Being a dad of four kids - aka being a taxi driver
“Being a dad of four kids is hard.” I don’t know how many times I’ve said that.
Possibly as many times as I’ve said “oh it’s not too bad, you get used to it” about the same four monsters.
Time is speeding by now though, and whereas every other weekend in the past I could be sure that I would have to entertain four kids with a six year age gap between eldest and youngest pretty much from picking them up every other Friday to dropping them back to their mum’s on a Sunday.
These days I never know from one day to the next what they will be doing. The eldest has just finished her first year in senior school (and as I write this is currently away on holiday with the family of her best friend) and middle daughter starts senior school in September and - as her mum and I agreed this time last year - she is now allowed to meet friends in town and go off with them for a while.
The culmination of which is that I am left with the two youngest - aged 7 and 9 - and they are keeping themselves entertained having persuaded me to take them to Wacky Warehouse in town where they can run around without the constant whine of “God this is boring” that normally flows from the eldest two.
Of course, parents of older children will look at this and smile because they’ll know there’s more to it than that. The eldest two may well have left their soft-play years behind them, but they have not so much dipped their toe into the pool of asking-for-a-lift so much as started diving headfirst in from the top diving board at the parents-are-expected-to-be-our-personal-taxis Swim Academy.
Having four of them expecting this service in years to come could be a heavy burden though thankfully made easier by the ex-wife having access to a car, which means we can share the responsibility.
For now though I’ll happily flit between the two, picking them up and dropping them off as I am told (and so often it really does feel like I’m being told rather than asked), or trying to teach my 7-year-old “Daddy, I’m a pig, oink oink” son how to find truffles with his snout.