The thrill of the morning routine

It should be a truth universally acknowledged that those people who were always running late in their life before children, or LBC if you will, are not going to somehow magically change their ways on leaving the labour ward.

My other half and I have a long-held reputation for horrendously tardy behaviour and arriving at appointments, social engagements, coffee dates and even weddings red-faced from sprinting with literally seconds to spare.

We’re routinely the last people to arrive anywhere, have missed planes, only just made it to several funerals and on one memorable occasion tried to sneak in at the back at the nuptials of a close friend without realising the door we’d chosen would actually reveal our faux-pas to the entire congregation and result in a last-minute speech addition for the groom.

(That was eight years ago and the memory is still cringe-worthy!)

It’s not that we mean to be late. We always have good intentions, discuss when we should depart home  and build in extra time for ‘emergencies’ – now translated as nappy dramas, vomiting incidents and hunting for mini-me and blue-eyed boys’ comfort toys – but it never seems to go according to plan and we still end up rushing.

So it stands to reason that mornings in our house are not calm affairs.

Trying to get two small people to nursery and hubby to the station on time should be simple right? So why does it so often end in frayed tempers and raised voices?

As I work from home I could write in my PJs if I wanted to, but most freelancers I know actually find this rather depressing. Plus I’m quite often rushing to get somewhere myself so add to the mix me getting ready as well as packing everyone’s bags, making breakfast, brushing hair, cleaning teeth, finding shoes and it can often feel like I’ve run a marathon before sitting down to type.

(Not that I’ve run an actual marathon you understand – that would constitute some sort of miracle. And breathing apparatus.)

While it’s too soon to tell with blue-eyed boy, mini-me has definitely inherited her parents’ procrastinating tendencies. Whether it’s ‘approving’ an outfit or saying good morning to her brother it seems to take her an age to do anything before 9am.

I always try to remain calm while glancing with increasing anxiety at the clock, tell myself that getting agitated will achieve nothing, but by the fourth time of asking her to ‘please sit on the potty and do a wee’ the tone of my voice may have reached an octave higher.

Even bribing her with ‘special brioche’ – her favourite food in the world – doesn’t always work anymore. Oh no, mini-me likes to take her sweet time.

Now I have more selfless mummy friends who would happily forgo their own shower in order for their offspring to have a more leisurely start to the day, but I don’t claim to be one of them.

So until some other harassed parent invents some kind of all-natural yet highly effective toddler fast-forward supplement (unlikely!) morning rants in our house are probably here to stay.

And by the way has anyone seen bloody ‘Doggy’??!

Waiting for Farmer Christmas

Do you often find yourself not so much frazzled but deep fried? As a mum with a toddler who should host her own chat show and a seven-month-old baby boy (who for blog purposes I’m going to call ‘mini-me’ and ‘blue-eyed boy’) I frequently find myself either dozing off during conversations or with my nerves totally shot to pieces.

Add to the mix my job as a journalist and copywriter with a slowly-expanding run-from-home business, all the usual house/life type chores, my other half’s hugely stressful career and my increasingly fleeting attempts to still have some sort of social life and it sometimes all boils down to a recipe for disaster. Or mental insanity.

The kind that even an evening with the West Wing’s Josh Lyman can’t even cure.

But often on ‘one of those days’ either mini-me or blue-eyed boy will drop a little gem of sheer, laugh out loud joy into my day – and those are the golden nuggets that make all the constant juggling and frequent bickering matches worthwhile.

So I thought I’d share a few of my little girl’s recent hilarious soundbites. She might only be three but on good days her material could give Michael McIntyre a run for his money. Of course I’m biased!

  •  Whilst racing home from nursery to shoe-horn in blue-eyed boy’s dinner before snack and bath time – and trying not to think about a looming work deadline which could possibly mean working until the early hours – my daughter suddenly piped up about Christmas. She loves it, as do I. But it turns out we may have some explaining to do when it comes to the Nativity.

‘Mummy I know who’s coming down our chimney – Farmer Christmas!’

  • Mini-me is obsessed with our postman and his red van – probably something to do with her fondness for Postman Pat – but it was only recently I discovered she believes that his work schedule is closely linked to the weather, rather than so-called ‘days of rest’.

‘Mummy the postman won’t be coming today. He doesn’t deliver on sunny days…!’

  • Her three-year-old evaluation of her baby brother being little like she once was, and me and her dad recounting tales to entertain her of when she was very small and explaining her baby photos?  ’Mummy, when I get older I am going to get really small like in the olden days.’ 

Clearly we haven’t done a very good job.

Then there are the general ‘one-liners’ that make me chuckle.

‘Mummy I think it’s time for me to have another birthday party.’

‘This is ridiculous Mummy!’ (Add hands on hips and scowl for full effect).

‘I’ve only got one pair of hands Mummy!’ (Hmm, wonder where she got that one…)