I had a couple of things to do, and could not get all the time I would have liked off work for the school holidays next week, so took an extra day where I could get it.
It's a special treat for me to be home on a school day.
Not only do I get "alone" time in a quiet house, but I get to do the school run, which I love doing.
I do it so rarely you see - to my regret.
So on days like today I love to pretend that this is my real life. In this "other" life, I work part-time, or I work from home, or even - in my wildest moments - I do not work! (And yet, I have cash at my disposal, of course. I also have a clean, sparingly furnished house, have all my projects and interests organised and at my fingertips, and am slimmer, with straighter hair, in this fantasy. But I digress somewhat).
On days like today, I get up at 6.30 (heaven - an hour later than usual). I turn on breakfast TV (as it's a change from the radio in my car, much as I love that), have a shower, and prepare lunch boxes (I didn't have to do them the night before!). I walk around the house, put on the heater and open curtains, waking the kids up naturally into a warm and humming house.
I have breakfast with my daughters, all of us eating cereal and toast together at the kitchen table, a freshly brewed plunger coffee in my hand.
Because I don't often get to do this, the kids are happy and excellent company, and do everything I ask them.
When my husband does it every other day, he is rushed for work and they are tired, grumpy and drag their feet. So I know, this is a fantasy.
After breakfast, I do their hair in ponytails, they brush their teeth and collect their bags and we all pile into the car.
I wait with them in the school grounds, chat to the other mums, watch my kids play with their friends in the bright hard winter sun.
The school bell goes - actually not a bell, but happy, cheerful music blaring out, which signals to the kids to line up with their bags outside their classroom. Today it's Madonna, "Deeper and Deeper". A strange choice perhaps - but so much nicer than the somber school bells, principals intoning over the megaphone and stand-up morning assemblies when I was in school!
As the kids file happily into class I wave to them, joyously happy as they wave me off and march in chatting and laughing with their friends.
I say good bye to the other mums, get in my car and go to my favourite cafe.
I read the papers, do the cross-word, have coffee and toast and plan my lovely day. I consider a movie but decide it will take up too much precious, lovely time.
|If you read The Age and know the answer to 22-across, |
please let me know
I spend some time on Twitter, do some research and prepare some blog drafts (okay, I make some short notes and plan to finish the drafts later).
By the time all this is done, the school day is nearly over. In an hour I have our first parent-teacher interviews, so the girls are going to their after-school care as usual (they go three days a week) which I don't feel bad about because they love it. But today I get to pick them up earlier than usual and we'll get home before dark, with plenty of time to play, chat and relax before the usual dinner-homework-bath-bed madness.
It's been a lovely day.
Now, obviously, I know that if I was a "stay-at-home mum" *, or especially if I worked part-time or worked from home, that my days would be nothing like this. My day was a day off in anyone's language and I know it. I also know that things like getting your kids ready for school, doing the school run and managing some different administrative tasks are fun and easy when they're a novelty and everyone is enjoying it, and are entirely different when done every day.
And of course I am aware that none of us gets the luxury of spending our days doing exactly what we like.
But it's one day, and it was mine - so I can fantasise a little, can't I?
* Not sure if this is the best term but it seems the best available. Please feel free to suggest a better one if you have one!