The morning school run
There’s not a lot I won’t do for my children. I’ll wipe bums and clean snotty noses; I’ll get covered in vomit, stay up all night, calm tantrums in Spinneys, pick up stray pooh by hand and even sit through the horrors of sports’ day with a smile and a cheery wave, but there’s one thing at which I draw the line: The early-morning school run.
In fact, to date, I’ve done everything I can to avoid it. I do it, as a matter of principle, on the first day of the new school year – and then, never again. Luckily, school is on the way to DH’s office, so he’s more than happy to oblige. (If any of you are thinking what a lucky coincidence that was, you’re seriously underestimating me.)
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m in bed enjoying an extra hour’s sleep in the mornings, or having my personal trainer over for coffee and a few stomach crunches. I’m up at 6am with the best of them, but the big advantage is that, when I’m not doing “the drive”, I don’t have to get showered and dressed until after DH and DD have left for school.
Instead, from 6.15am to 7am, I’m usually cooking DD’s breakfast (she has a penchant for hot breakfasts: Homemade apple and cinnamon pancakes, scrambled eggs, or sausages, beans and toast), making her packed lunch, listening to her reading, testing her spellings, brushing her hair, packing her PE kit and her library book, Tweeting Catboy on the radio and doing all those other little things that make life run smoothly in the mornings.
But, drum roll please, this week DH is away – and it was with a heavy heart that I realised I had neither friends to bribe nor neighbours to cajole: I was going to have to do the morning school run myself.
For a week.
So now I not only have to do all the above-mentioned tasks in the morning, but I have to shower AND dress like Elle Macpherson by 7.10am (have you seen her school-run outfits?)
It’s inhuman, that’s what it is.
Anyway, we’re two mornings in already and I know you want to know how it’s going.
On the positive side, I’ve been enjoying the early-morning drives. Despite the suicidal maniacs going hell-for-leather in the Abu Dhabi direction, the traffic’s not as bad as I imagined it would be, and the sky can be very pretty as the sun comes up over the desert. It’s also been pretty chilly, so I’ve got away with swathing myself in a large shawl, which hopefully covers the fact that I’m wearing yesterday’s yoga top with my scruffy jeans (eat your heart out Elle Macpherson).
On the down side, being over 40 and without a morning bike ride to get the circulation going, my face looks positively crumpled for at least an hour after I wake up, and, at 7.30am drop-off it’s still a whisker too dark for sunglasses. If you see me, please do the gracious thing and look the other way, I beg you.