the morning marathon AKA getting the kids to school

The Runners:

Mum: tired mum-of-three. Does her best to be eternally patient, calm and level-headed but mostly isn’t. At all.

6yo: oldest son. Mostly very sensible and usually is not only head-of-the-pack in the ‘morning marathon’, but also principle motivator of the other runners.

4yo: middle son. Mostly tired in the mornings having just started school a few months ago. Determined and mischievous – both of which can be used for good or ill. And frequently are.

Baby: youngest of the clan. Very laid-back and happy to fit in with the others. Except when it comes to sleeping. Which he doesn’t.

Dad: only a bit player in the ‘morning marathon’ – in the shower in its early stages, reappears to kiss everyone goodbye, then takes a different route.

And now over to Bill and Bob, our commentators for this morning:

At The Starting Blocks

Bill: “… and for those of you just joining us, it looks like it’s going to be a slow start to the race this morning…”

Bob: “Yes, it’s 7am and Baby and Mum are snoozing in bed together… from what I can gather it’s been a long night so we shouldn’t expect things to get going quickly.”seahorse

Bill: “But wait, here’s the 6yo, he’s just come in saying “Wake up everyone!” and appears to be placing some kind of cuddly seahorse next to Mum’s head… and the seahorse has lit up and is belting out… what’s that tune Bob?”

Bob: “I believe it’s Frere Jaques, Bill. She won’t like that; bit strident for this time in the morning, I’d say.”

Bill: “Yes, she’s putting her head under the pillow. The baby seems happy to see his brother though! He’s waving his arms and squealing with glee!”

Bob: “And accidentally punching Mum in the chin as he does so. Oh dear, still, it’s woken her up fully now!”

Bill: “And the commotion has woken the 4yo too. He’s just walked into the bedroom… maybe things will get going properly now?”

Bob: “Or not… since he seems to be climbing into the bed with Mum and Baby and going back to sleep.”

Bill: “But the 6yo is not letting any of them get away with this sort of behaviour. He’s pulling the covers off and telling them they have to get up or they’ll be late for school! Are we sure he’s not Mum in disguise Bob?”

Bob: “You’ve got a point there Bill… he’s quite effective. He’s somehow managing coax them all out of bed.”

Bill: “And downstairs!”

And We’re Off!

Bob: “They’ve all made it down to the kitchen somehow and Mum seems to be trying to make breakfast for them all… it’s taking her a while though.”

Bill: “Yes, she does seem to be a bit sluggish, she’s boiled that kettle three times and still hasn’t made a cup of tea! Still she’s managed to pour cereal for the others, and is feeding the baby.”breakfast table

Bob: “Yes… the baby doesn’t mind having porridge in his ear, I take it?”

Bill: “Oh anything goes with him, he’s a third-born; lucky really, as not much of that food seems to be going in his mouth.”

Bob: “It doesn’t help that his brothers are singing and dancing next to him trying to make him laugh.”

Bill: “Energy levels seem to be up now though don’t they, so maybe this race will start speeding up soon?”

Bob: “Possibly Bill, although I think it would help matters if Mum could actually eat her breakfast rather than having to clear up that bowl of cereal that’s just been tipped all over the floor.”

Bill: “True, although she sees to be managing ok… I didn’t actually know it was possible to eat toast while feeding a baby, wiping the floor, peeling a banana and removing a plastic sword from the clutches of a small boy.”

Bob: “While checking Facebook too… I think it’s a skill that mothers learn somewhere along the way. Thankfully, or I doubt any child would ever make it to school in the morning”

Picking up the Pace

Bill: The 6yos taking charge again now. He’s realised it’s eight ‘o clock and they all need to get dressed.”

Bob: “He’s encouraging them all up the stairs. Mum’s still trying to tidy the breakfast table but he’s having none of it! ‘Come on, Come on!’ he’s shouting”

Bill: “Yes, it looks like the pace is finally picking up!”

Bob: “Yes… except the 4yo is just lying face down on the living room floor. Think he’s trying to go to sleep again. He’s not going anywhere fast!”

