Visited the orthodontist yesterday, with daughter No. 2. On leaving the house I realised that I didn’t have enough change for the bus. Indeed, as it turned out, I had hardly any money at all in my purse (I know, I know forward planning and all that). Add to this the fact that we were very tight for time and all the ingredients for a stress-filled trip were in place. A quick visit to the nearest ATM complete, we arrived at the bus stop with, literally, two minutes to spare (bus due at 9.58, time on mobile phone – my watch strap broke months ago and I haven’t got round to replacing it – 9.56). I left No. 2 at the bus-stop with her bus fare (I had just enough money for that) and intructions to get on the bus by herself if I wasn’t out of the nearby shop by the time it came. About a minute and a half later, I was paying for my newspaper when I saw a bus at the bus stop and No. 2 gesticulating wildly and shouting “Mum, COME ON!” I legged it out the shop and together we ran to the bus stop. As we ran something fell from the window of the flat above the shop and hit No. 2 on the head. “Are you OK?” enquired the electrician, who had just hurled the offending object (a coil of cable). As No. 2 seemed fine, I replied with a brisk “Yes, but more by luck than judgement!” and went to board the waiting bus. “Not that one Mum!” yelled No. 2. I then realised that TWO buses had arrived at once (What are the chances, eh?) So I aplogised to the driver and stepped aside. Meanwhile, no doubt suffering from delayed shock, No. 2 began to cry and an old lady appeared at my shoulder to exhort me to go back and “make a fuss”. At approximately the same time, a plumbers van pulled up between the buses and the driver wound down the window and, pointing at the electrcian, shouted to me “He’s up there!” Being the caring parent I am, I muttered something about a dental appointment, shouted my thanks to the plumbers, thanked the old lady and got on the (right) bus. I had to apologise to that driver too, as he wasn’t best pleased at having been unable to pull into the bus-stop due to to the plumbers van. However, once I explained the situation, he offered to call an ambulance!
Finally I was able to sit down and remind myself why I gave up driving. It was just too damn stressful…
* OK, it was a bus but I don’t know any slogans about buses.