Hoola hoops and skittles

I was on a training course yesterday. It took place a plush London building which had amusingly named rooms and skittles and hoola hoops in the corridors. I think that meant it was a ‘creative space.’

I didn’t play with the skittles, or see anyone who wanted a game. I did have a nice lunch in the ‘caf,’ ate loads of  fruit and biscuits in the ample breaks, and brought home branded pens and a pad of paper. I also learned a lot about social media strategy, which my boss will be glad to hear as he was paying for all this, including the  lunch and biscuits. It was a good day, certainly better than the daily grind.

I got a certificate too. Just for turning up. Like that time in the school swimming lesson where they gave me a 10m certificate even though my feet touched the floor of the pool most of the way.

I’d arranged to meet an old friend when I finished the course, but she couldn’t make it. So I could go home early and get the kids to bed.

If I got the 5.37 pm train I’d arrive home to ask if homework was done, make packed lunches, ask my boy if he wanted milk and biscuits, fetch milk and biscuits, discard untouched milk and biscuits, supervise my boy brushing teeth, supervise my boy washing face, brush my boy’s teeth, wash my boys face, find pyjamas, turn pyjamas the right way out, ask my boy to put his pyjamas on, put my boy’s pyjamas on for him, read the bedtime story, refuse to read the bedtime story again, find ‘little lamb’, turn the light low, turn the light higher,  turn the light lower while he wasn’t looking, sing twinkle twinkle little star, exit room, ask daughter to find PE kit, find PE kit, persuade daughter it was bed time, tell daughter again that it was bed time, kiss goodnight, sit on sofa, find easy watching TV, drink glass of wine.

Or… if I got a later train, I would arrive home, sit on sofa, find easy watching TV, drink glass of wine.

These were my two options, and no one was expecting me to be home in time for bed time.

Of course family routine is a pleasing thing, I like homely stuff, well most of the time. I had missed my kids in the morning because I’d  had to catch an early train. But would they miss me if I didn’t show at bedtime? I didn’t think so. They would enjoy Dad being in charge. Bedtime would probably be later than usual. There would be chuckles when he got the words to twinkle twinkle wrong again. He wouldn’t know it was PE on Tuesday. I might still have to make packed lunches when I got home. But everything would be just fine.

So I looked around the smart shops at St.Pancras station. I bought a salad in a cafe where you selected ingredients and they tossed it all together for you. It was like a healthy pick and mix. I bought a birthday card, I looked at some jewellery and then books… I looked at the station board for the times of trains.

I caught the 6.07pm and was home for the bedtime drill.

Maybe I’m institutionalised to this life? Or  maybe I’m just not as keen on shopping as I used to be.

I told my kids about the hoola hoops in the corridors and they were impressed. We laughed about making pick and mix salads. The bedtime stuff happened, as it always does, then I kissed my kids goodnight, sat on the sofa, found easy watching TV, drank a nice glass of wine knowing I’d earned it.


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