I had a minor panic attack last weekend. I dropped one of my kids off at the wrong party and drove the other to the wrong sports ground for their football match.
It never used to be like this.
Up until a few weeks ago I could remember the various commitments my boys had. A swimming lesson here. A bit of Auskick there. My 8 year old had a basketball match on a Saturday morning. Add in the odd play date and a party. It was easy. Often one parent could relax while the other did some dropping off.
Now all of a sudden, with what feels like little warning, we have hit the age of multiple and clashing commitments and I cannot keep up with it all.
Basketball training, soccer training and footy training are all on alternate evenings, at different times. Pick up and drop off rotations are scheduled but subject to last minute changes. They take part in matches which are played on weekends at different venues at different times. There is an irregular commitment to bring oranges and do time keeping duties. Mix in the usual swimming lessons, play dates and parties and I am all over the place. Physically and mentally. And I only have to deal with 2!
Logistical challenges aside one of the upsides is watching my boys play competitive sport. The joy they get from playing is worth the 7am Saturday starts. Win or lose they have so much fun during the game. And they get so much from it.
Our problem this year and one of the downsides about this new routine is game day clashes. They play in different teams on the same day, so inevitably this was going to happen. Most weeks they will be playing matches at the same time. We have our first collision this week. I have to choose which one to watch. Basketball or soccer. I have to pick the favourite child. Already the “please dad come to mine” has started.
As the weeks go on we will take it in turns. I go to one, my wife goes to the other. I want her to video the match I miss so I can watch it later in the day. That is going to take some convincing.
You would have thought that ferrying the kids around half of Melbourne while negotiating the various intricacies associated with it all was hard enough. But no. There is another layer. Another challenge.
Remembering the names of all the parents of the kids in the new teams, let alone the actual kids themselves is a nightmare. I cringe as I approach the new parents every week. Racking my brain trying to remember….was it John or Jim…..is that Xavier’s dad or Sebastiens…..
I can only get away with, “eh hello…….mate” for so long when they are calling me by my first name.
I can’t give the half laugh and ask for their name again like I usually do.
So I tried the old “you’ve got an unusual sounding name – how do you spell that again……”
“Oh I thought it was pronounced Dav-eed”.
The embarrassing silence as I backed away was a tad awkward.
From now on I think I will stick to “mate”.