Expat Magazine

One Less Child but My Life's Even Busier?

By Expatmum @tonihargis
How'd that happen?
I was obviously delusional when I thought life would be simpler with one less child at home. Meals, for example, would no longer be restricted to her white-meat-only diet. We can have red meat occasionally without me having to cook a piece of salmon for her. The laundry would be vastly reduced, and yes, that's happened.
What I didn't account for was
- the fact that if the Man-Child (almost 16) needs to go anywhere, the Queenager's not around to either drive him there or watch the 8 year old when I drive. That means I have to schlepp the Little Guy everywhere with me, and that's going to make for one very grumpy 8 year old when it's ten below outside.
- if the Man-Child's social life takes off this year, it means I have to go back to babysitters if, by some miracle, I have a social engagement too! Babysitters! After 5 years of not having to think of that, I'm well out of the loop and have no contacts.
- When the Ball & Chain's out of town, life becomes exponentially more complicated. For example, the Man-Child's recent school trip next week involved me attempting to get him to a downtown train station by 7am on a school morning. Not only did this suggest me dragging my sorry self out of bed an hour earlier than I usual, but waking the 8 year old at 6, getting his school stuff together, making his lunch etc. etc. all before 6.30am. Definitely something to avoid and very tempting to just leave him sleeping in bed, but that's illegal so I didn't. Fortunately I put out an SOS to nearby parents and they gave the Man-Child a ride.)
- Oh, and of course there's the compulsory ER/A&E visit, which always occurs when the Ball & Chain is out of town. Sure enough, last Tuesday I got the call from the school nurse saying that the Man-Child had ripped his finger on the school bus safety belt hole (don't ask) and it looked "really bad". Had to take Little Guy out of school half an hour early and schlepp him to the hospital with us. No Queenager around to come and collect him and take him home. Fortunately this time we were only there for two hours. Sigh.
I'm sure it'll all settle down soon....

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