Last night was one of the dreaded Hallowe'en school disco. In my locality these evenings involve 3 discos, each lasting one hour, held consecutively between the hours of 6pm and 9.30pm. Imagine the logistic difficulties of having children of different ages attending different discos (while trying to relax and sink a bottle of wine on a Friday night.)
Dread the prospect of the evening. Text around neighbours to arrange lift sharing. Aim to do only the early 'to' runs to bring my responsibility to an end as early as possible.
Help get costumes ready through gritted teeth: why is it always at the last minute? Why is it always a hassle? Why is it never fun?
Feel guilty so am over generous with the spending money I dole out so they can rot their teeth with sweets and juice. Frankly, I don't really care.
Round up the other kids and bark at them all the get into the car and to Stop. Yelling. when they are sat next to each other.
Huff and puff through the parking scrum, the rain, the crowds. Worry transiently about signing the emergency contact form to be available in case of accident or injury (as it would be best to be sober I admit), before dismissing it as only a formality.
Note the other mums who are helping out at the disco. Are they are missing wine too?
Say goodbye. Become annoyed by one boy who no longer wants to go in, he is scared by some of the costumes. Phone his mum before detouring to drive him home again, taking great restraint to remain civil to both him and his mother.
Back home, rant about the trauma of it all and get the wine opened at last. Later than usual, later than planned. Drink the first glass quickly during rant.
But all too soon it is spoiled. The first lot come home, hyper and high on sugar, looking for attention and chat and in no way keen to have a quiet bath and go to bed. Despite knowing this, I try and fail to shoo them upstairs and away from me, becoming more irritated as the time passes.
Last night I was aware I was 'behind' on football runs so offered to do more than my share of the disco runs. This offer was well received by neighbours.
Filled in permission slips confidently with my own mobile number rather than my OH's. Spent a hilarious 20 minutes in the bathroom with my make up to produce one pirate and one bunny.
Get organised and leave in plenty time to get parked easily and join the queue. Do the social thing and exchange pleasantries across the gym hall with other mums (many of whom are helping. I'm not, no change there) and agree must catch up one afternoon.
Get home and have 40 min pit stop before I have to go back to school to pick up some and drop off others. Have cup of tea, biscuit and chat with OH.
An hour later have another 40 min pit stop and reflect on how irritating this would be had I been wanting and waiting to settle down with wine. Have cup of tea and slice of toast.
Collect the 10 and 11 year old girls and amuse myself by listening to their chat in the back of the car (why Goths should never have a suntan and how 'annoying' it is when long dangly earrings bump into your neck!).
At home, spend 30 minutes gently removing the bunny's pink bunny nose. (Note to self, do not use lipfinity for this again.) It takes patience, cotton wool and a combination of cleanser, eye make up remover, baby shampoo and soap to get it off, but we get there eventually without falling out about it.
That itself is a true 'first'!
Feel glad they enjoyed their disco. Pleased to have been more involved with them. Convinced remaining responsible in case of accident or injury was the right thing to do.