Taxi Driver

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Are you talking to me?

Are you talking to me?

Well no, I’m not actually talking to you. I’m just expecting you to do my bidding 24 hours a day and drive me around the streets of London to my heart’s content.

When I was I teenager I used to roll my eyes at my dad’s constant snarky comments about being my taxi driver. What was the big deal? How else did he expect me to get about?

Well here I am a generation later, and ok – I’ll say it – I’m sorry dad. You were right. And my kids are still young, so my journeys tend to be restricted to local hops, usually no more than 15 minutes, whereas my parents would often do two or more journeys right the way across London throughout the late 80s and early 90s.

But what has come as a complete shock to me is the sheer quantity of journeys I’m having to do on a daily basis. I guess it’s my own damn fault for having 4 children, but it doesn’t make it any easier to cope with.

So far today I have:

  1. Driven son number 1 to the bus stop because he forgot to set his alarm this morning and was therefore running too late to walk.
  2. Driven MrsH to the tube station on account of the fact that my car is still parked outside our friends’ house a couple of miles away after a particularly boozy party on Saturday night resulting in requiring a lift home, and the family being down a vehicle until such time as we can work out the complicated logistics of getting the other car back.
  3. Driven twin 1 to school for the ridiculously ill-planned dance class that happens at 8am on a Monday morning. Seriously?
  4. Driven back to our local well known high street pharmacist, which is much closer to our house than it is to the school we had dropped twin 1 at 10 minutes earlier, with a rash-covered twin 2, in the hopes of getting him some suitable medicine.
  5. Driven back to school with son number 2, keeping twin 2 in the car with me after being told by the pharmacist that I shouldn’t send him to school today.
  6. Done a short trip out in the middle of the day to post some parcels thanks to my hugely successful new business venture, an eBay store which has sold a grand total of £50 worth of stuff in the last week – I’m considering retiring on the proceeds.
  7. Returned to school to collect son number 2, and brought him home.

I am writing this in the moments before leaving the house for

  1. 8. Returning to school yet again to collect twin 1 after his football class, and bringing him home.
  2. 9. Leaving immediately thereafter to take twin 2 to the doctors (which is about halfway between school and home) as his rash has got considerably worse as the day has gone on.
  3. 10. Awaiting a phone call from MrsH demanding collection from the tube station, as she STILL doesn’t have a car.

This is a fairly typical day, with the exception of the two journeys necessitated by an ill child. But with the amount of time I have spent in the car since taking on this stay-at-home dad lark, I am seriously starting to consider whether becoming a taxi driver might not be my best option after all.

In trouble

I’m in trouble with my boss for not updating this blog frequently enough. If I’m honest everything’s starting to get a bit overwhelming and I’ve been having trouble gathering my thoughts clearly enough to write anything, but that’s a bit of a cop out excuse, as that’s the stuff that I started this blog to write about.

The loft is still making good progress. It’s only been just over three weeks since they started, but they reckon they’ll be finished within the next couple of days. I’ll believe it when I see it, but anyway, the whole thing’s been going incredibly fast. But now comes the tricky part, coordinating the plumber and the electrician, making sure all the fixtures and fittings are delivered on the right day, getting a quote for the wardrobes, getting the wardrobe surveyor round, setting up a date for the fitting of the wardrobes, realising the wardrobes can’t be fitted until the walls are painted, failing to get a quote from the regular decorator, finding a new decorator who can do the job quickly, realising this new decorator can’t do tiling, finding a tiler, trying to work everything out so the carpet, which has to be the last thing to go in, can be fitted before Christmas. It never ends.

To be fair, it has been poor Ursula who’s been at the sharp end of most of this, as she’s around in the day more than me. Juggling working with bringing up children is hard enough. But throw in project managing a loft conversion and being heavily pregnant with twins, and you have to be both an organisational genius (which she is) and a saint (less convinced 😉 ).

Well it will all be over soon, and then we’ll only have to deal with bringing up two new babies.

On top of this, we’re also deep into the thick of new car dramas. We finally realised we had to pull our collective finger out and get moving on the car front this week, as I think we could have trouble fitting a family of six into my surprisingly petite on the inside Audi A4. So an afternoon of tedious test driving on Saturday narrowed us down to our final choice of a Renault Grand Espace. It’s really quite depressing the choice of cars available to you when you have 4 children. But joy of joys, Renault have closed their Espace factory for the rest of the year, and in typical French fashion, have decided not to give out any information about when their ordering system will reopen. So we’re left with the choice of going for a car that doesn’t match our requirements, or waiting until next year and then probably not having a car in time for when the babies are born.

Life had just settled down into a quite calm and peaceful routine before this pregnancy. What on earth were we thinking?