Step 1. It’s a new day. You will all be civil and courteous and normal today. You will hug and laugh and smile before school and they will remember you as the kind, nourishing, gentle Mammy that you are while they think of you during their school day. (Odds are they don’t give you a second thought but just incase like.)
Step 2. They’re been playing happily since they woke up so leave them to finish up their game and head downstairs to prepare a loving, nutritious breakfast. (Okay, pour some cereal.)
Step 3. In the chirpiest of voices, call your children down for breakfast. They’ve had plenty of play time so they should happily oblige.
Step 4. Okay, they didn’t happily oblige. They’re whining that they “never get time to play.” Threaten to put their toys in the bin if they don’t get their asses down the stairs for breakfast now! (Crap, back to the plan.)
Step 5. While they sit at the table with the 17 pieces of lego that came down with them, gently remind them to actually eat their breakfast. Oh, they’re not listening. A touch louder maybe. No? “WILL YOU EAT YOUR BREAKFAST YOU CAN PLAY WITH THE LEGO LATER!!!!!!” Damn.
Step 6. As they run off from the table, and as you prepare their lunches that you will throw in the compost bag later, smile and remind them that you’re not their f*cking slave and that fairies don’t put their dishes away. Sweetly ask them to not be lazy b*stards and tidy up after themselves.
Step 7. Tell them to get dressed. Easy.
Step 8. It’s quiet. It’s been 15 minutes. Surely they’re fully dressed now and in the process of brushing their teeth, hence the quietness. No……..
Step 9. You might go up to check progress, and find that one of them is still in full pyjamas and playing happily with a toy as if he has absolutely nothing he’s supposed to be doing. The other might have started the process by removing his pyjama bottoms and boxers and is now bare assed on his bed engrossed in a book. Rage may build.
Step 10. Okay. Clearly the chirpy approach isn’t working at this point. No point in easing into a slightly sterner approach, it’s clearly time to go full on psycho.
Step 11. You’re leaving the house in 10 minutes for school and now you’re sweating as you rip one away from his toys and ask him what in the blue f*ck he was thinking when you told him to get dressed, while dragging the other one’s bare ass off his bed and throwing a pair of boxers and trousers at him.
Step 12. You’ve re-brushed their teeth after their own half arsed attempt, you’ve brushed their hair, you’ve fixed their uniforms – From what I understand it’s impossible for a child to put on a school jumper without the collar of his shirt being shoved down as far as his belly button so you have to go searching for it – Now, just shoes.
Step 13. Shoes. You won’t have known it before Parenthood. You won’t ever have dreamed a time in your life when shoes would be such a chaotic, stressful, massive f*cking drama Every. Single. Day. of your life. But they are. It will start off calmly and work it’s way up until you’re fit to put every shoe you’ve ever seen in your f*cking life and burn them in a shoe pile and vow never to wear or look at shoes again. Generally, this is how the shoe scenario will go – “Can you go find your shoes please?” “I don’t know where your shoes are, where did you take them off last?” “The house is not that big, your shoes have to be somewhere.” “Just go look for your shoes please.” “Have you found your shoes?” “FFS your shoes are right there.” “RIGHT THERE!” “PUT YOUR SHOES ON!!” “WE’RE LEAVING THE HOUSE WHY HAVE YOU STILL NO SHOES ON YOUR FEET!!!???” “S.H.O.E.S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Step 14. You’re at the school. It’s done. You plaster them in kisses and hugs and tell them you love them and will see them later in the hope that THAT’S the moment you can embed into their brains before you leave rather than the full on psychotic rant while you all went on a 10 minute house hunt for the f*cking shoes.
And that’s all there is to it. Well done. We’ll do it again tomorrow. 😉