I’m sitting here in the sweltering heat, typing. After an epic battle, the wi-fi is working. It took four or five very long phone calls and several threats of returning to our original provider, but around two weeks after we switched internet providers we can now connect to the internet. The only thing that prevented me going back to the original provider was that I think it takes a week or so to switch back. In fact the wi-fi started working almost by accident. I put down the phone to the internet provider, after having made an appointment with an engineer, and the internet light was on red.
About five minutes later daughter three yelled “I have connection!” in the manner of “Houston, we have lift off”. The cry echoed around the house and within about 30 seconds everyone in the house was connected. My partner was listening to Catalan radio, daughter one was researching the global politics syllabus [she’s debating between politics and philosophy – endlessly, but, it has to be said, philosophically], daughter two was watching some spoof horror thing, daughter three was doing homework and only son was on Wonder Quest.
“But it’s a sunny day outside,” I said. No-one was listening. They had been deprived of any form of connectivity – except in the car – for days and the teen section had completely fallen out of the loop of what was going on in their friendship circle. Daughter one said it was kind of a relief. She has spent the time reading the Communist Manifesto and accusing me of being bourgeois. It’s just another of my many faults, alongside a liking for “80s music” and eating porridge for lunch [it’s quick, cheap and nutritious is my argument, but I realise I am a very bad role model].
It’s been my birthday this week and I have come to the conclusion that I have yet to accomplish anything much in life. I am wondering whether I am entering a midlife crisis period. I was talking to someone earlier in the week about the menopause and its impact in the workplace. Over the summer, I had some hot flushes. Mainly on the way to Manchester. They seem to have stopped now, but they did make me feel a bit muzzy and tired. Hence the problems with finding the Travelodge. I also feel a lot more emotional, which is not particularly a good thing. I sit in the car on the school run crying over Abba Gold. And it’s not over The Winner Takes It All or the fact that there have been roadworks on the route for the past year and I am always getting to school late. “My mum’s early,” shouted only son a little too loudly the other day when I actually arrived on time. The teacher has already mentioned obliquely that the school ends at 3.20pm.
Maybe it’s just that I’m reading too many newspapers…The good news is that I don’t currently have time for a midlife crisis – unless it’s on a Friday between 10 and 10.15am – and I’m not sure only son’s teacher would be happy with me arriving at school in floods of tears as a result of listening to Thank you for the music. Let’s just say that it’s not on my to do list and, in my seemingly disorganised but in fact highly efficient system, unless it’s on the list it’s not getting done.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.