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School Runnings

The school run is one of the sacred pillars of parenthood along with dinner, bath time and bed time stories. My daughter opens her eyes around 6am immediately awake and ready for entertainment. I, on the other hand, feel nothing but extreme tiredness.

I have refined our morning routine which now begins the night before. I prepare a snack and drink and put her tablet on the table downstairs. I also leave her a note detailing a short learning activity she has to complete before watching YouTube.

This is a masterstroke as it buys me another 40 minutes in bed. This extra 40 minutes is often the highlight of my day.

Once shorn of my bed the challenges start immediately: bananas, milk and porridge have to be sourced. Princess hair has to be secured to stop it getting porridge tipped. Princess has to be shooed upstairs after breakfast to get changed. Wardrobe malfunctions have to be dealt with. I implore her to hurry up, brush her teeth and get back downstairs.

Where are her school bags and water bottle? God, is it forest school? Brush and tie back hair. Check shoes are not mud caked. Find keys. Come on. Let’s go. Just my boots and jacket to go. And, yes – we are out the front door. An epic every morning.

In contrast the 10-minute-walk to school is a breeze. When we arrive to an empty school yard, I berate myself for not taking 50 minutes extra sleep.

First published in the August 2017 edition of The Bewdley Bridge