My youngest child starts every day at 4.30/5am. Two boys aged 2 and 6 rag every second they’re at home together and my daughter fills the house, literally, with arts and craft, the latest craze being finger knitting. You’d think if I start my day at 5am I should, without fail leave the house at 8.30am in a calm, positive and serene state, gently checking in ‘Mary Poppins’ tone that the children have everything they require for their forthcoming day at school. Drive slowly over the moor pointing out rare bird species and alighting at school, placing kisses on each child’s head and returning to my house to start my day in the office. The reality is far from it.
In the 3.5hours I have at home before I leave on the school run, I repeatedly say the same few sentences to my seemingly hard of hearing children, having once again forgotten to dress the 2 yr old only minutes before departure I run upstairs, tripping over the wool which is strung from the top bedroom down to the sitting room like some assassins trap, attached to my daughters hand so she screams with pain as it tightens around her delicate fingers. I then rush everyone into the car, hurl their bags in, drive at break neck speed up the moor, narrowly avoiding killing a rare breed bird and hurl, as I did the bags, my children into school. The two year old and I then return to the house in calmer state to sanitise the bombsite that is home.
I know you’re reading this thinking ‘welcome to my world‘ or at least I hope you are! We are all going through it in some form or another, this is for some reason normality, well, a change is needed. So as it’s Lent I’ve decided I will take something up rather than give something up. I find all the naughty things I love can only be described as survival mechanisms. So, I am going to take up a new morning routine which will enliven, enrich and unite us all. No phone action whatsoever before I return from the drop off. Breakfast for everyone at the same time, all gathered to the table to sit and discuss the day. Make spellings fun! Ask if everyone has everything well in advance and discuss any worries one might have about homework and school in general. In short dedicate time to the small people in the morning.