Of course I can do the school run!!

It was Tuesday morning and the alarm woke me up at 06.00 (am).  My God!  It was still dark outside and it was still raining – nothing had changed since I went to bed in regards to the weather.  As for me, I was still as tired as the night before, and my looks hadn’t changed for the better either.

It was the morning of my son’s grommets surgery.  My daughter had had her grommets surgery last week, so we somewhat knew what to expect:

  1. Stuck all day in the hospital
  2. Starving child
  3. Staff not knowing what was happening
  4. Starving child
  5. Hours of fun, sitting on a shitty chair
  6. Starving child

My wife was meant to bring him to the hospital at 07.30 (am), so she had to get going earlier than usual.  Unfortunately, she sleeps very well and it can be VERY difficult to get her back to this World.  The way she was breathing and snorring, I would say she was hovering in between Worlds – completly zen and relaxed.  From the high nasal pitch, probably Narnia.  There was no hope in hell of waking her up.

Finally, after a few kicks to the kidneys, an old Steven Seagal trick, I got her back from Narnia and she moved like a zombie to the bathroom for a quick shower.

Our son is more like me. We are both up and running quickly.  The adrenaline was pumping and he was ready for a day of surgery.  He had no idea what he was getting himself into.  The poor thing hadn’t eaten since the previous evening at 19.00 (7 pm), and he was not allowed to eat at all. The nurses in hospital would feel his wrath quickly, if there were any long delays.

My wife left the house with our son, who later (according to my wife) turns into a mum’s worst nightmare; screaming and poohing all over in the hospital toilet. At least, she sent me a text asking to bring clean clothes, so something bad must have happened.

Anyway, as you know, I love my wife and family and I’m a great dad.  So, I’d taken the morning off work to help out.  It would be my second time (in 18 months) to bring our daughter to school, so this was still very new to both of us and also exciting.  Keep in mind, I trust my daughter, because she is 5 years old and she knows what is best for her (see “Horseback Riding” story). So, it was bound to be an interesting morning.

Our daughter wakes up just as “quickly” as my wife. So, getting her to eat breakfast, get dressed and her teeth brushed was challenging, especially since she was still asleep.

I made her lunch, a sandwich she designed herself. I hoped she would like it.  I’m not too sure how nice a a nutella and cheese sandwich, sprinkled with cornflakes would be!  But, she is 5 and she knows what she wants.

Because my wife took the car to the hosiptal, and my daughter doesn’t have a bike helmet for the scooter, we decided to walk.  My daughter wanted to bring Angel, as she is very easy to walk with.

We put on the wellies, rain coat and bag pack and headed off to her school.  It would probably take 10-15 minutes by car, so it shouldn’t take no more than 30 minutes walking.  My daughter was ensuring me that it wouldn’t be a problem and that she had done this several times with Mummy.  OK then!

It wasn’t raining when we set off, but I had (based on skills learned by watching Ray Meare’s TV series) predicted it would start to lash later that morning.  I didn’t start to rain until I was walking back.  We walked at a normal speed. I had calculated the route to take 28 minutes, which would leave us with 2 minutes to spare, as her class starts at 08.50.

At 08.49 I texted my wife, just to double check when school starts, as we were still a bit away from the school.  The last mile to school was the hardest for all three of us.

  • Angel because she had had a stroke about 4 weeks ago and she needed to be gradually trained up again, but exercise should be good for her, right?
  • Our daughter because I had taken the route we would drive by car, meaning it was a mile longer than expected, but she is 5 year old and she is perfectly capable
  • Me because my body was (and is) NOT designed for exercise and I haven’t done much exercise since the kids were born, but I had to start exercising at some stage…

So, after walking for almost 40 minutes, I was dragging the dog and kid behind me the last 200 meters, much to the amusement of fellow parents and the school patrol.  My daughter at one point asked if she could open her jacket, as she was sticky from sweat, but I thought it was too cold and wet to do so, and said no.

Finally, we opened the door to the school, walking slowly towards her classroom – only 7 minutes late.  Of all people, who did we bump into – literally?  The school principal.  We were caught late, in the hallway, by the principal.  She looked at us, both sweaty and exhausted, and said good morning.  She even knew my daughter’s name.  I hope I didn’t get my daughter into trouble.  So, I helped my daughter with getting her jacket off and pushed her into the class, and gave the teacher an apologetic face.  The teacher stared at our daughter as she stood in the classroom with red cheecks, sweaty patches under the armpits and about to collapse.  I wonder what was on the teacher’s mind.

