Monday, 5 May 2014

Slave to the Rhythm

When I was in my twenties and living in Reading, every Monday to Friday was taken up with going to work, going to the gym and going out in the evening.  Saturdays were for shopping and going to the pub, and Sundays were for lie-ins and pints of Guinness once the hangover had disappeared.

This remained largely unchanged until Mr K and I moved to a village where going shopping requires either a car journey, playing 'bus roulette' with the six that run each day or a £50 round trip in a taxi, and 'going to the pub' is quite literally that - you go to the pub, the only one in the village.  Sundays remained intact - winner!  The rhythm of our lives was set by where we had to be (work) and where we wanted to be (pub).

Then our daughter was born which introduced us to a new rhythm dictated mostly by her need to feed.  A perfect bundle of limbs and lovely smelling skin that took our self-indulgent Saturday nights out and Sunday lie-ins and drop-kicked them out of the window.  Our lives no longer had the easy vibe of mellow soul music, they had all the shrieking and parping of avant-garde jazz.  She didn't do the best job of turning us mad with sleep deprivation though, as a couple of years later we decided to do it all over again.  Enter the boy-wonder: bed-leaper and early-riser.

As a couple who both worked full-time, our children went to nursery full-time.  Nursery opening hours became our clocking-in system and caused us to have panic attacks if we were on the motorway at 5.45pm, as a minute past 6.00pm and you WOULD GET FINED!!  Perhaps more terrifying was the thought of being given a telling off by the manager which would leave you feeling like A. a bad parent and B. a corporate slave.  Wrong on point A, probably quite right on point B. 

Then our daughter started school which threw a ginormous spanner in the works.  Nursery and normal work hours were the same, but school?  What do you mean it ends at 3.15pm?!  We cleared that hurdle, found a way and as of last September, found ourselves again in the happy place of both children in the same place at the same time.  Bliss.  All seemed to be going swimmingly until, well swimming actually.  I thought all the after school activities were aligned, I thought I had very cleverly gamed the system making sure I only ever needed to be in one place at one time.  Until this afternoon, until my lovely girl proudly told me that she was being moved up a level in swimming which means a change of day and time.  A day and time that doesn't fit in with her brother's lesson.  Life and swimming lessons; laughing their arses off at me and creating a frantic scrabble in my brain to try to make all the clubs, appointments and non-uniform days fit together with having a job, running a house and the million other commitments it seems like we have.  

Oh well, we'll figure it out I thought.  It's only one change and perhaps by next week our son will have magically leaped several levels in swimming so they'll be on the same day again.  And then tonight I found the letter in our son's book bag (come on - who actually checks book bags when the kids get home from school?  You must always check on a Sunday night - or Bank Holiday Monday in this instance - always!) telling me that he has a new club after school.  And it clashes with swimming.....

Soundtrack: Slave to the Rhythm - Grace Jones

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