I hate school mornings.
Our eldest son, Tadpole, loves school. He just refuses to get up on school mornings. And then he takes forever to choose what he wants for breakfast (even though he chooses the same thing almost every day, he throws a hissy fit if we dare to actually get that ready ahead of time – you can bet that will be the one morning he DOESN’T want it!). Then he takes aeons to eat his breakfast. And then he refuses to get dressed.
“One more minute!” is his favourite phrase. The trouble is, it’s never just one more minute, and we don’t have that many minutes to spare.
My morning starts at 5.45am, when I get up ahead of everyone else to make sure I am up, dressed, hair tidied, face washed and with at least a cursory attempt at a little makeup, and my teeth brushed. This much I manage every morning. I don’t always manage to get breakfast before the school run, as invariably, Button will wake up and demand to be fed, but first I have to change his nappy as quickly as possible so that he doesn’t start complaining in his month-old wail that Mummy is starving him.
At 6.45am, I make my first attempts to get Tadpole out of bed. This is when the “One more minute!” starts. After about 15 or 20 minutes he will drag himself through to the living room in his pyjamas having apparently spent the entire time deciding what he wants for breakfast (this he has assured me repeatedly as I have tried to get him out of bed), yet more often than not, he’s still deliberating at this point.
At this time, if Button hasn’t already been fed, he will want to be fed this very instant. If he has already been fed just before 5.45am, he will want a top-up, so hubby will have to make Tadpole’s breakfast along with his own (he gets up at 7.00am).
Some time around 7.30am, after much nagging, Tadpole will eventually finish his breakfast. At this point we have another round of “One more minute!” while he refuses to get dressed. He still needs help with his socks, which hubby will do if he’s still here – he leaves for work at 7.45am – but if he’s already gone, it’s up to me to make sure Tadpole gets his school uniform on. This is difficult when around now I’m usually burping Button and trying to get HIM dressed and wrapped up ready to go.
Our flat is almost a 2 mile walk from the school, and we have to walk it every morning, as I don’t drive, and even if I did, hubby needs the car to get to work ad leaves before us. There are buses that go about 2/3rds of the way, but they leave at times that are about as much use to us as spectacles are to a salmon. School starts at 8.45am and on a good day it takes us 35 minutes to walk the school run, which means, allowing for traffic keeping us from crossing roads in a timely fashion, we leave the flat at 8am to ensure we get to school on time.
At the time we leave the flat, Tadpole suddenly becomes angelic – he enjoys the walk to school and loves school itself. If only that would translate into actually being bothered about getting ready to go!
This morning was such a nightmare that we were more than half way to school when I realised we’d forgotten to pick up Tadpole’s packed lunch before we left (knowing how bad our mornings are, we make it the night before and keep it in the fridge overnight). There was no time to go back for it, so what were we to do?
As it happened, today was a free school lunches day, so I managed to persuade Tadpole that this would be a wonderful opportunity to try school lunches and he actually agreed! That is, until we got to school and discovered that today’s lunch is mince and dumplings with mashed potatoes and carrots. The carrots is the only part of that Tadpole likes. He hates gravy and has never liked potatoes.
I was now faced with a dilemma – it’s almost 2 miles EACH WAY and I’m still recovering from major abdominal surgery. I could take the bus part way, but that’s going to cost money as well as the time spent waiting for the buses and traveling. Or… I could go to the shop 10 minutes away and purchase a packed lunch for Tadpole.
I chose the last option.
Unfortunately, all the sandwiches available had mayo in them, which he does not like (I don’t blame him, it’s repugnant stuff!) so I had to grab a cheese and tomato pasta salad and hope he would eat it (he has in the past, but he’s so bloody picky!). I also grabbed a carton of Ribena (not ideal as it’s chock full of sugar – I’d rather give him fresh fruit juice, but there was none!), and a packet of crisps (in case he really doesn’t like the pasta salad). Finally, I threw in a banana as an attempt at something remotely healthy that he might think about eating (but probably won’t). Then I hauled ass back to school and handed over the plastic carrier bag at the school office for him before hiking home with Button in the buggy.
I’ve finally grabbed MY breakfast (whilst typing this) and am hoping I have enough time to hang out the laundry to dry before Button stirs and wants to be fed again.
Then I might actually manage to grab a cuppa!
I HATE SCHOOL MORNINGS!!!!
And tomorrow, I’m getting Tadpole up at 6.30am. And if he doesn’t get up, I’m squirting him with a water pistol which will be kept in the fridge overnight!