It was only as I heard her call from upstairs that I glanced at the clock and did a double take because it said 3.10. Dash gets out of school at 3.15. Usually I make sure to wake Mabel by at least 2.45 if she's still napping, so that she'll be decently attired (by which I mean, at all) and snacked and mollified before we leave on foot / in stroller at 3.00. Yesterday I thanked my lucky stars that she had woken herself in the nick of time, stuffed her unceremoniously into the car, found the last parking spot, and managed to make it to school no later than we would on a normal not-early day. He was the penultimate kindergartener sitting waiting on the wall.
Today the timer is set so that there will be no forgetting. Can you imagine? The tears, the guilt, the anxiety? I was one of those children who would get myself into a lather of worry when I thought I was late home and that my mother would be concerned, only to have her look at the clock vaguely and say, "Are you a bit late? Oh," when I arrived panting and tearful through the door. (Okay, maybe that only happened once, and I was obviously a bit older than Dash is, but it's left a lasting memory.) And Dash is like that - he'll worry if I'm not where I'm meant to be when I say I'll be there.
Then there was the time a few years later on when I stayed out much too late on a first date that involved a walk both on the beach and then down the pier (not in the same place, though it sounds as if they should be), and my poor father was calling the hospitals by the time I came home. In these days of mobile phones, such a thing would not happen, but back then I erroneously decided I'd rather cycle straight home really fast than go out of my way looking for a phone box to ring home first and set their minds at rest. Young, misguided lust is really all I can blame for that one.
So this almost-lapse is being blamed on the fact that I'm still at least partially sick. But, having been on both sides of the worry-fence, I will do my very best not to ever let it happen for real; though I suppose I can't promise that my children won't do it to me.