The case in my defence m’lud.
I’d just dropped Sam off at nursery. This job involves winding my way up a very inhospitable road, filled with dog poo, too narrow pavements and perilously fast driving numb-skulls. I’d handed Sam over and breathed a sigh of relief. Now my day was to begin.
I worked through the mental list of things I needed to do. By ‘mental list’ I mean a list in my mind, rather than a list of ‘mental’ things (i.e. strip naked and climb a lamppost – which I’ve never done, honest.) My ‘to do’ list was extensive, ranging from work emails, people to chase up and things to write, all the way through to ironing, hoovering and maybe a sly nap*.
* As a side note, naps are now officially my favourite thing. The idea of a quick, totally impromptu snooze is bliss. If only I could persuade Sam to take more of them!
Anyway, I was wandering down the road, avoiding the dog poo and hopping on and off the too narrow pavements when a the strangest of feelings hit me. I felt almost like I’d forgotten something. I did the usual patting process. You know the one… phone, wallet, keys…
They were all there.
As I don’t carry anything else of value. I came to the conclusion I was having anxiety about forgetting something for no good reason. It was probably due to sleep deprivation. I made the mental note to move a cheeky nap up my ‘to do’ list – I was clearly in need of one.
I got to the front gate, nicely sidestepping the massive poo left in the middle of the path by some kind local and their dog (I realise I make a big assumption here… but I hope there was a dog involved). I got my keys out, unlocked the front door and stepped inside. It wasn’t until I was halfway through making myself a cup of coffee that I had a pang that something was wrong.
I stepped into the dining room, where the pram is usually kept and was about to call out to Sam’s mum: “Where’s the pram?”
When I remembered I’d left it outside the nursery.
I’m glad Sam was at nursery, because, for a moment or two, the air was filled with the type of language that I’d really prefer that he didn’t hear.
Profanities liberally scattered around the house, I charged out again, avoiding the poo once more and wound my way up the awkward road to the nursery. As I walked I prayed that somehow I might retrieve said perambulator without anyone noticing. I’d grab it and head home, and no more would be said. No embarrassing conversations, nothing.
Is that what happened?
Of course it didn’t! The first person I met was the owner of the nursery. A lovely chap who grinned widely on seeing my sheepish return.
“You can leave that there all day if you like,” he said, kindly.
“It’s fine,” I replied, channeling my inner teenager. “I’ll take it…”
“Did you forget it?” the owner asked.
“Yes…” I muttered.
“Happens all the time.”
As I walked back home, winding along the awkward pavement, dodging the poos and recently lobotomized drivers – is 50 really a good speed to travel at on a road with a blind turn and no room for overtaking? – I comforted myself I hadn’t done ‘A Cameron’*
I mean I felt embarrassed enough forgetting the pram, how would I have felt forgetting Sam?
*David Cameron, ex-British Prime Minister, once famously left one of his young children at a country pub, and went home, forgetting them.
From now on I’ve decided to add a few items to my checklist: phone…wallet…keys… pram… Sam.
Luckily the last two objects on this list rhyme. Fingers crossed I can remember at least four of the five most days. Parenting, I’ve discovered, is all about setting yourself achievable goals.
The Out of Depth Dad