Introducing the ‘vaccuous parenting day’

parenting

This was the kind of thing I woke up to on Tuesday. It led to a ‘vaccuous parenting day’. Pic credit below.

Do you ever have what I term “vacuous parenting days”? These are days when you can be in the company of your kids for hours and hours at a time and yet do nothing constructive with them.

It’s happened to me a couple of times this week. When I have such days it makes me feel awful. Tuesday was an absolute classic that I have no desire to repeat.

I had plans. I was going to drop Helen, our six year old, off at school. Toddler Adams was going to come on the school run and we would do some grocery shopping together before going for a nature walk or painting or, frankly, anything that was fun.

What I hadn’t considered was that I’d walk out the house to embark on the school run only to discover the car had not one, but two, punctured tyres. A complicated logistical nightmare ensued as I got the eldest child to school and the car to Kwik Fit.

Needless to say the repairs took longer than expected and Toddler Adams and I had to wait in the reception area while the car was dealt with. Have you ever spent time in a Kwik Fit outlet with a two year old on a gloriously sunny day? Speaking from personal experience, I suggest avoiding it.

Later than planned, we embarked on our shopping trip. I would have postponed the trip but sadly it couldn’t be avoided because we were buying goods for a special event. When we got home it was lunch time. Toddler Adams then wanted her nap after which she woke up and it was time to collect her older sister from school. Following this there was the obligatory visit to the park and we then entered the evening dinner / bath / bed routine.

The entire day was gone. That poor toddler had been to Kwik Fit, Costco, Tesco and had a brief run around the park with a group of kids twice her age. Apart from the park, the only times she’d left her car seat were to be placed in a shopping trolley (or hang around Kwik Fit’s reception area). The opportunity to spend proper one on one time had been and gone, thanks to two ruined car tyres.

Earlier today I had a similar incident. I had a letter that needed to be sent via the signed for service. I had to visit three, yes three, Post Offices before I could find one that could take the letter. The first was too busy and the second, to my amazement, still operates half day closing on Thursday (I’m sorry, what decade are we in?). That was an hour of my life I’ll never get back that I could have spent doing something fun with my youngest.

I know you can’t plan for these events. You have to take them in your stride. When they happen, however, they make me feel like I’m letting my kids down.

Have do you cope with vacuous parenting days? What’s the worst one you’ve ever had? Please leave a comment below, I’d like to know.

Pic credit: David Blalkie, Sourced from Flikr. Reproduced under Creative Commons agreement.

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3 Comments

  1. June 19, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    Half day closing- what’s that??!
    I think you’re being too hard on yourself. Toddler Adams was with you so she’ll be happy regardless of where you are. No doubt you guys chatted, sang songs and generally giggled your way that Kwik Fit
    We had to Take little Mister on train them tube to Passport office they tube then train to collect his sister then car to take her to gym whilst he just watched her! Not great days but luckily for our kids they are few and far between!

    • John Adams
      Author
      June 22, 2015 / 9:31 pm

      I KNOW- I thought half day closing went out with the BBC computer. I can’t help being hard with myself, it’s in my genes!

  2. Sue Barsby
    August 26, 2015 / 12:20 pm

    I imagine half day closing is the result of stringent job cuts in a privatised service that we’re told few people use any more. Whether that’s correct or not (my PO always has masses of people using it) isn’t necessarily the case for the management.

    Days like that are frustrating so a) I always carry a book for her to read, b) do as much supermarket shopping as possible online (not always possible as I know you say earlier it was for an occasion) and finally, no matter how rubbish the day, there’s always time for coffee and a treat so we would usually sit and have that together and relax. I divide the day up “we have to do this, and after that we will go to the bookshop (a treat) or playground.”
    Ultimately, I bet your daughter’s memory of the day is different to yours, so don’t worry too much – she would have liked being with you, is my guess.