Get up, get out of bed, drag a comb across my head€¦
Well two out of three of these things were achieved this morning. The third I have generally abandoned. Even if I could find a comb, I am a disciple of whichever celebrity it was that championed tousled hair. In the endless quest to get to the school gate on time, the €˜bed head' look has given me back a precious few minutes. Of course they are invariably swallowed up by explosive nappies or bumped heads, but sometimes nothing happens and I get to drink a cup of tea that hasn't gone stone cold. The only proviso is not to look in the mirror - if you think you look like a €˜beach babe' then you'll carry it off better.
To launder or not to launder€¦that is the question.
As usual I have made the blurry morning error of giving the kids cereal after getting them dressed. They are now covered in what could be cement mix, but is probably just banana mixed with milky gloop. There are two choices here - re-dress them and double the days laundry, or attempt a quick wipe down knowing that once the gloop has dried on, the clothes will never be €˜properly clean' again. I go with the latter, reasoning that they'll soon outgrow what they are wearing anyway.
Brush, don't chew!
Dressed and fed, my least favourite clash is ahead. There are massive protestations about tooth brushing in our house, yet as soon as they have the sticks of minty goodness in their mouths, they won't give them back. The same goes with washing hands and faces. As soon as the tap is running my 4 year starts to dive his toothbrush under waterfalls and looks for anything else he can plunge into the sink. €œCome on, we don't have time€ is ignored, so I pull out the random €˜reach them at their level' style reasoning of €œMr Brush can't learn to swim now as he needs to have a rest from all that great brushing€. Bingo! I even squeezed in some positive reinforcement!
I have perfected the lunchboxes. The key is to do each element at once, like a processing line at a factory. Butter all the bread, chop all the cheese and throw an apple into each. Of course various modifications must be made - unsalted butter and mild cheese do not offer the greatest taste sensation, so adults get a big dollop of spicy chutney. Mini pots of yoghurt go into the kids, Greek yoghurt with honey goes into the adults. Instead of water my partner gets a flask of coffee. Zip, zip, zippety, zip - we're done.
An Olympic sport?
Each Olympics a new sport is added. I propose that the school run is included for the next. It would be like a triathlon. The first leg is at the door; shoes on, coats on, hats and scarfs on€¦ why have you taken your shoes off??....shoes on again, bags on and GO! Part two is the €˜running but appearing to be walking' gait of a parent or carer as they try and propel their children to move €˜a little bit quicker' towards the school. Part three is the nail biter - the scrum at the gates to get the kids in with all their bits and bobs. I think it would be a winner - it's competitive, has drama and I almost always feel like a massage is required afterwards!
We're done. I head back home with the carefree stride of my youth and run my fingers through my hair. I find a bit of cereal. Perhaps I should have checked the mirror before I left. My husband calls. He has found a Peppa Pig yoghurt in his lunchbox. I'd better head back to the school before my pre-schooler starts to drink that flask of nuclear-strength coffee.