The secret life of a dad on a day off who still puts the twins in nursery
DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR A FIRST-TIME DAD OF TWINS
THERE’S no money back service at nurseries if your child is ill or on holiday. This is perfectly understandable, they’re businesses and need to budget for all eventualities.
The owner can’t turn away a nursery assistant with, ‘Thomas and Emma aren’t in today, so you won’t be busy enough and we’re not paying you’.
Unfortunately, there is a problem with this system.
I like to get my money’s worth, so there’s an awkward relationship between days off and childcare.
This week, I’ve taken the twins into nursery for their usual three days, despite not technically needing childcare.
I drop them off and the nursery assistant says: “Have a nice day at work.”
I reply: “Thank you, yes, hope it’s nice and quiet.”
For some reason, I’ve chosen to live a secret life rather than admit to nursery I’m not at work. I’m even conscious of not dressing down too much so they don’t get suspicious.
Yesterday, I even said, ‘Yeah, should be alright today, there’s somebody new starting who should be a big help,’ to give a bit more depth to my lie.
What I’m trying to do is paint a picture of a hard-working caring father, yet the reality is a man hurrying off to put Homes Under The Hammer on the telly, while he potters around doing menial tasks and eating snacks.
Childcare may feel like an awkward luxury, but there are a few factors in my defence for such selfish behaviour.
Firstly, nothing quite beats the feeling of freedom after dropping children off at nursery for the day.
You wave goodbye to them then drive away feeling younger – maybe even lighter – with the windows down and the radio on a little louder.
The second is an excuse frequently used by parents who send children to boarding schools when they’re seven years old. They probably enjoy it more at nursery because there are toys and children to play with.
While this may be true, I feel being seven years old and sleeping in a shared dormitory with lots of other boys might be a path to Westminster but not to childhood happiness.
Also, time off from work is mostly spent finding space, tidying and buying things all related to the twins.
A Royal weddings documentary on television this week has helped ease my guilt. It showed aristocratic folk with children arriving at social events flanked by nannies.
It made me realise, if people without an actual job require 24-hour assistance with their offspring, so they can get drunk at weddings, then maybe my secret existence isn’t too bad.
Richard tried to hide his sadness at dropping the twins at nursery