So here's the thing. As far as I can see, there are three kinds of people in my day to day existence. First there are the super efficient- those who are energetic and organised, who invariably look immaculate, whose children always have clean, ironed uniforms and shiny hair that no louse would dare to invade. These are the people on the P&C, the ones who have calendars and organisational apps they actually use and exercise schedules and bottles of vitamins that they keep in the bathroom cabinet.
They are not only aware of when their children's homework is due but also actively participate in it. They know the names of everyone in their child's class. They engage in family activities like bike riding and baking. Their dog is clean and free of fleas and knows not to go anywhere near their bed, let alone pee in it. School lunches are made from scratch and are nutritionally balanced and varied. They shop with a list and can tell you with slightly alarming fervour where to find the best bargains for cleaning products.
It is impossible to ever drop in on them and find their house in any state other than magazine-worthy and their cars are devoid of rubbish and mystery aromas. They care about the hygiene of their fridge. They make financial plans and no doubt stick to them. They go out for dinner and stop drinking after a couple of glasses of wine. They probably even drive home and have a good night's sleep before they go for an early morning pilates class in their Lulu Lemons. I find these people scary.
The second kind are the conscientious objectors of modern life. They never, ever get to school before the morning bell rings. Their children invariably turn up to events on the wrong day with the wrong shoes because their eyeballs have never scanned a school note. They would be more likely to trek to the South Pole than help in the classroom. They remember to give their kids lunch a fair amount of the time. They bring their slightly odd but generally hilarious and occasionally disturbing offspring to your house for a play date and do return- eventually. Often on the same day they left them but not always. Their houses are a jumble of cheerful chaos, dust bunnies and fairy lights and when you drop in they offer you a cup of tea and then forget to make it. They open a bottle of wine instead. At 3.30. On a Monday. They too have bicycles, which decorate the front porch and haven't moved in five years. They prefer to think of rules as applying only to others and have been clinging to their adolescent anti-authoritarianism for so long that it never occurs to them that they could be the ones in charge. They still haven't left the party, which started about twenty years ago. I find these people highly entertaining but also a little bit of a headspin, because their boundaries can seem somewhat elusive, if they are visible at all.
Then there's the third kind- people like me. A completely random and illogical mash up of the two. Disguised as one but with the other forever threatening to crash through. Constantly striving to keep it all together but frequently feeling like you didn't get the manual and that everyone else is doing everything better. Only remembering that you are the alleged adult in charge when you are confronted by your visage in the mirror on a Monday morning. Filled with good intentions but often confused by the conflict between your imaginary life and the real one. Highly competent in some regards and very, very useless in others. The way I live my life is kind of like the way my eldest child gets ready in the morning- erratically and consumed with shiny distractions and a lot of time spent upside down. But somehow, by some mysterious force, we make it across the finish line in a slightly breathless and dishevelled state, every day.