Not only did I get drenched with rain on the first school run, my arm muscles torn and aching from holding the baby close to me under the umbrella awaiting the tribe to vacate their classrooms, but I had forgotten it was Writer’s Workshop for two of them, meaning a trip back 45 minutes later. Just long enough to wrestle the baby back into her car seat, drive home to change her wet clothes, then repeat my journey all over again. My petrol light had been blinking all the way and I’d forgotten to grab my bank card on the second rushed exit of the house. Never mind I thought, parked outside the school gates with the heater and radio on, I have twenty quid in my pocket. I’ll put a tenner petrol in, then get some sweets for the kids, when they EVENTUALLY make it to the car. A quick few miles to the garage and I was soon stood holding the pump, thinking about whether I wanted Red Bull, Relentless or Cherry Coke from their shelves. Eeeek. I hadn’t been watching the meter and it was now at £22.02, shit.
Scrambling around on the floor of the car I managed to find some coins to cover the amount before heading to pay, shutting the car door with might to silence the grumbles from the children; after they discovered their chocolate dreams where no longer to be realised. All paid, I could finally get home and back to Twitter. Fuck me, the engine wouldn’t start. The battery was as dead as…. well, I managed to self edit here.
Sheer panic kicked in. I had no phone or pram. 4 kids, no contact numbers stored in my memory, 4 miles from home and a mile from Mr Chopalops’s place of employment. What does a girl do in these situations? Cry. That’s what she does. The kiosk now filled with queuing customers and cars began to trail out of the forecourt back onto the expressway. Walking back into the shop blinking back the tears, I explained in a meek voice to the young male clerk that I could no longer move my car that was obstructing everyone.
Locking the till and kiosk, he along with 2 other volunteers, who joined the procession back to my car, had to push it through the rain, away from the pumps (who’d have thought it would be dangerous use jump leads near them?) and down a slip road; the rain now totally pissing it down. But was was I to do? I had jump leads in my hand but nothing to attach them to.
Seeing my dismay, one of the men said, ‘surely you know how to jumpstart it?’
So he had to get in my car, while the others continued to push, long enough to get it started again, with me trotting along the road, keeping his pace, holding on to the open driver’s side door, just in case he fancied kidnapping my four children, sulkily sitting on the back seats.
The school run in total consumed 2 hours and 23 minutes of my day today and that was just the pick up.