This week Mrs B is away stamping her carbon footprint on the gardens of Normandy so I have the sheer joy of a week at home alone with the girls (aged 15 and 13). The end of the school year is always a busy time, with numerous exhibitions, spectacles and events to, errr, enjoy, and to escort the children to. This year is no different.
The other big thing about the end of the school year is the driving around. I have spent more or less the whole of the last few days ferrying children (our own and other peoples) to and from one event after another. My favourite was picking up daughter 1 in one town at just before 1.00am just to take her to another place equally far from where we live so she could party for a couple more hours.
‘Can we take this form to lycée?’ (50 km round trip); ”Can we pick up ….. on the way?’ (20 km round trip); ‘Can you pick me up from the cinema at midnight?’ (30 km round trip). The list is long, perhaps endless.
Most journeys seem to take place between 11pm and 2am, which wouldn’t usually be my chosen time for driving around the lanes of Lot-et-Garonne, especially since Mrs B has taken our reliable car and our GPS with her, so I’m left with a torch and a 2001 road map which is missing a few crucial pages. On Saturday night I spent over an hour on a journey which should have taken 15 minutes.
‘It’ll be funny just being the two of us at home,’ declared older daughter on Tuesday – before disappearing to her room to talk on facebook for hours on end, so I barely know she’s here.
Happily I’m usually shielded from their financial needs – Mrs B obviously thinks it’s better if I don’t know the real cost of having children. But this week I’m getting suspicious – they are always out doing things and meeting friends in cafes and not once has either of them asked me for money. I decided it’s best if I don’t ask how much she gave them before she went away.
There was one small exception. I had to take daughter 2 to the hairdressers this afternoon. A few months ago she dyed her hair with a temporary colourant, which suddenly and unpredictably turned permament. The hairdressers is only a couple of kilometres away so I was in a good humour until I was called in to pay. Cost of original dye – 10 euros. Cost of remedial treatment today to remove temporary colourant – 55 euros.
And there was me thinking children’s haircuts took 15 minutes and cost about five euros.
The other great mystery? We pay for both of them to have portable phones yet it is apparently impossible for them to ring me because it uses too much credit. If I had a phone myself they would text me, they say, but since I don’t…I have to just guess what is going on and what time I am supposed to be somewhere.
Rather ominously Mrs B said she didn’t know when she’d be coming back, so I managed to prise daughter 1 out of her room long enough this morning to go food shopping with me, in the hope that two inept people would have better results than one. Unfortunately all we could think of between us was nectarines, lager and bathroom potions, so at least the food bill is cheap this week.
And hopefully the hour in the supermarket and three days in the car counts as the quality time that I’ve been instructed to spend with them this week.