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Oh dear, ice. I am not a fan of wintry weather, mainly because it makes all logistics that bit more complicated. Daughters one and two cajoled me into a trip out to the supermarket on Sunday. Like all teens, they are constantly hungry even though they seem to spend almost their entire waking time cooking or eating. So we found our way very slowly to Tesco, having to abandon the car on a sheet of ice in the car park. The problem with teens is that they are fairly indecisive. I told them they had 20 minutes tops to get round the supermarket before it got dark and I couldn’t see the ice. They were still deliberating on quorn-related objects half an hour later. In a way it was good to get out as daughter two is developing Garbo-like reclusive tendencies. All she does is sit and watch films from the 50s and 60s. Daughter two is in training to be James Dean.
We made it back home as the sun went down. The heating system in the car had briefly come back last week, but has snuffed it again so daughter one was on screen wiping duty. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get the car back in front of the house. The wheels locked and I was in danger of barring all access to the road. In the end I dumped the car down the road on a block of ice.
I gave only son a box of xmas cards and his school xmas card list to work through. He got as far as number 10 and refused to do any more. Luckily, I am an expert at forging my children’s signatures. Ping. The primary school announced the school was closed on Monday. Daughter three wooped from the sofa that secondary school was closed too. Cue mass celebrations. Except for the adults. Work never closes. Daughter one promised to earn bagloads of money in the future so we could both retire – or at least take an extended holiday.
The next day loomed and my partner dug his car out of the snow and headed off. Only son made himself a nest of teddies and blankets and settled into a film marathon. The teenagers slept and ate. By early evening I had to head out to the GP with daughter one. We were just leaving when daughter three snuck in in her pjs. She just wanted to come along for the ride. Through the forest and over the ice we went in the non-heated car. The GP surgery was deserted and the car park was black ice. A lonely receptionist was shivering at her desk. Apparently we had been sent to the wrong surgery. Could we reschedule?
Ping! My phone announced that primary school was closed again. I was due in London for the work xmas party the next day. My mum was marooned in northern Essex. Arg. I was contemplating taking only son with me to the festive celebrations when my partner volunteered to take him to his work. He was only doing a half day as he was on pick-up duty. Only son was very excited – mainly because my partner promised him McDonald’s. I assured my partner that only son is a very well trained and considerate colleague. The best of colleagues – up there with the guinea pigs. I have worked with him for several years since he was in half-day nursery. We used to sit side by side, me typing and he colouring and we would break off for the occasional bounce on the trampoline.
Only son packed a large bag to take with him to his dad’s work. This was going to be a big adventure.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.