PARENTS

Achtung Baby Or Not Before My Coffee!

08/02/2011 16:17 | Updated 22 May 2015

We have a system in the mornings. It's quite German efficient I think. I rise with Finje, feed her, supervise the cleaning of teeth/face/hands, prepare elevenses, check she put knickers on, tame hair into bunches, tie shoe-laces, try to put on cycle helmet, take off cycle helmet, undo bunches, put on cycle helmet, scratch of cemented weetabix from clean pullover and repeat "Come on, you'll be late" on a loop.

My husband wallows an extra half hour in the sack but pays the price. After one gulp of luke warm (imported) Yorkshire Tea he braves, usually inclement weather, in order to accompany Finje on the short bike ride to kindergarten. Waving them off from the warmth of the kitchen and sipping my hot tea, I'm thankful for a husband who a) doesn't appear to mind getting on a bike at some ungodly hour in the morning and b) in doing so saves me from the dreaded kindergarten drop-off.

Here in the German Outback I'm grateful for the absence of vanity when it comes to appearances on The Kindergarten Run. Melanie Sykes would have a ball. Frankly, if you have managed to brush your hair it would be regarded as showing off. Nobody cares what you look like. Around half the kids turn up on a tractor. These are hard working parents who have more important things on their minds than coordinating their clothing or putting on mascara.

Amen to that.

My issue is altogether different.

It's a diplomatic minefield. You must become an expert in the art of subtle avoidance to survive. Without your eye fixed on the ball and your wits about you it's game over by the time the kid's coat is off. Before you know it, in a state of caffeine deficiency, you've agreed to supervise a birthday bash, chair a mother's meetings or horror of horrors host a Tupperware party. All manner of grimness can befall the unprepared and coffee deprived.

I'm simply not up to it before my body has achieved the obligatory 10 caffeine levels.

When it's time to pick Finje up, I hit the place running. Numerous and varied excuses at the ready just in case, I'm in and out like Flo Jo. Once home I breath a sigh of relief. Home safe, no appointments made. Excellent.

Today, taking off her coat, Finje removed an envelope from her pocket.

"Heidi's mama gave me this for you"

It was an invitation to a Tupperware Party.

Damn!

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