Attentive readers will remember that out childminder is leaving us in the middle of June. In our wisdom, Mr. Waffle and I have decided to try to mind the children ourselves until September. If we hire someone now, we will have to pay the person for August when we will be on holidays, so it is almost cheaper for me to take a couple of weeks unpaid parental leave and hire somebody new in September.
My very obliging employer has allowed me to work full time until our childminder leaves and take the one half day I would have taken each week (more parental leave) later in the summer. Are you still with me? So, normally, on Wednesdays I collect the children from school. They have a shaky grasp of the days of the week (regular morning question – is today a school day?), so I thought that they would not notice when I didn’t appear today. Well, it turns out that the Princess has a very good grasp of the days of the week and she was expecting me and, boy, was she upset when I didn’t turn up. She was gutted the childminder tells me. She told me herself – “Mummy, I trusted you, how could you lie to me? I cried and cried and turned into a tomato on the street. I was so sad and it was so embarrassing.”
In other heart-rending news, she took me aside and whispered, “Mummy, we have a school tour but it’s very expensive.” “How much?” I asked filled with foreboding. “I know that you are very worried about all the money we have to give to the banks, Mama (a reference to the collapse of the Irish banking sector about which I have been complaining rather than our mortgage repayments to which I am resigned) and I saw that Daddy had to pay €100 to the school this morning for the creche (after school care for the boys who finish an hour earlier than herself), so, if we can’t afford it, it’s ok.” “Oh sweetheart, of course, we can afford it, how much is it?” I said. “Mama, it’s [dramatic pause] €24.” The poor mite, I do feel sorry that she worries about these things though, it doesn’t really seem to have given her an appreciation of the value of money.
And in slightly related news, this popped into my inbox this afternoon:
ESRI Research Seminar: “Part-time Working and Pay Among Millennium Cohort Study Mothers”
Venue: ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2.
Time: 4 p.m.
Speaker: Prof Shirley Dex, Professor of Longitudinal Social Research, Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), Institute of Education, London.
How interesting, I thought to myself, I might take a couple of hours off work and go and have a listen. Except of course, I can’t because, ironically, I will be minding the children. Perhaps you’d like to go yourself.