“THAT’S it,” the Missus announces. “We’re moving.”
Now that the twins are two-and-a-half, we have started looking at which primary school they might go to.
Because their birthday’s in July (same day, funnily enough), we’ll have to apply for schools next January. In the Missus’ book this means she has 12 months in which to panic.
Before I know it she’s scouring Google Maps and using the measuring tool (I have to show her how this works, naturally) to gauge how near or far her preferred options are from our front door. “It’s bad,” she tells me when I come back to the kitchen an hour or so later. “It’s really, really bad.”
“To get to this school,” she explains, jabbing a finger at the laptop screen, “we ideally need to move here,” (at this point she circles a small area on Google Maps).
“The trouble is that if we move there, we’re closer to this high school (another jab at the screen) than we are to this one (a final, resigned point to the school she’s decided they absolutely must go to).
“I see,” I nod, pretending not to notice that she has the sort of wild-eyed stare sported by Hitler during his final days in the bunker (I wasn’t there, but I’ve seen the film).
“Well, I suppose we could always try to move here (I point to the area she ringed near her favoured primary school) and then later move there (I gesture to the vicinity of her preferred high school).
“Do you think so?” she asks, on the verge of tears. “Could we really do that?”
“I don’t see why not,” I say. “After all, we have got nearly nine years before they have to start.”
At this point she throws her arms around me and gives me a surprisingly powerful hug.
The next day we visit three pre-schools to have a look around for them starting in September.
Up to now, the twins have only been looked after by us, with help from our parents on the two days a week when both of us are at work.
“I’m just not sure how they’re going to react to this,” says the Missus, furrowing her brow as we drive to the first one. “I really think they might be a bit traumatised by it all.”
As soon as we arrive, the pair of them scamper off to different corners of the room and get stuck into the various activities with the other children.
When we ask to have a look at the outdoor area, we decide to leave my son inside as he’s plonked himself in the lap of the nearest member of staff and thrust a book at her so she can read him a story.
When we eventually have to leave, he starts crying.
“I reckon this pair would thrive anywhere,” I tell the Missus on the way home.
“I think you’re right,” she smiles back.
This is good. Especially as I’ve looked at house prices near the primary and high schools she’s picked out and there’s absolutely no way we’re going to be able to afford to move near them.