At the beginning of the year, I posted this, swiftly followed by this. The first post is a list of resolutions I knew I had no intention of keeping and at number ten I haphazardly vowed to try to be on time more. I KNEW that would never happen. But now, after yesterday, I’m bumping it up to the second list: resolutions I want to make happen.
Yesterday I encountered the worse ever kind of being late. Far, far worse than screeching into your work’s carpark with an excuse already on your lips. Worse than the icy smiles the doctor’s receptionist gives you when you bluster through the doors two minutes late and get to wait a whole forty-five minutes for your appointment anyway. This was LATE. This was sitting on my hands, heart pounding, head swimming and panic rising like fire LATE. I was late.
We took the baby to nursery yesterday to keep him in his routine and took the big one to the cinema at the Trafford Centre. We had to pick up my sister on the way back and hit traffic. If anyone knows the roads around the Trafford Centre at 5pm they’ll know its not good. At 5.45 I rang nursery to tell them we would be LATE.
I felt like the world’s worse mother. I felt an all-consuming rage as the car sat in traffic, as useless as a lump of useless-ness. I LOATHED the young guy in the next lane with his ridiculous music and his loathsome way of singing along. I hated the jeep infront that kept lurching forwards, giving the illusion of a magical break in the traffic, only to dazzle us with its big red brake lights once more. I was livid with the traffic lights that kept turning green and yet the traffic remained standing.
The whole time I was thinking of my baby and the fact he was at nursery, waiting for me. And I was LATE.
We got to him at 6.15, fifteen minutes after it closed and the building was dark. The carpark was empty. The doors were open and four of the staff were stood in the entrance, waiting for us. The baby was propped on the hip of one of the girls with his coat zipped to the neck and his bag packed by the door. I couldn’t even speak. I felt so ashamed. I mumbled some apologies and when I took my baby I felt like such an idiot for bursting into tears. Its not like I abonded him, but thats how it felt. I’d always felt so sorry for the kids at school who get picked up late and always vowed, naiively, that I would never do that to my kids. I would never be the parent who criminally has something to do whilst my kids are being cared for by others. But now I am.
Incidentally, we got in the car and the baby did not hold it against us. he smiled, babbled and clapped all the way home. Me? I smiled too. I think NOW I will do something about those resolutions…