Hitting the snooze button and mustering the strength to get up and have my morning shower was once what I considered a struggle... wow was I wrong! The idea of hitting snooze and then taking a peaceful shower is something I can only look back on with pure nostalgia. I have a 7-year-old now and the concept of peaceful showers and time to actually sit and have my morning cuppa has long gone. Instead, that has been replaced with frantic running around, begging, pleading, shouting, bribing and on occasions damn right threatening my daughter to actually get ready. Completely unaware of any urgency or time factors involved in making the school and then work run, she wakes usually grumpy refusing to get out of bed - here lies the first hurdle. Do I remain calm and say encouraging things to try and get her up and dressed or do I just start cross, make the boundaries clear and assert she is getting up? Get this wrong, which I often do, and the whole thing goes downhill pretty quickly. You see I was told parenting was hard, I was told about the sleepless nights, weaning, potty training, terrible twos and then threatening threes. Those I was prepared for. It was hard but I was ready and somehow I managed to fumble my way through, as they say, forewarned is forearmed. But morning mayhem as I have now come to think of it, that I wasn't ready for. It's like a test and each morning I get it wrong. Mostly because it didn't even occur to me that things such as getting dressed and cleaning your teeth were issues. However, to be fair I didn't realise giving a child a cup with Hello Kitty on it rather than a Princess was an issue either but I learned fast.
I can smile at some things mostly because I know that as hard as it is at present, I will look back at these moments with a sort of warm glow I can't fully comprehend now. I hope so because this morning was particularly tough. Getting my little person up wasn't actually an issue which I think gave me a false sense of security... after a calm and actually quite pleasant breakfast, the time came when clothes had to be put on and hair had to be brushed. Now I think it's fair to say my daughter is very imaginative and I love her for it. I like listening in to the worlds she creates, it's magical and something lost to growing up much like in Peter Pan. However with only 30 minutes to go until we need to leave the house this wonder, unfortunately, is lost on me in the mornings. Consequently raised voices and sentences such as: "Don't make me ask you again", "Come on why don't you listen to me?", "We're going to be late!" and "What are you doing? No! Just get ready", seem to form regular parts of our mornings to the point that they have just become routine. It's exhausting and there have been times when I feel totally beaten by this little person I created.
On more than one occasion my poor friends at work have had to endure yet another rerun of my morning saga as I rant on about tantrums over hair brushing etc. Yet it's not just specific to me, whether it be a knowing look and a sympathetic smile as I drop my daughter off at the school gates, close friends telling me their experiences of their mornings or overhearing recounts of other parents' own morning sagas, I know I am not alone. We are a secret society of morning parents just doing the best we can, adapting to new encounters and learning certain triggers. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we amaze ourselves that we have actually managed to leave the house. We are master blaggers, bribers and motivational speakers. We are parents and we will get our children to school.