Getting the Kids to School

I've just come back from dropping the boys off at their first day back at school. There are 72 more days of this to go until they break up and I'm already feeling drained!



Why are school mornings so stressful?

I don't know about you, but I find myself just barking instructions at the kids from the moment I wake up until I've dropped them at their classrooms. I feel like a Sergeant Major but better dressed.

Wakey wakey

When they were babies, they would wake up as soon as it was light, so anything from 5am to 7am. They couldn't care less if their parents were hung over or desperate for a lie in, and it made no difference if we experimented by putting them to bed really late the night before. I used to dream of the day when I would have to wake them up.

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. 7 years on, and nuclear rockets won't get them out of bed. I use all sorts of tactics: whistling in their ears; dropping cats on them (no cats are harmed during this process I promise); singing Alex Burke's "Halleluiah" at the top of my voice (which they hate - not the song, just me singing).

Eventually they emerge, but they are not happy.

Dressing in slow motion

Then there's the dressing. My 9 year old, thank goodness, sorts himself out - although he is spending at least 15 minutes on his hair these days, without any discernible results. It's really his brother that drives me insane.

Most 6 year olds have no problem getting dressed - unfortunately my 6 year old is the exception to the norm. I will shout up to his bedroom to ask him to get dressed and perhaps 30 minutes later he still hasn't got his pants on. A snail with a broken shell is quicker than him.

The real problem is that he is distracted by absolutely everything. If there's a book lying around, he'll read it. If there's a fly on the wall, he'll watch it. Even if there's nothing around to distract him, he'll talk to himself - for hours. Eventually he will come downstairs thinking he's dressed, but then you will notice that he's wearing his pants over his school shorts, and his pyjama top under his school jumper. It's enough to make you want to weep.

Spoon feeding may be the answer!

The worst part is yet to come though - breakfast. It can literally take hours for my youngest to eat. I'm seriously considering digging out the old high chair, strapping him into it and spoon feeding him because that would be quicker. But then you can't get food into his mouth because he's chatting. He will be telling you about his dream last night, which is never a short conversation. Or he will be having a discussion with his brother about who would win in a fight - Wolverine or Poseidon.

By the time he has drawn breath, his porridge is cold and it's time to go, but not before he's put his shoes on the wrong way round and forgotten his school bag.

Parental super powers

My boys often ask me what super power I would like to have. You think of the obvious ones such as invisibility, flying, strength, etc.

I know exactly what I would like - the power to teleport my children from their beds to their school - fully dressed, fully fed and in silence. Now that would be a cool super power to have.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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