This week gardener and writer Debbie Webber does a good impression of a headless chicken on the school run....
I have this week been doing a very good impression of a headless chicken. One that has to get various children to different places all within twenty minutes.
At the moment (I'm touching wood and whistling), it's going well. I have managed to shower, get everyone sorted, make five packed lunches, put on the dishwasher and the washing machine and find time to check my emails. All before 8am.
However, I know from experience that this level of organisation will not last. By the end of the month it will have degenerated so much that I will have lost one of their shoes, have barely enough time to run a brush through my hair let alone shower and will be pleading with them to have school meals just this once.At my daughter's school, new to us both, I am a blur, dropping off in a flurry of kisses, extracting the toddler from the dressing up corner and whizzing onto my next drop off.
I haven't quite got the hang of this new routine. The other day we were two minutes early into class and were told it would be allowed just this once. Oh dear. And I do so want to make a good impression. Heaven knows why.
So I've synchronised my watch with the classroom clock, only to lose it because I didn't do it up properly and am trying not to be too early. I can't be too late either because I have to drop off another child to pre-school (not every day thankfully) and drive to the next village before that school bell goes twenty minutes later.
I don't have time to chat, make friends or do anything other than whiz by. No wonder I feel quite knackered by 9am and like I've done half a day's work already. I usually have.
This harried mother of many is not the image I want to project. I am trying to wean myself off wanting to project any kind of image at all, but I am failing.
I read a newspaper article recently about what you should and shouldn't wear on the school run. There are rules? I've been doing this for years and I didn't realise.
Gardening clothes apparently get a big no. Who would have guessed and who would have time to change multiple times a day? I notice there are no hard and fast rules for fathers -- everyone's just impressed/delighted/amazed when they actually do the school run they could wear their pyjamas and it would be deemed more than OK.
So, I am wondering if my crazed, wild-haired, make-up free, "I'm so busy" look is a winner. I suspect not.