Watching men in suits delivering their children at school is one of my favourite pastimes. At least they are making the effort, I suppose. “Come on” they hiss as they tug their child along the pavement, itching to get onto their Blackberry and thinking about their ten o’clock meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I remember those days, when I wore a suit and thought about different things. But allow me my moment.
How long will it be though? It's scary, this game of childcare chicken that I’m playing. I’m probably at the clenched-hands-on-the-steering-wheel stage, on a scale of hairs-raised-on–the-back-of-the-neck to needing-a-change-of-clothing. There I am, bolting along, surrounded by the aroma of burning savings, while childcare rattles towards me with fire leaping out of its expensive twin exhausts. Will I brake before childcare piles into me head on? Or will I jump out before impact? I really don’t know. It’s a funny thing, living on savings. That’s what they are for, after all. But it’s not human nature actually to want to use them.
Occasionally a friend gets made redundant and rediscovers his children; but then eventually gets another job. “I’ll miss the boys” said one the other day, shaking his head sadly as he contemplated returning to work after six months. It reminds me why I am doing what I am doing. It’s a privilege to be able to spend time with my daughter. I love her foibles and good humour, she appreciates my reliability and the change in my pocket for an ice cream. I don’t envy the men in suits anything, except of course their bank balances.