9 Reasons Why I Hate School Mornings
Mother-of-three Emily Hourican is feeling the early morning strain from having run the breakfast gauntlet one too many times.
Moms of school-going kids, or moms struggling to leave the house on time for work, will all understand the frustrations and general 'panic station' mentality these rushed mornings can deliver.
Why I hate school mornings
Okay, not all school mornings, but many, many of them. Here’s why: 1. Because we always seem to need an extra 10 minutes, no matter what time I get up. I could makeover my morning routine and rise at 3am ready to start the day, and I would still find myself running 10 minutes late by the time we need to leave for school.
2. The way every morning begins with 15 minutes of gentle coaxing, followed by threats (‘bed half an hour early tonight!’) and finally dragging the six-year-old out of bed. He sleeps like a teenager – deep, sodden, self-righteous.
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3. The ‘what’s for breakfast?’ conversation. For some reason, my children have come to believe that they live in a high-class hotel, and that every morning should begin with a lavish buffet, including various types of hot, cold and continental breakfast options. God forbid I try and give them porridge more than once a week. ‘We had that yesterday!’ They say in outrage. ‘Why can’t we have scrambled eggs? Or pancakes?’ Indeed, why not caviar on miniature blinis?
4. The astroturf-runners versus school-shoes debate with my eldest son. Every single morning. ‘Can I wear my astros?’ ‘No, you’ll ruin your feet. Wear your school shoes.’ ‘But we’ll be playing football after school! Why can’t I wear the astros?’ ‘Because they’ll ruin your feet…’ and so on. Ad nauseum, infinitum and all those other ads.
5. The ‘Get dressed’ series of exchanges with my middle son. Basically this consists of ‘get dressed, you’re going to be late,’ said at five-minute intervals for about 25 minutes, until I give in and physically remove his pyjamas and dress him. He’s six. We all know that I should not still be dressing him, but he couldn’t give a hoot. Sometimes the three-year-old helps me. She’s far better at it than he is.
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6. The ‘Help, where’s my…’ sports gear/project book/homework journal/library books conversation. Sometimes alternated with ‘oh by the way, I need…’ an empty egg box/a painting smock/money for the class trip/a permission slip/some obscure item I can't immediately deliver. This is usually uttered two-and-a-half minutes before we need to leave the house. Most recently, the ‘I need’ request was for two two-euro coins, two one-euro coins, five 50-cent coins, five 20-cent coins, 10 two-cent coins and 10 one-cent coins. At 8.45 in the morning, with a three-second completion-time window.
7. Realising that, although someone’s uniform is technically clean, it smells of last night’s dinner, and there aren’t any alternatives because every other uniform is even dirtier. This is when I resort to a guilty squirt of Febreze, and send whichever child it is off smelling like a carpet.
8. The way I always meet the same two moms who live locally – on their way home, having dropped their entirely-present-and-correct children already, as we are still struggling up the road with me shouting ‘come on, we’re going to be late' at full volume, while the three-year-old disappears into other people’s gardens because she’s seen a gnome or a rusty old bike. It’s probably entirely my imagination that these moms look smug, but it doesn’t help the day.
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9. By the time I get home, at about 9.10am, ready to start my own working day, I feel I have chaired a G8 Summit meeting, and dealt with all the furious protestors. And I'm already dreading doing it all over again tomorrow...
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