Hayley Matthews: Now I need a holiday to recover from the day off
I used to pride myself on being fairly organised until about five days ago when I made a huge mistake.
To explain, I have at least 25 things going through my head at any given time – cue internal audio: Take chicken out of the freezer, take the jobbies out of the cat tray, put a bra on, worry about North Korea, make sure the school snacks are done, brush my hair, worry about Donald Trump, take a gas meter reading, imagine what it’s like to be Lady Gaga, pay for the school trip . . . It never stops, and I’ve always managed to keep fairly on top of it all. What I forget my partner remembers, and vice versa.
So when I made a huge boo-boo on Monday (and then again on Tuesday) I had to have a quiet word with myself. It all began on the Bank Holiday Monday. We’d planned breakfast in bed and a nice family day out as we were all off work and school. Have a nice lunch, activities, some quality family time with even a softplay visit. My five-year-old seemed incredibly excited about all this family time together – all of us off on a week day, what a novelty.
Well, I had a tough choice to make halfway through that morning. We’d been lazing in bed for ages, when I decided to go to my “office” to sit on the porcelain phone and check the news online when I saw a text and missed call from the school, at 9.25! It was now the back of 10. “How strange,” I thought, “on a bank holiday!” The message read: “Please contact us immediately to report your child’s absence from school today.”
Panic set in! I shouted through to my partner: “The schools aren’t off today! I thought you thought they were off.” to hear “Oh I thought it was you who thought they were off,” came the reply. “ What will we do?”
Seeing the confusion on my child’s face and envisaging the drama that would ensue when I declared my mistake, we decided to keep him off and apologise profusely to the lovely ladies in the school office. What a right idiot I felt explaining to the school that I had done. So after some explaining, all was sorted. The next day at school was a big day as we’d had a letter about a performance involving the kids and how the parents could come down at the back of 9 to see it.
So feeling a bit worse for wear after a “relaxed” family evening, we rocked up to the school, (with my tail between my legs) to firstly apologise to the teacher for my stupidity and secondly to ask if my child could still take part in the performance (as he wasn’t in on the Monday to practise).
She looked confused, and rightly so. “Oh that’s in the middle of June.” Argh. Beamer! Not two days in a row. The teachers must wonder how I get myself dressed in the morning. Not turning up when the school is open, turning up for events that are weeks away, this has to be fixed, and pronto. So I’m investing in a wall chart.
So, to the parents out there who have more than one child and are juggling diaries, appointments and events for our busy children, I have no idea how you do it. Hats off to you!
Hayley Matthews is a presenter on STV2