My years as a mum taxi are officially over – the youngest got her P plates yesterday.
The enormity of it hit me late last night and I felt a bit wobbly about my redundancy.
I’ve taken this week off work and the past two days have been devoted to Operation Licence, combined with the festival of the youngest’s birthday.
I accompanied her to a driving lesson on Tuesday morning – with a lovely lady called Jan – as prep for her test.
We barely made it there because I was hit with a tummy upset.
Crook as Rookwood, no idea why.
The rest of my morning was spent in various bathrooms, both public and private.
I was still pretty wan by Tuesday afternoon, but I needed to accompany the youngest to an information night for AFL, followed by her annual teppanyaki birthday dinner.
At 4pm she archly asked how her birthday cake was going.
There was no birthday cake going.
Cue mother panic.
Procuring a birthday cake for an everyday teenager would be no biggie, but the youngest doesn’t eat sugar. I didn’t have the energy or the baking skills to whip something edible up, so I shuffled to Coles and, in a flash of genius, bought half a watermelon, a tub of double cream, a punnet of raspberries, a punnet of blueberries, some candles and a bag of sugar-free chocolate bits and created this …
Then we dashed to the AFL meeting with it on my lap and raced 15 minutes late to dinner.
Participating in teppanyaki always reminds me of my friend Mel’s 40th birthday party at a tenpin bowling alley. My appalling bowling efforts drew a crowd and became the entertainment for the evening. Mortifying. I am literally the least sporty person on the planet.
The same thing happens at family teppanyaki dinners – everyone falls apart with laughter as I routinely fail to catch ANYTHING.
But not this time …
On the chef’s third attempt to throw egg into my mouth I caught it!!!!!
Miracles do happen.
Who’s laughing now? Me!
The youngest’s birthday dawned yesterday with the gift of a Red Herring hoodie from Hobart.
About a year ago the eldest found a Red Herring hoodie lying on the ground at Marrickville Station and gave it to the youngest. It has gone on to become her favourite item of clothing.
As DD and I were driving into Hobart last week I spotted the Red Herring kombi that features on her hoodie perched on a shopfront and excitedly messaged the youngest, who told me that it was a Tassie chain with no online store.
The minute we checked into the hotel, I raced over and discovered it was a regular surf shop, rather than one filled with Red Herring branded merchandise. I asked the young lass behind the counter if there was anything with the Red Herring logo on it and she pointed to one unremarkable cream T-shirt. Everything else was sold out. I was about to buy the t-shirt when I spotted this men’s hoodie …
Gift sorted. Daughter delighted.
Then we headed to Service NSW at Warriewood Square, where the youngest had organised her 17th birthday driving test to get her P plates.
Stress levels were high for both mother and child.
I was planning to pop to Kmart for jeggings while she was having the test, but I was so strung out that I stayed put in the waiting area.
When the testing guy announced she’d passed I started clapping in delight and almost cried. I was so excited I forgot to take the obligatory child-with-P-plate photo.
Then we drove home to have a pub lunch, with the youngest sipping on a mocktail to celebrate.
Both the youngest and my car disappeared immediately afterwards and I am hoping both will return safely sometime tonight.
I should feel relieved that the mum taxi years are over, but I’m actually a bit sad that I am no longer required.
While driving the youngest around was often a drag, it was also a chance to connect. I will miss our time together.
Song of the day: Paul McCartney “Drive my car”
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