Tuesday 20 March 2018

Diary of a demented Mum: School run with the Wolverine is a white-knuckle ride

SO THIS, you realise, is why your husband beats his head off the wall Monday to Friday. You've never before had the pleasure of transporting the Wolverine to school.

But this morning, you've been up with your spouse since 4am, when he woke with a temperature of over 103. Around 6am, as he once again groaned and leaned over the basin, you heard soft footsteps coming along the hall.

It was your daughter, you thought warmly, come to see her poor Dad; she must have heard all the commotion, the frantic rummaging for Neurofen, the rushing around for thermometer, basin, cold washcloth.

But the footsteps pass your bedroom door without pause. Soon afterwards, you realise the shower's going full-belt.

You knock on the bathroom door. "It's only 6.15am," you say in bewilderment. "What on earth are you doing? Your Dad's ill."

She's selling raffle tickets for the school today so she has to wash her hair, no need for a big deal. Jeez.

She does not inquire after her father.

"Be ready by 7.30am," you warn, you're driving her and her brother to school today because Dad's sick and you're already running late for work as it is.

Her reply is indistinguishable.

Shortly before 7am you call her little brother, who washes, dresses, checks in with his Dad and then joins you for breakfast.

By 7.35am you're sitting with little brother in the car, beeping the horn. The Wolverine is nowhere to be seen. Eventually she pads out unhurriedly: hair perfect, make-up perfect, sans coat or breakfast.

Would you ever just give her a minute. Jeez, she's lost half a stone in the last fortnight she's so stressed out by the constant pick, pick, picking that goes on in this house.

And no, she can't find her coat. Dad never makes half this fuss. It's lashing rain so you insist she wear your jacket.

She asks for her pocket money. She's already asked her father, she sighs, but he was too busy puking. You hand her a fiver.

She asks to be collected rather than get the bus home because the ticket-selling will make her late.

No, you say, through clenched teeth. Dad's very ill and you want to be home to check on him.

She asks to be driven right to the door of the school because if anyone sees her wearing this thing, she might as well be dead. No, you say.

Aeons later, as she exits the car at the school gates, you ask if she remembered the packed lunch you made for her last night.

No, she forgot it. Can she have money to buy a sandwich in the canteen? She prefers them to yours, anyway. No offence, like.

Irish Independent

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