Mornings (school run morning madness to be precise) are always a messy manic affair. Mess in fact seems to have been a major companion in my life for the last 5-6 years!!!
It feels like it should be a joyful uplifting experience. In my head I have a Von Trapp family happily singing their way through the morning ritual of getting dressed, having breakfast and heading into the car. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
To be fair I think we’re pretty organised up until … those last 5 minutes!
The girls get up, get dressed and head down stairs to get breakfast. This is now pretty uneventful for which I am thankful for.
School uniform is generally mummy free apart from the odd ‘tricky’ button or missing article of clothing which is usually drying on a radiator or in the washing machine! The toughest time for me was when they wanted to get dressed themselves but needed help that they of course didn’t want! Crying on the floor because they couldn’t get their tights on followed by screaming at the top of the stairs because ‘I was really mean and had helped them put their tights on’, was not a good start to the morning! Still, life moves on. Not always as fast as I would like, but it does move on!
Breakfast is also pretty stress free. For just over a year now, unless they want something hot like toast, porridge or a ‘big breakfast’ (that is a topic for another day) they make their own breakfast. We have always kept all their plates, bowls and cups on a bottom shelf in the kitchen (they are of a plastic nature). This was a surprisingly good move as their plates have been used to help them learn colours and count indirectly when they help get the table ready for various meals and have been used for an enormous amount of Teddy Bear picnics’. Just over a year ago we moved all their breakfast cereals down to a bottom shelf so they could make own breakfast. They put the bowls on the kitchen floor, pour in the cereal, then milk and carry it to the table. It was very successful. Okay, so I had to walk over a crunchy floor and milk river for quite a few mornings, but they soon got the hang of it, loved the independence and the mess was in a controlled environment. Don’t get me wrong the kitchen floor was sometimes a disaster and it was a just a bit stressful watching a gang of 3-4 year olds slop a trail of milk and cheerios to the table but it was a means to an end.
Then it’s back upstairs to wash, clean teeth and do hair x3. For some reason my girls are more than happy to wash their hands with soap and water but the face always seems to be an obstacle and I will always have one of the girls swearing blind she’s washed her face even though it is covered in toothpaste!
Back down stairs, shoes on, book bags, cardigans, toys and extras ready by the door ready to go. By 7am-7.15am it’s looking good …
I dutifully sit with and help my eldest do her violin or recorder practice, which requires at least a second cup of coffee. Aneira and Rowan head off into other worlds where they battle wickedy witches and escort a prisoner to her cell. At least one reading book will get an airing, occasionally 3 if we’re on top form (although this is a very rare occurrence). If we’re lucky only one cup of water will be knocked over and at least one of them will redesign their hair. Tarran joins her sisters for about 10-15 minutes of fun and it’s at that point I remember the extra bit of homework or the letter requesting something for school or the form that needed to be filled in … where the hell is it?? I take my eyes of them for a few minutes while I hunt down the lost item and when I look back it’s chaos. No shoes, hair a mess, book bags emptied, cardigans gone! … by 8.05am it’s looking bad and we’ve yet to deal with the object that Aneira & Rowan want to take to nursery suddenly being lost or not being good or interesting enough. We head into huffle puff territory as we desperately run around the house trying to find something interesting for EACH child to take. Today was relatively easy and they both settled on their automoblox cars (something that tey have previously refused to take in as it’s boring!). As for Friday ‘Show and Tell’ … groan!!!
By 8.10 we’re in the car, the girls are excitedly chatting and singing away and I’m a nervous wreck. I kiss and wave each one into class … big smiles, socks and cardigans inside out, wonky buttons and dodgy hair. You’ve got to love ’em!