Turning on a sixpence thanks to Phil Collins and the Detroit Spinners

January 25, 2011 § 2 Comments

I thought I was doing pretty well. Day three of OH’s business trip, and DESPITE having had an inch of pillow to call my own for most of the night, (both boys vying for the title of ‘most wriggly child in London with the coldest feet’) DESPITE wearing no makeup and the crotch of my too small tights being ever so slightly too close to the hem of my skirt, DESPITE my hair still being wet and having eaten no breakfast, I leave the house bang on schedule at 7.45 with both boys breakfasted, fastened up in coats, in possession of both shoes, teeth-cleaned, hair-brushed and 3yo’s school uniform ironed and complete in childminder bag. Cue much air-punching.

It starts to go wrong on the hill. The queue of traffic to turn right into the main road is about eleven cars long. I know from bitter experience that for every change of traffic light on the main road, perhaps one car turning right might be let out. If lucky. Perhaps one car per minute. That means that in approximately twelve minutes time I will be able to turn left. My train to work leaves in approximately fifteen minutes. Even my sleep-deprived brain can calculate that this leaves three minutes to get to the childminders, deposit urchins, drive to the station, park, and get to the platform. Absolutely impossible. My whole morning’s careful planning scuppered by the whim of eleven strangers choosing to go in the same direction.

 ‘I need to go left, goddammit. Left!’ I shout at the right indicator of the car in front of me. But just then a thought occurs…surely the only sensible thing is for me to drive up the pavement, swing a left, and hey presto. So I do. I drive up the pavement and nearly hit the poor beleaguered postman on his rounds as he turns the corner. For a moment it’s a stand off between me and postie. But I win. He shrugs and moves aside to let me past. What a public servant.

So I turn left, and decide to put the radio on to celebrate. Flicking through the channels 3yo suddenly shouts ‘Stop!’ Briefly I entertain the thought that postie has come back around the corner and is running Terminator-style towards the car to wreak his revenge. But no. He’s saying stop because he wants me to stop at Magic fm. ‘I like this one Mummy,’ he says. It is Phil Collins ‘Two Hearts.’ I kid you not. We spend the rest of the journey, one year old included, clapping and la la la-ing along to the dulcet tones of Phil. I entertain myself with the thought of his satisfied sqeals of delight upon receipt of ‘No Jacket Required’ for his fourth birthday.

Isn’t it incredible the way your mood can turn on a sixpence? I experience two more U-turns before I even arrive at work. My 3yo sobs to be left at the childminder, pressing his face to the window, and I can see him mouthing ‘I want my mummy’ as I pull away at speed. I catch the train on time and my mood is slightly cheered by the discovery of ‘The Detroit Spinners’ on my Ipod (how can you not tap your foot along to ‘Working my Way back to you Babe?’) and I’m further cheered by my mother-in-law who gets in touch to offer to help with bed and bathtime tonight. Honestly I take my hat off to anyone who works and brings up children on their own. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.

 PS. I have just read a very moving account on Manic Mum’s blog about a campaign to raise money for Grace Murray, who has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. It puts all my petty moaning into perspective. Please visit.



§ 2 Responses to Turning on a sixpence thanks to Phil Collins and the Detroit Spinners

  • tamsyn says:

    it’s nice to hear there is another ‘no-makeup-scarecrow-haired, but all kids fed and buttoned up’ mother out there!! i relate to that! in fact, i can top it off, a few weeks ago my lips were so dry, so i plastered nivea all over them, i did the school run, came back in, caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and realised i had some white smudges under my nose, which is nice, always good to do the school run looking like you have been snorting drugs for breakfast!!

    thank u so much for adding that link, i really appreciate it. grace is adorable, and makes so much progress with the treatment. the cost though, is absurd!

    will drop by again soon,

    thanks again, tamsyn

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