The end of term obstacle course

Running up the stairs


It’s nearly, nearly the holidays. It’s been sports day, UN day, party day and God knows what else, but we are nearly there. There were labels to write for teacher presents [only son wrote ‘to the best teacher/teaching assistant’ on every single one. In his world there is just best and worst]. Daughter three, who has been on holiday for a week or two, started a new school on Tuesday – for four days. There are now three separate pick-up points and we have to get up earlier and she’s not set up yet for the parent pay thing so she needs a packed lunch. There is virtually no food in the house. By Thursday, I was out of all food options except bread and chocolate spread. Daughter three is also having to go in every day in her PE top for activities week. She has just the one PE top which we managed to get on Saturday so it has to be washed every night and is slightly damp by morning. But she seems to like the new school so far, which is a good thing.

My stepbrother has also been over for the week so we have been meeting up with him in the evenings so I was squatting on the landing on Wednesday night around 2am trying to catch up and do all the usual overwork necessary before you get to go on holiday for two weeks and come back to a huge backlog which takes you around a month to dig out of.

Because it was the last week of term, flexibility has been key. The school left it till the day before to announce the school party and put a list of party food for us to bring outside the classroom. The same day daughter two rang at 2 to say she would be back from sports day early and could I pick her up. As I left daughter one rang to say she was somewhere on the tube and on her way home with no money for the bus. I picked up daughter two, went to get daughter three who wasn’t out yet, got only son a bit late, doubled back for daughter three, got daughter two to ring daughter one who was in a charity shop and picked her up on the loop back plus a couple of packets of biscuits on special offer for the party. It was what I loosely refer to as my lunch break.

It will all be worth it come Sunday when we get up at the crack of dawn and spend nine hours – count them – sitting down watching films on a plane, our first long-haul flight ever as a family. Forget the holiday. I am just looking forward to the plane – and I hate flying.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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