Oh the joys of getting ready in the morning when you are not a morning person. Compounded by the joy of also getting two small people ready at the same time. Who also, as it is starting to turn out, aren’t really morning people either.
I fumbled through all of my mornings in my twenties and early thirties by washing my hair EVERY DAY (hysterical) and wearing co-ordinated outfits, bags and shoes and some kind of matching cheap fashion jewellery. I also ironed my hair EVERY DAY and a top about twice a year. Go me.
Hop on the tube, grab a latte and a chocolate croissant from Pret and arrive at my desk at about 8.55am. Not late but generally the last to arrive.
Then I had a baby and went on maternity leave and so no need to be anywhere for a specified time. I won’t blither on about how it takes 17 hours to get out of the house with a baby as we all know that. In I waltzed 10/20/45 minutes late each week to my baby yoga class. Oh, you’re just finishing? Never mind, have you got any biscuits? Then another frazzled Mum hoofing her baby in in its car seat would arrive after me. High five, my friend.
But the bar gets raised when it’s time to go back to work and you do need to be somewhere for a time and sadly, it’s not usually after midday.
I dreaded this but actually it wasn’t that bad. At the age of one, Martha was pretty compliant when it came to the putting on of shoes.
Then Baby Two comes along and it’s time to go on maternity leave again. Getting Martha to nursery is a little trickier with a baby in tow and sleepless nights reintroduced to the whole bloomin’ shebang. Gone are the lovely lazy mornings I remember with Martha. Even a bad night would often be rewarded with a 7-9.30am sleep stretch. Not possible now as we need to be up and at ‘em to ensure I get my money’s worth from the nursery. We tried a few travel options here: baby carrier and walking, pram and walking, pram and buggy board. But the double buggy ended up being the winner. Total win win as my ass size started to reduce too.
On the non-nursery days we flounced into Martha’s classes late too – but with the kudos of having a baby in tow we could definitely now get away with this. Occasionally we’d be early. Not really on purpose but just because we’d reached House Exit Point (both kids being awake and having recently pooed) a little ahead of the class start time.
Then time to go back to work approaches again and this time I am a little more worried. I now have a three-year-old that talks and shouts and has lots of opinions to contend with. One that likes to choose her own clothes. One that is indecisive. And one that likes to sit on the loo for a very long time. Takes after her Dad.
Oh and the baby too.
Make-up routine is now diminished to a bit of concealer on spots and eye bags and mascara on one eye. On a good day I’ll do both.
Shower the night before, bi-weekly hair wash, shares in Batiste and we’re good to go.
In a whirlwind of nappies, milk and bribery blueberries I get the two of them dressed and let them hug a leg each while I brush my teeth.
We arrive at the front door. Not too bad in the summer but now it’s cold we have to contend with coats, hats and the evil finger contraptions known as gloves.
If you have a driveway then the next few sentences are not for you.
Hello to everyone that lives in a terraced house that was built in the time before people that lived in houses had cars. Hello to everyone that feels like they’ve won the lottery if they get to park within three streets of their own home.
So we’re all coated-up and I am carrying two nursery bags (often complete with the waft of yesterday’s dirty outfits stuffed into nappy bags that I’ve forgotten to take out), my work bag with a laptop as heavy as a brick, a one-year old wriggling like an octopus under one arm and with a lop-sided hunch, clutching the hand of the three-year old.
We set off and then Martha asks the dreaded question – can we swap hands now, Mummy? No, we can’t. Cue tears.
Finally we arrive at the car and I ask Martha to stand by the wall on the non-car side of the pavement while I get Olive in.
Drat. I’ve parked by the lamppost again. So I have about seven inches of a door opening to post Olive through as if it’s a vertical letterbox and fumble blindly to do up her seatbelt.
Get Martha in and then tackle the windscreen. I am now armed with that spray can stuff that I’m sure I get a little high on as it comes wafting in through the air vents. Not complaining mind – probably a good coffee substitute.
Drive the short drive to nursery. Get the kids and the bags out of the car again and herd them in to nursery as best I can. It can take some time to walk from the car park to the building. It’s like 27 steps. Tops.
Drop off the kids, hang around just long enough so that I’m not being rude and then head back to the car. Final hurdle. Buggy out of boot, another 27 steps and prop it up outside nursery. The buggy is the baton in the handover exchange to my husband’s. He pretty much has to do this in reverse at the end of the day.
Drive to work with my blood pressure rising every time I reach a traffic junction that doesn’t go my way.
Arrive at the office and someone lands a hot cup of tea on my desk. What a hero! I take a sip and then look down to the snot-stain marks on my black skirt. I look like I’ve been in a fight with an escargatoire (hello there, my good friend Google) of snails.
Looking forward to that 6.15am alarm tomorrow already!