Through a stroke of good fortune (or employment as a radio producer of a morning show) I managed to avoid the morning rush in our house for three years.
It was a blissful time, I rose at 5.30am, showered without interruption, dressed at leisure and arrived at work at 6.30am with time to enjoy a cup of coffee as I checked out the day’s newspapers. OK so after that things got a little stressful what with creating 2 1/2 hours of live radio – but nothing like the bedlam going on at home.
Why is it SO DIFFICULT to get perfectly capable children dressed, fed and out of the house with all necessary paraphernalia attached?
Now that I’m back working more traditional hours I find myself once again caught in the middle of morning mayhem. Every night I go to bed promising myself tomorrow I’ll be more organised. Tomorrow there will be no yelling. Tomorrow we will leave the house on time (and not have to go back for the forgotten maths book, sports shoes, permission slip etc etc). Then tomorrow comes.
We have the added issue that for the first time in our 20-year relationship my husband and I are at home together of a morning. When ex-navy Mr Shambles first got his new job with an 8.00am start, he declared “things are going to change around here, we’re getting up earlier, we are going to be organised, there’s no more running late, things are going to run with military precision”.
And for a little while they did, two people can do more and do it faster than one. There was one on sandwich duty, one trying to find the lost school shoes, two people tag-teaming the nagging of slow-moving children.
But gradually things started to fall apart. The frustrations with 7.00am announcements that today was the special morning tea and everyone had to bring a plate. The homework that “just needed a couple of questions finished”. The inability to find the most essential of items, yes your sports shorts are washed, no I don’t know what happened to them after I folded them, put them physically in your hands and told you to put them in your drawer!
But in the end it was the Tupperware that finally did him in.
“How, with sixty plastic containers in this drawer, there is not ONE complete set? Has anyone seen the lid for this, or this, OR THIS?” he threw assorted containers skywards, and marched his military precision out the door, to work, on time.
In the meantime I scrounged a container from the back of the fridge, removed some foreign looking foodstuff from it (I think in another life it was spaghetti bolognaise), poured some boiling water on it, and whatever germ fighting/bleachlike substances I could find, scrubbed hard and told myself that it was good for a child’s constitution to be exposed to a variety of bacteria before they turned sixteen. “Right there’s the container to bring home whatever you make in food technology”. What do you mean you’ve lost your lunch box as well?
The irony is when I was on early morning starts I felt guilty that I wasn’t there to help them of a morning!