End of term fatigue


Our car is playing up at the moment. It currently says that the temperature outside is 79 degrees Celsius. While I agree that it is hot, I think the car might be overplaying it a bit. Maybe it’s just suffering from summer fatigue. We’re all limping towards the holidays, with half the team suffering from Love Island exhaustion. The other day the car briefly flashed the word Stop at me. I would have gladly agreed, but it was the start of another busy day.

There were labels to write for the teacher presents, forms to fill in for sports day, people to drop off and I was heading into London for work, past multiple closed roads. The whole area seems to have become a rotating diversion route over the last six months. Two of the main roads to the primary and secondary schools are closed this week. Plus the tube got stuck in a tunnel with a class-load of children on a summer outing. I got out at the wrong exit and ran up the road in the wrong direction before doubling back. My phone bleeped. It was the water meter people asking me how the visit the day before had gone. Only the visit didn’t take place because I completely forgot about it after I had to pick up daughter one early from school.

After my meeting I found a McDonald’s and logged on to find the water company’s phone number. I queued for 10 minutes. I had just given my details when the man from the water company told me to hold the line. My phone seems to have an allergy to my face and even if I hold it at 5 cms distance it automatically turns off halfway through a call unless it is on hands free. It turned itself off just as I was launched onto hold. I emailed the water company and caught up with work emails. My partner rang. He was at the Spanish consulate. I mentioned the flashing Stop sign. “It may have been a figment of my subconscious,” I stated.

I went to another meeting and then headed home to check the car out. People were strewn across the sofa watching Love Island again. Only son was protesting that if he didn’t get something to eat immediately he would expire. My mum was making spaghetti. I decided to put some chicken that I had defrosted into the oven. I got the oil can to drizzle some oil on it in the manner of Master Chef. It slipped and the oil can fell on my foot, stabbing my toe. Blood spurted out. There were pools of it everywhere. I momentarily contemplated death by sunflower oil. Only son rushed in. “Mum, are you going to survive?” he asked in a very concerned voice. My partner had just arrived and offered a pack of frozen vegan mince and some paper. I limped around the place for good measure. My partner recounted statistics about most accidents happening in the home. I had been slightly anxious about going out and about, what with all the recent news. Now it’s staying at home that worries me.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.

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