It always happens, doesn’t it. Self-congratulation is to be avoided at all costs. I may have made it to nursery in good time after a 50 mile trip, but with one mile to travel I found myself well behind schedule yesterday. And as a result a magnet for the slowest drivers on the road: wobbling bike riders, never-ending bendy buses, stalled eighty year old learners.
Finally I arrived at the nursery, leapt out of the car and pressed the buzzer of shame. "Ah yes, good afternoon, your daughter is downstairs in the older children’s class." came the polite but unimpressed response.
In the middle of the classroom sat the teacher and a large group of young children, all of whom turned to stare at me as I entered. My daughter was sitting in the corner unhappily sucking her thumb, surrounded by her belongings: backpack, cuddly toy, drawing. "I made this for you daddy!" She said, brightening.
The teacher looked on disapprovingly. I expected her to say: "Well you’ve let your daughter down and you’ve let us down. But more importantly you’ve let YOURSELF down…"
Instead she just said "Best get her home." and looked at me pityingly.
I gathered up my daughter and her belongings and exited behind a barrage of thank yous, determined to arrive half an hour early on Monday. I can't escape the feeling that I have let down stay at home dads everywhere when that sort of thing happens. I really must try harder.