So another school morning has been and gone. It’s 9.30am. My house looks like it got raided by the police and I’m ready for bed. Why does this always happen? I start planning for the school run at 8pm the night before.
I lay out tomorrow’s clothes on the sofa, in the order the girls need to put them on. I put bowls, spoons and cereal on the table. I prepare reading bags and lunchboxes. I lay shoes by the front door. I line up toothbrushes, vitamins and face creams, set up the ‘hairdressing station’ with sprays, brushes and an assortment of bands and clips.
I spend so bloody long getting ready for the next day that by the time I go to bed it’s almost time to get up.
And yet for all my preparation, the next day always goes like this.
Thing-two wakes (in my bed, where she stole my sleep) grumpy and refuses to get up. When she finally makes it downstairs she has a wally-fit over the uniform I’ve laid out, the same uniform she herself picked the night before.
Thing-one sneaks off to make a den, while Thing-one knocks over the Shreddies. The dog races over to eat them off the floor, Thing-three kneels down to join him. I start shouting.
Twenty minutes later I am still shouting. No-one is dressed, no-one has had breakfast (except the dog), pyjamas and stuffed toys are all over the floor and Thing-One won’t let me up the stairs to get dressed until I tell her Pelican puppet the secret password.
Meanwhile Thing-two has pulled out all the clean and ironed uniforms looking for a different version of the exact same outfit laid on the sofa, and Thing-three, who has been sent downstairs to get her shoes on, is naked and playing with the mop.
The sweets come out. While they wrestle with the wrappers I manage to get a hot flannel over their faces and a lopsided pony-tail in their hair.
Things seem to be going well, until it comes to teeth brushing, when the arguments about who owns which toothbrush and which flavour toothpaste they want start. By this time the schedule has gone to shite, I’ve lost my phone and car keys and we are five minutes late.
No-one has their shoes on, the coats are not where I left them and instead of carrying lunchboxes the children carry toy ducks, Polly Pockets, twigs and Smiggle rubbers that they ‘simply must’ take to school.
This is about the time one of them tells me they were supposed to make a rocket last night, with moveable parts, or learnt spellings for a test that morning.
This is also about the time I start screaming, and the time that Thing-three decides to start eating her lunch.
By the time we make it to the car we are all crying. We tumble out into the car park covered in dog hair, and looking like we got in a fight (and lost).