My children have a lot of extracurricular activities. Twelve-year-old Sam is currently in guitar, drums, baseball and soccer. Nine-year-old Daisy is in guitar, drums, baseball, gymnastics and Girl Guides. None of these activities are within walking distance from home, and neither of these people can drive. So, guess what? I am their chauffeur.
I am also their chef, tutor, housekeeper, scheduler, shopper, entertainment director, caretaker and life coach. Hey, what parent isn’t?
Luckily their dad helps a ton, and when it comes to driving, he often takes one while I take the other. I’m not sure how single parents with more than one child can manage. Hopefully they ask for help.
I have several single-parent friends to whom I lend a hand, and they always help me out as well. I also have married-parent friends who do the same. Seems like most of us have over-scheduled our offspring and are running them here, there and everywhere. And sometimes we complain as we do it.
“This is crazy,” a mother from my daughter’s baseball team said the other day. “We shouldn’t be driving nine-year-olds to a baseball game over an hour away from home on a school night. We’re too busy as it is.”
And I agreed with her. But we did it, and 10 minutes into the game the sky opened up to thunder and lightning, the field turned to mud, and we all ran to our cars, getting drenched as we did.
Was I frustrated that I had to rush around like crazy getting my daughter to gymnastics, then dropping my son and his friend off at their ball field, and then picking my daughter up in order to drive all the way out to a game in another town that would just get cancelled in the first inning? Normally I would have been, but it was actually really fun.
Watching the kids laughing in the rain and screaming as the clouds clapped was funnier than any ball game. And I was lucky because we were carpooling with friends and got to chat the whole way there and back.
Normally, it’s just me in my little VW Beetle with one or more kids to contend with. But sometimes it’s them contending with me.
“Ewwww,” my daughter moaned today, pinching her nose as she climbed into my car.
“What is that?!” her friend asked as she entered cautiously, with a look of horror on her face.
“My mom forgot a whole jug of chocolate milk in the trunk after grocery shopping last month,” Daisy explained dramatically. “Half of it leaked all over and now it smells like a dead body in here.”
Her exaggeration was over the top, but she was right to moan over our smelly discovery from earlier. The odour of curdled milk is disgusting, and I hadn’t had a chance to shampoo my Mommy-cab yet.
But within seconds the girls forgot about the stench and started singing their hearts out to a Taylor Swift song that they requested four times in a row before reaching our destination.
You see, I am also their deejay. And as soon as I’m finished writing this column I will pick them up and become a detailer too. With a little help from my non-paying passengers, of course.
Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. She can be contacted at LoriWelbourne.com