Bill: “No, but the rest of them are doing O.K; Mum has got herself and the baby dressed. She avoided getting hit by the stream of urine from him as she changed his nappy this morning, so that’s good.”

Bob: “And the 6yo is dressed too… his hair looks like he’s been dragged through a hedge backwards but ‘shabby chic’ is the look these days isn’t it?”

Bill: “I believe that term is used for furniture Bob… I think the phrase you’re looking for is ‘urchin cool.'”

Bob: “Right, well Mum is dragging a comb through it anyway. While simultaneously brushing her teeth and trying to get the baby’s socks on him.”

Bill: “Yes! And… oh dear! Just when things were going so well! The baby’s nappy has leaked. She’s going to have to change his outfit Bob.”

Bob:” Yes and her top too, by the looks of it. This is turning out to be quite the race this morning!”

Bill: “Does anyone know where the 4yo is? Mum’s just asked the 6yo to see if he’s getting ready.”

Bob: “And is he?”

Bill: “Well, there’s been some progress… he’s changed out of his pyjamas.”batman cape

Bob: “Ah yes, but I can see he’s not exactly dressed for school yet is he? A Batman cape and nothing else is not the required dress code as far as I’m aware?”

Bill: “No, but thankfully the 6yo is saving the day again. He’s got his brother’s uniform and is helping him put it on. He’s even helping him brush his teeth. Not sure he’s remembered to brush his own but Mum will take care of that, eh Bob?”

Bob: “Possibly Bill, possibly.”

Bill: “Oh and now the 6yo is shouting ‘Hurry up!’ over the baby monitor to Mum who’s still in the baby’s room taking care of that earlier ‘nappy incident’.”

Bob: “She’s shouting back telling them to get their shoes and coats on! Looks like she’s finally got herself and the baby ready too!”

The Final Stages

Bill: “I think they’re ready to leave the house! It’s 8.45: They might just make it!”

Bob: “Yes, the house is locked, they’re in the car and Mum’s reversing out of the drive.”

Bill: “No, wait, she’s stopped the car… she’s leaping out looking frantic… heading back to the house.”

Bob: “And she’s picking up the baby! He was just left sitting there in the hall!”

Bill: “That might have held them up a bit. The 6yo is furious! The 4yo thinks it’s hilarious! The baby is laughing as usual.”

Bob: “And Mum’s looking a bit frazzled, but they’ve finally left the drive.”

Bill: “That was quite an ‘interesting’ bit of driving there Bob… I wasn’t sure the car was going to fit through that gap… but looks like they’re going to make it! They’ve pulled up outside the school gates.”

Sprint Finish

Bob: “Mum’s leapt out of the car: where did she get that energy from? Must be the sense of desperation!”

Bill: “Yes, she’s unloaded the 6yo and the 4yo from the car and she’s grabbed the baby… he doesn’t misprint finishnd being held under her arm like a bowling ball I take it? And she’s got the school bags… ”

Bob: “Both of them, that’s good going; two school bags, two school boys; this could be a success story.”

Bill: “And look at them go! They’re racing down the road and through the gates! The school bell is ringing! Will they get there in time?”

Bob: “They’re only meters from the door!”

Bill: “Will the teacher keep it open for them??!”

Bob: “Look at the desperation on Mum’s face! She’s signalling frantically for the teacher to wait!”

Bill: “She will! She’ll have to surely?! She can’t close the door now?!”

Bob and Bill: “YEEEEEEEESSSSS! They made it!”

Bob: “Phew, that was quite a race. I think Mum could do with a sit down now.”

Bill: “And a nice cup of tea.”

Bob: “Or possibly a gin.”

UPDATED 15/04/15 – This weeks Prompt over at Mum Turned Mom is ‘Travel’. Travel isn’t really my thing (I’m a real homebody) but for some reason the prompt made me think of this post – it’s the journey I make every day, after all. 18months on, I have a toddler instead of a baby, the 5yo is less tired and the 7yo is slightly more inclined to draw Harry Potter pictures than encourage us all to school but actually, things haven’t changed that much!

