Tuesday 20 August 2019

Autumn impetus as calendar school year rolls round again

David Looby
David Looby
Santas gather in Duncannon, County Wexford. The post-summer madness begins.

By david looby

The time is now.

With the (official) arrival of Autumn, a new impetus has dawned in the Looby household. Lists are rapidly being written. Post-it notes have been stuck to everything and anything. The clock is ticking and the job list is mounting.

Although still in summer, there is a definite gear change which occurs in early August. Minds are cast forward into the even cooler months. Plans are hatched. There's talk of Christmas stock in the shops. School books and uniforms have to be bought.

The bills start to mount up and there's no end in sight.

It strikes me as funny that all of this coincides with the return of the school year as if we are all programmed for life from our formative school going years, in more ways than we can ever realise.

As part of the military-like preparations, the Good Woman kicked things off with a shopping trip. Taking the M50 we got to try out the new stretch of road, namely the Arklow/Rathnew motorway, arriving in Dublin quick as Saint Nick with The Little Fella, the Whirlind Princess having hopped off at her cousin's for a play day in Gorey.

Usually sticklers for sticking put and shopping local, I somehow got coerced into driving Miss Daisy up to Dundrum for the shop to end all shops.

As we only ever get up to Dublin every one or two years these days, it was great to get a break from routine, but having driven 630 kms the previous week to May and back, I was not looking forward to the drive. We had already sang every children's song we knew on the previous trip and my self esteem couldn't take any more 'free' afternoons spent making animal noises.

The shopping trip started well as we just sat down for a while, wrecked, to catch our breath and feed ourselves. The trouble began when The Good Woman disappeared into the crowd, with a concerned look as my thousand yard stare greeted her as she left.

What to do with a hyperactive almost two-year-old in a massive shopping centre for five hours? Having bought him a chocolate teddy bear, which he devoured, my ideas ran dry. I put him in creche, but he looked so distraught even the creche owner suggested I take him back out.

There was nothing for it but to look in the shops. Now, anyone who knows me knows I need to get new clothes. As a working dad there are certain allowances that are made and you don't always have to look like a million euros. Still though, there are limits. As I roamed the lonely, gaping halls of the shopping centre, I managed to track down a decent shirt to replace the increasingly frayed shirt I always wear for important occasions.

I even bought a few ties, which will come into use when I finally get a new suit, seven years on from the last one I bought.

The day passed by painfully slow and I didn't have the energy to chase my son around, so we bought just moped about, him restrained in his red buggy, me in a giant capitalistic monolith.

Upon meeting up with my shopping bag laden wife, and discussed a further purchase, she declared, 'don't speak another word'.

The day's activities had proven too much.

The Whirlwind Princess was equally wrecked after a day's fun. She had learned something also.

'I don't want to be Rapunzel anymore, Daddy. I mean how does she even go to the toilet or brush her hair.'

Now back to my own lists!

Wexford People