You know when you have good intentions and everything conspires against you, making you look like a really bad parent? Honestly, it was a conspiracy. It was nothing to do with me forgetting all about my child. Nothing like that. At all.
Anyway, today my four-year-old was at a one day dance workshop. I dropped her and her two rather chatty friends off at 10am, went off and did the usual errands with the other three children. Just before lunchtime, the Dad took over so I could get some work done, which was fantastic. It was a lovely, sunny day and it was a shame to be cooped up inside, but it's not often I get a few hours to concentrate on work, so I took advantage. The Dad brought me some lunch, bless him, and I managed to read a couple of articles, and added some more words to my paper. I'll probably think better and delete them again in a few days, but at least my word count will rise for a bit.
At 2.30pm, with my brain completely in my work, the Dad shouted up and asked when I was supposed to be setting off to watch the four-year-old do her little dance show and collect her. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit times about a thousand!!! I ran downstairs, grabbed my car keys, the video camera, and phone and jumped in the car. The journey took about 15 minutes that morning, so I should be ok for the 2.45pm start.
I got to the top of the road and the traffic was three times as bad as this morning. Then I got to the level crossing, and the barriers were down for an approaching train. I got through this and the town centre was reeeeeaaaalllllly busy, and every traffic light seemed to be red. By the time I got through town, it was already 2.45pm, and I still had another ten minutes to go.
I screeched up at the dance centre at 2.55pm, and walked into the already full studio just as they were starting to present an activity they had done earlier in the day. Relief. It looked like they had only just started the show. They must've been over-schedule. I waved to the mums of the four-year-old's friends who were laughing at me. At. Me. The cheek of it.
Oh well. I found a space on the floor right at the front so my daughter could see I had turned up. I knew she would be looking for me, and she did. She saw me, smiled, and gave me a little wave. I was full of pride. Not just for her, but for me, for being a good Mummy and not missing her show after all. The Gods of parenting had smiled on me and delayed her show so I could be there for her.
They gave their little presentation, and then the teacher said some terrible, terrible words. She said that they were going to do one more dance, and that it would be the last one. She joked this would come as a relief to us parents who had sat through two dances already. TWO? I hadn't seen any. Just the short activity presentation. My heart sank. My two mum friends laughed inwardly at my expense, as did all the other punctual parents. Probably. I couldn't see them laughing, but they were.
I watched the last dance, which was great. My daughter was the smallest one there and she did as well as everyone else, even better in my eyes. When she'd finished, she came over and I asked her how her day had been. She said it was great, but the best part was when I came in to see her dancing, and she gave me the biggest smile and hug.
I. Am. The. Worst. Mother. In. The. World.