'Tis the season to be jolly... busy and harassed

Trumpeter statue

'Tis the season to be jolly. But mostly, jolly busy. And harassed.

We seem to have presentation days and Christmas concerts coming out our ears. Occasionally they proceed from other parts of us too. Last week was the all important band performance evening. Our very first one.

As luck would have it (and it usually does), the concert was on the same night as swimming lessons. This was entirely predictable, but added another layer of complication to the logistics of getting everyone in the right place at the right time. But because we have shelled out the national debt so the juniors can learn to swim, heaven and earth is regularly rearranged so we don't miss a lesson.

Mobilising three junior recipe testers to an event and coming home again has its challenges. None of these challenges are ever mentioned in antenatal classes. But leaving home for multiple events before returning to the nest often requires the diplomacy and skill to make the UN weep. This was the state of play just to get us out the door:

Because there would be no time for the eating of a meal at a table, dinner boxes suitable for consumption in the back seat of a car, in a car seat, with a fork, had to be constructed and packed. Check.

One junior required full band uniform. Check.

Two juniors required swimming gear. Check.

The band uniform was too hot to wear in the tropical environment of the swimming centre. That junior required an alternate set of clothes. Check.

The band uniform then had to come off the body and go in a bag. Check.

The swimming gear was completely inappropriate for a band soiree. Those juniors required an alternate set of clothes. Check.

These alternate outfits had to go into a bag. Check.

One outfit per bag - the juniors can no longer share a change room at swimming. Check.

Including undies. Check.

Both types. Check.

The band junior's shoes were a wreck and had to be polished. The owner of said disgraceful shoes was sent outside to polish them. Check.

Shoes shined and equipment put away. Check.

Black blobs discovered on kitchen floor. Large lump of shoe polish discovered on the sole of the newly shined shoe. Request for shoes to be taken off immediately, if not sooner, issued. Check.

Remain calm, don't get shrill. Check.

Boot polish cleaned off kitchen floor. Check.

Carpet inspected for more boot polish. Check.

Junior, with shoes now in his hand, sent out to the front lawn to wipe his shoes on the grass. Check.

Race out the door on heels of that junior to ensure he didn't wipe his shoes in the cat vomit on said front lawn. Check.

We don't have a cat. Check.

Mental note to self that when I find the offending animal who threw up on our front lawn and waltzed off, I will commit grievous bodily... Check.

Remain calm. Don't get shrill. Check.

Frog march three juniors to the car. Check.

Seat belts on. Check.

Reverse out of the driveway. Don't forget to close the garage door. Check.

Make it to the end of the street. Check.

Listen patiently when a junior mentions he has forgotten his trumpet. Check.

Point out that it will be quite challenging to play in a band without an instrument. Check.

Pull the car over to the side of the road. Check.

Remain calm. Don't get shrill...