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.

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Logistics

Yesterday morning, I had to manage the boys solo. Ursula had to leave early to do an interview with Bobby Robson for the health section of a Sunday paper. At this point any ordinary man would surely be in awe, but unfortunately having about as much interest in football as I do in Grey’s Anatomy, I was sadly unimpressed by this particular job.

Anyway, getting two small boys out of bed, dressed, breakfasted, into the car, with their respective bags, jackets and packed lunches, and delivered to two separate schools, one at 9 and one at 9:15, single-handed, was challenging to say the least. By the time I was finished, I was ready for bed, let alone a day at work. And apparently I have to do the whole thing all over again on Monday, as Ursula has a scan at the hospital, which might actually produce some interesting news for this blog.

All of which begs the obvious question: how the hell do you do this with 4? Of course the whole solo thing doesn’t happen all that often, but even when Ursula and I are both at full tilt on a school morning, it’s a struggle to get everyone where they’re supposed to be on time. If my calculations are correct, we will be blessed with one year (I think it will be 2014) when they’re all at the same school. But other than that, the logistics of managing four children’s daily movements fill me with absolute terror. 

On a separate note, we received confirmation on Wednesday that the regulation changes on the loft conversion front are indeed in our favour. It’s wonderful news, although I’m still having difficulty accepting that it’s true. So we can now press ahead with getting it done. All that’s needed now is to make a decision about a loft conversion company. I am well aware that I’m driving my wife crazy by taking my time over this, but I’m afraid I have too much of my mother in me, and I have to be completely sure before I give anyone the go ahead. So tomorrow is set to be a joyous day of going to look round other people’s lofts, to check out the quality of the work of the two contenders.

And just a quick observation before I sign off for the night: isn’t weird the way a bottle of wine disappears much quicker when you drink out of a big glass?