16:31: Call from Supernanny to Citydad, who happens to be in the middle of a "pick your own" with his kids, to share the news. Kids (who overhear conversation) are now upset too. Decision made to head straight home.
16:49: Call from CityMum to Citydad. She's told Supernanny she can fly home that day if she wants. Agree to speak again in a few minutes.
16:50: Follow up call from Supernanny to check on Citydad's whereabouts (just escaped from the corn-on-the-cob field and about to pay..) She's understandably not quite thinking straight as she is asking if we would be able to get her to Heathrow for a 1800 flight. We live a 30-minute drive away from Heathrow on a good day and this is M25 meltdown time, plus he is not even home yet. Dismiss the 1800 flight idea. Book later flight.
17:05: Arrive home. Supernanny is putting on a brave face. Kids tell me "see she's not upset". She says that she is. Citydad tells her if she wants to get to Heathrow they have to go right now.
17:15: All pile into the car and based on Flight ETD of 19:35 they feel optimistic. During the journey Citydad's three year old daughter accidentally makes everybody smile by saying "Supernanny's dog has just died, so much." First 15 minutes go well and Citydad gets excited by the thought of finally being able to put the car into "sport" mode but then they hit the M25. The next 7 miles take 1 hr 25 mins, during which time Citydad's son is sad that he's never going to play "fetch" with the dog.
18:55: Arrival at Terminal 3 finally with flight due to leave in 40 minutes. Supernanny leaps out and runs. They are quite sure she can't make it, but she does. "Super" by name, Super by nature.
Phew and breathe.
Uh oh. Now the realisation sinks in. How are we going to manage the kids on Thursday and Friday if Supernanny is not around? We totally depend on her and luckily for us she's totally dependable.
20:30: CityMum arrives home to find kids still having dinner and in need of dog bereavement counselling. Fast forward to 21:30 and a pow wow, not a bow wow, and a few phone calls later, we realise that Friday will be fine as my agile working wife is already off. Thursday is an issue though. My wife's away for a full office "sleep over", the previous nanny isn't available and all of my family are busy. I don't feel like trying to find another stranger through an agency so I decide that the only thing for it is for me to take an emergency day's holiday.
22:00: Citydad emails his boss and he is pretty sure that one of his staff taking a day off work because his kids' nanny's dog has died is a new one for the boss. This now parallels an authentic excuse Citydad gave to a teacher about 25 years previously when he told him he couldn't wear the right shoes to school as one of them was taken away by a dog.....(true story).
Moral of this story: Get two nannies, or just one with no pets? Perhaps or maybe: No matter how good a system you think you have, you should still prepare for the unexpected and you don't need to have your own pets to teach your kids about the inevitable.
N.B. This blog first appeared here: http://www.cityparents.co.uk/Blog/Cityfathers/304.htm on 12 October 2015