Now, all I had to do was to walk back with Angel, get dressed for work and head to the hospital to provide some moral support to my wife and son.

At this point, Angel had started to walk slowly – extremely slowly.  Suddenly she stopped and I spun around, afraid that she had passed out.  But no, she had to pooh!  Remember, this was morning rush hour, so the road was packed with queueing cars, all looking at me and my dog doing it’s business!  To my fear, Angel had decided to pooh in the middle of the road.   Aaargghhhhh, the horror, fear and embarrasment.
…thankfully I had brought plastic bags, just in case.  I could almost hear the drivers clap as I scooped up the pooh with the bag, feeling the warmth on my fingers through the plastic.  It’s unbelievable what we dog owners sacrifice to keep the environment free of dog poohs. My dignity was at stake here.  Now, all I needed was a bin, but the nearest was 0.5 mile away, meaning I had to carry the little bundle of joy a bit further, swinging in my hand following the rhythm of my walk.  By the way, Angel is a Bernese Mountain dog, so it was a decent size pooh, not easy to hide or carry – I just hoped the bag would last that long.

We finally arrived back at the house, soaked and exhausted.  I had to sit down for a few minutes.  I stripped down, which might be a horrible image for some readers, but the sweat was rolling off me.  I’m getting too old for this shit!

I’m sure there was a much faster way to school, by foot, and according to my wife, there was.  The other route, which nobody told me about (and I didn’t ask about either) until after the event had taken place, only takes 20-25 minutes.

I finally left the house and headed to the hospital.  Here I was greeted by my exhausted wife and starving son.  It was at this point 10.15 (am) and he still hadn’t been seen by the doctors.  It turned out that they had misplaced my son’s medical chart, meaning that they couldn’t do surgery on him.  We were getting closer to an apocalyptic event, as my son hadn’t eaten for more than 16 hours, so something had to happen…and quickly.  I could even see bite marks on most of the furniture and toys in the room, but  luckily for the staff, he was getting low on energy.  Thankfully they located his file.

I must admit, I was somewhat worried that they could loose a file, when they knew he was scheduled for surgery a year in advance.  What else do they loose in the hospital?  Actually, I don’t want to know the answer to that question.

He was rolled into the operation theatre (OT) at 11.40.  It was my wife’s turn to support our son, while the nurses tried to put him to sleep with a mask.  A mask?  How naive!  My son fought with tooth and nail not to get covered by the mask, but he finally surrendered – I guess not having eaten for 18 hours takes its toll.  As my wife emerged from the OT, I spotted the red upper lip, which indicates that she was about to cry.  Now she knows what I felt like, when our daughter had cleft palette surgery and I had to support her – not nice.

Our son emerged from Neverland 45 minutes later, fairly pissed off and tired, but most of all very hungry.  The nurse kindly gave him 1 juice, but it took 3 to calm him down.  Then he downed 3 yogurts, 2 bananas and a bag of biscuits – it has to be said that he didn’t want to eat by himself, so we had to assist him, holding the DVD player in one hand and the food in the other.  If you tipped the DVD player slightly, so he couldn’t see the screen, he would let you know quickly either by screaming of throwing a bisquit at you.
…ah, the joys of being a loving and supportive parent.

So, that was the morning gone, now what?  Well, I had to go to work and my wife had to head home once he was discharged.  She was wrecked at this stage and she couldn’t find the parking ticket, so she could pay and leave.  From what I’ve seen since, most of the damage to the interior of the car was caused by punches and biting.  Thankfully she found the ticket in her wallet and made it home, leaving the exterior intact.

It’s funnny, we had been waiting for our kids to get the grommets done for months, and then they get scheduled to be done within 1 week of each other, in two different hospitals.  At least it is done now, and the kids still love us – phew!

One comment

  1. Phew! I was pretty exhausted by the time I finished reading.. sounds like a classic father in the deep end moment. Why isn’t reality ever as simple as our plans? I guess it would be kind of dull and less character building… but then again a little bit less character would be good some times. Well done for keeping such a great sense of humour about it all. I think it’s half the battle.

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