Prose for Thought
Post Comment Love

30 thoughts on “the morning marathon AKA getting the kids to school

  1. Stephanie

    HA! Love this! I needed to read something like this as the school run can get me down sometimes. I don’t mind the way home but getting them their on time first thing every day can be pretty wearing at times. This is really clever stuff and lots of fun.

  2. Dragonsflypoppy-White feathers

    This is just brilliant – something that every mother in the land can relate to I’m sure. I love Bill and Bob’s dialogue. Just perfect. Love it x

    1. Maddy Post author

      I really hope other mums out there can relate to it – it’s nice to feel I’m not the only one who finds mornings so manic! xx

  3. kateonthinice

    This is fabulous. May, just may, recognise some of the incidents involved. Love the pace and the commentary.

  4. Jess

    I loved this! So its not just me that finds the school run stressful then! Its the relentless slog of it,day in and day out that wears me down and as for the packed lunches…..

    1. Maddy Post author

      It’s certainly not just you, Jess! Thankfully both of mine have school lunches as I think trying to make packed lunches in the morning would probably finish me off!

  5. Verily Victoria Vocalises

    This is absolutely and utterly brilliant. I love a good laugh out loud post and this is definitely one of those! I love the ‘boiling the kettle three times and still haven’t made a cup of tea’!! So me!! Thank you so much for sharing with PoCoLo and Prose for Thought x

    1. Maddy Post author

      Am really glad to hear it made you laugh out loud Victoria! Yes, the ‘boiling the kettle’ thing is a very regular occurrence here… in fact I need to make myself a cuppa now! And I’m loving Prose for Thought – FAB linky!

  6. David / Oddly active

    I hope that 6yr old is getting paid the top rate of pocket money – sounds like he deserves it!

    It was never an issue for me as we walked to my son’s primary school, but the local council in my neck of the woods has invested in a ‘parking violation spotter car’ or somesuch. Basically its role is to park up outside of the local primary schools with the biggest oversubscription/parking problems, take photos of the cars of any poor mums who have no other option whatsoever than to illegally park (‘your front bumper was hanging over the white zig-zag of the crossing by a good three-quarters of an inch’) and extort money from them. As if mums haven’t got enough on their plate in the mornings, eh?

    ‘Porridge ear': I remember it well. We were worried my son was going deaf for a good 9 months or so when he first started on solids. Don’t forget to set the alarm tonight ;-) #Prose4T etc

  7. Maddy Post author

    Can’t believe your council have a spotter car – how mean! They would make a fortune outside my sons’ school if they did that here. (Better keep that quiet… Don’t want them getting ideas!)

    We haven’t really started pocket money properly yet but my 6year old does get a lot of stars on his chart and thus a lot of rewards! He is a star!

    The baby had ‘toast ear’ this morning… Progress of sorts.

    Thanks for commenting David.

  8. Philippa @elliotandme

    Just come across your blog (thanks to the grasshopper!) and having a look around. This post is brilliant, though equally scary as I fear it shows me what my life will be in a few years time! Thanks! Xx

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Philippa! This was one of my favourite posts… I became quite fond of bill and bob as I wrote it. Perhaps you will be a million times more organised than me though and the school run will always be harmonius for you! Will check out your blog tomorrow. X

  9. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    Ha! If I wasn’t trying to persuade a jet lagged child to go to sleep (in my bed as she was keeping her brothers awake) I would have laughed out loud! This sounds remarkably like my mornings, although I am glad to have left the nappies and spoon feeding behind. I still never manage to get that cup of tea though… Thanks so much for linking to #ThePrompt x

    1. Maddy Post author

      I’m also relieved to have left spoon feeding behind. Next step is to potty train the littlest and I’m free! Well, apart from all the other parts of parenthood of course! Thanks for commenting and hosting Sara. xx

  10. Lisa from Lisa's Life

    I love this so much and am even more grateful I only have to get myself and a labrador out of the house in the mornings! :)


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