E+E Column: Punctuality


Pre-children, one of my pet hates was people being late. I was a stickler for punctuality and was always on time, if not early (at times, ridiculously so). I would irritate travelling companions by insisting on arriving at stations 40 minutes before travelling and would allow three times the standard length of a journey,  just in case. Fast forward six years and now I am in a constant state of tardiness. We are late for nearly everything we do. Even when I think I’ve allowed an excessive buffer of time, we still end up crashing in, flustered and apologising for our lateness. It is not so much of a mystery to me as to why this happens, my three small people not being particularly cooperative at the best of times and certainly having different priorities to me on what is and isn’t important. Nonetheless, this morning as things started to go awry as we tried to get out of the house I thought I’d document the debacle.

I had a simple plan, to do some work and then we’d do some errands enroute to the library and hopefully the baby would fall asleep on the way, thus killing numerous birds with one stone. Sophia took longer to finish her work than I anticipated and then Isaac spent a ridiculously long time eating his snack but finally by 10.30 I had chivvied them into some form of outerwear and to the toilet, had put all the glass for recycling by the front door and put the buggy up. All that was left to do was put a dry nappy on the baby and go. And that’s where it all started to go wrong. I turned my back for a minute and heard the smash of glass followed by crying. Elijah had investigated the big bag of glass bottles to his peril and had managed to cut his finger. I instructed the big two to stay away from the glass, sorted out his finger (just a scratch luckily) and thought I’d sort the nappy, strap him into buggy and then hoover up glass. I went to change him only to discover the dirty nappy was rather more foul than just wet, ran upstairs to find more wipes, changed him and finally got him strapped into the buggy. I cleared up the glass, realised Isaac had no socks on, remedied that and finally we were out the door. I could have cheered!

We pootled towards the bottle bank, me shushing the big ones as they shouted in a sleepy baby’s vicinity, them running around like feral creatures. As we approached, one of them charged past me, propelling the bag of glass into my leg where the broken glass from earlier managed to gauge a chunk out of my leg. I hobbled to the bottle bank, recycled the bottles with their help and realised there was quite a lot of blood trickling down my leg. Luckily, we were next to the GP surgery so I went in hoping they might spare a plaster. The receptionist took one look and managed to squeeze me in with a nurse to see if I needed to go to A+E for stitches (I do love the NHS, they were so great at fitting me in!). Luckily, no stitches were required but I had to go back in an hour for a tetanus shot and to have it properly dressed. Cue a mad dash to do our errands (library, shop..etc), deposited the children at home where luckily Dan was able to keep an eye on them and then back to the surgery to be patched up with a finally sleeping baby in tow. As I caught my breath in the waiitng room, I looked back over the morning and thought…no wonder we’re never anywhere on time! So my deepest apologies to friends and families for my continued tardiness, I expect to improve in 8-12 years time!


Finally out of the front door!

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