) and tissues. Yes, my car resembles a bombsite when I leave it!
– Try to watch enough of DD doing gymnastics to be able to comment on her performances on various pieces of apparatus whilst at the same time doing homework with DS1.
– Comfort DS2 who is by now complaining about a pain in his head.
– I know that look. I know that cry. Dehydration is upon us.
– Bundle the boys into the car to drive to the nearest pharmacy. Wait in line for meds for DS2.
– Back to the car to insert, what are by now melting, suppositories in a son who is unable, due to a cluttered middle car seat row of booster seats, stretch out enough to make my mission any easier. Note: now I get why the suppositories’ leaflet suggests put ting the suppositories in the fridge 30 mins before use….
– Stop off at the garage to buy Gatorade to try to replace the valuable minerals lost charging round in the desert playground.
– Dash back to the gym to meet DD with at least 2 mins to spare.
– Drive home as smoothly as possible with DS2’s head hovering over a plastic bag. Anything to the ‘vomit comet’ experience!
– Arrival at destination – 6pm…..and my day is still not finished……..
Would you rather swap places with me now?
Work is easy. Parenting is not.