It’s that time of year where parents go into organisational overdrive due to the numerous out of work activities that require some sort of action on their part. There are sports days and shows and trips and photos and teacher present collections and lots of general paperwork.
Daughter three told me that she and only son were in the eagle team for sports day which meant they had to wear red t-shirts, even though daughter three is not doing sports day because she had her ears pierced recently. She’s quietly pleased as she hates competitive sport. Only son only has two red t-shirts. One is for age 2-3 [he, of course, still wears it] and the other has a big picture of a football on it. I have told him he can wear it inside out and cut off the label. Daughter one commented that the football picture was in keeping with the sports day theme.
Daughter one has gone off on a camping trip with her friends. I am not sure what kind of organisational thinking has been put into said camping trip. “Do you need a sleeping bag?” I asked. “Ah yes, probably,” said daughter one in a vague sort of way. She has taken some instant porridge cups and pasta, but is unsure if there is boiling water available. “Maybe we can light a fire,” she said. I don’t think so. She texted an hour after getting to the campsite. “It’s raining. There’s no kettle.” Then “we want to have tea so we’ll find one”. I’m not entirely sure how since they are in the middle of a field. I’m expecting her home around five pounds lighter.
Daughter three is also going camping with her school next week. Daughter three is the polar opposite of her sister. She has a list, she’s checked it 100 times and researched all items extensively on e-Bay. She has decided she needs an inflatable mattress as well as a sleeping bag. “What’s wrong with the ground?” I asked.
Meanwhile only son is planning a four-day sleepover in our room, but has been more preoccupied with his best friend’s birthday. He has made him an elaborate lift the flap card. “Make sure you remember to give it to him,” I said at the school gate. “I don’t need you to tell me that, mum,” he said sweetly. “I know my own life.” Point taken.
The cat seems to have the right attitude to life. Amid all the chaos, he can be found sitting outside in an old wooden toddler truck, looking very serene. Humans have definitely got life wrong.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.