Three children strapped in the car. Check.
Three pairs of shoes. Check.
Fuzzy blankets, dummies and bottles to satisfy for the next four hours. Check.
One trip back inside the house to extract favourite slightly wet Bertie bunny from the drier. Check.
Three kisses and I love yous delivered to children as they prepare for takeoff. Check.
Just one more hug for good measure. Check.
All systems go and pre-departure checklist complete – chauffeur driver (daddy) in place and windows raised. All tray tables safely stowed away and seats returned to the upright position.
And then with a flurry of waving, air kisses and excitement, the car doors close and off they go… let the “Me Time” begin. Four whole hours of infinite possibility and gay abandon, topped off with no responsibility and time off the clock. A brief return to singledom and a peek at my pre-parenting days.
Pass the cocktails, recline the deck chair and bring on the relaxing music.
Its Me Time, yes Me Time , the elusive kid-free, completely on your own, no one visiting you in the bathroom, no cutting up fruit or rescuing Lego from a small brothers oesophagus. No one calls your name repeatedly as you stand millimeters away and no one creates track marks on your new ponti pants ( yes they are called this ) with a Scooby Doo racing car.
It’s safe to put that coffee mug down, or to at least try to locate the 18 cups that are distributed around the house in a Hansel and Gretel style. One might read a book , take a trip to the hairdressers or simply try and navigate her way around the exceptionally large mound of washing that has taken up residence on the sofa.
Oh the possibilities! Sleep, phone calls to friends overseas with tricky time differences, a long shower or time to catch up on the paperwork that now constitutes a fire hazard in your in-tray. It’s limitless and well deserved, we tell ourselves, as the four hours slip past like seconds.
What red blooded, completely sleep-deprived, coffee-craving, overworked, underpaid parent capable of producing a paper mache Stegosaurus as she juggles homemade San Choi Bao and critiques the Snow White play currently being staged on the antique dining table, would not rejoice in a little ME TIME?