(First published on The Contented Calf website on Wednesday 12th September 2012, when we had a 3YO and 5MO.)
After a happy drop-off at nursery with all smiles, no tears, as I headed back home on the bus, I realised that today was turning out to be a good day. It may have only been 8:35am, but already I was ready to brand it a success! And here’s why:
6:19am – after last week’s horrendous lack of sleep, for the second day in a row, I woke naturally –yey!!
6:20am – snuck downstairs, drank half of a smoothie I’d made yesterday, had a small instant coffee (caffeinated – how daring!), put load of washing on (again – I’d failed to hang it out yesterday evening, so it was a bit musty), warmed a cup of milk in the microwave for Three-Year-Old and crept back upstairs
6:40am – quietly fed and changed Five-Month-Old (don’t want to wake 3YO before necessary as sleep seems to be so integral to better behaviour)
6:50am – gently woke 3YO and gave her her milk. She took off her nappy, zipped her Peppa Pig sleepy suit back up and we all went downstairs
7:00am – put 5MOin bouncer, while 3YO cut up pieces of paper with some Charlie & Lola plastic kids scissors free with a CBeebies magazine – one of her favourite activities ever! (Anyone else’s pre-schoolers obsessed with cutting up paper? Or should I be worried?). Folded a piece of paper in half and cut out a heart for 3YO and wrote her a little message, so she could take it to pre-school.
I tightened my dressing gown, went out front, brought recycling boxes back in, sorted recycling. (I have to say Richmond council are pretty excellent at recycling – it’s virtually everything), put boxes out the front. Next, zoomed round the house collecting bags of rubbish out the waste-paper bins, shoved them in the big bin bag I took out the kitchen bin, put in black bins out front. Took food waste bin out front. Bins done!
7:20am – running late (I really detest ‘doing the bins’ as it’s hubby’s job, but he’s taken extreme measures to escape this duty for the past three weeks, by working away in Ireland!), persuaded 3YO that she really wanted to go upstairs and get dressed by suggesting a race. Whisked 5MO out of bouncer and ran to stairs. Ran upstairs.
3YO wanted “to be the leader”. So went back downstairs with 5MO. 3YO decided she AND 5MO had to be the leaders, so bent double holding 5MO next to 3YO, we ‘race’ up the stairs.
Popped 5MO down on the landing with some rattle/rings/chewy thing to occupy her, ensuring stair-gate is closed. Started to get dressed.
3YO says she wants help to ‘win’. Not wanting to discourage clothes being put on, abandoned my own dressing, and went in to help.
3YO was now dressed, playing ‘dressing’ with a fab reusable sticker book.
I put on deodorant, face cream and clothes, took in 3YO’s chewy tooth brush complete with paste, so she could chew and play, and then did my own teeth.
7:40am – we headed back downstairs and took the obligatory 10+ minutes for us all to get on shoes, coats/jackets, baby carriers, school bags, change bags etc
7:55am – FINALLY headed out the door. TFL’s fab live bus tracker online app doesn’t seem to be working on mobiles at the moment, so I had no idea when the bus was coming, but luckily it turned up very quickly!
8:00am – bus set off
8:03am – bus got stuck in traffic
8:05am – 3YO started climbing up her seat and swinging around, a bit like a monkey
8:06am – inspired I start a game of “I-spy”, which kept her nicely engaged (and less monkey like) as we crept along at a snail’s pace, especially when I started giving her and asking for clues – winner!
8:19am – 3YO started to get more like a monkey again, so when she ‘spied’ the bus’ wheels (??!) I seized the opportunity to switch gears and ask her what ‘wheels on the bus’ do. Answer: ‘go round and round, all day long’. This sparked as many things/people/anything on the bus I could think of for us to sing about.
8:22am – arrived at our stop!! Hurrah!! Not only that, but I got the opportunity to feel like a super mum, when I was complimented by old lady, who said it was a joy to listen to us play I-spy and sing songs and I was obviously excellent at looking after 3YO.
(Get me!!! THIS is what I can do when I sleep. And am less than 90 minutes into the day. Let’s see what she thinks if she were amidst our bath-time and bed-time battle-ground some evenings…! Still, let’s take parenting praise where we can – it is extremely good for the soul, parenting confidence and emotional well-being.)
8:23am – we skipped, ran, walked, galloped (very hard to do with a 5MO strapped to your front and various bags on shoulders, but doable) to nursery. 3YO climbed up and rang the bell, very excited!
And when the door was answered? Suddenly was the shyest person in the world, hiding behind and clinging onto my legs as I shuffled into the building.
8:25am – Inspiration struck a second time, and I got 3YO to tell the ‘hilarious story’ about our doorbell that I had fixed to her key-worker (It used to go ding-dong, but I could only fix it to make it go ‘dong’. 3YO thinks the ding flew inside my head and into my mouth…!!?)
8:28am – played briefly with hexagon shaped plastic connector pieces that slot together (anyone know what I mean and know the name??), big kiss, big cuddle, off I went, wave through the window, and drop-off complete
8:35am – back on the bus home, to scurry around looking after 5MO, doing the housework and trying to squeeze in a little work
When do I get to rest again? Ah yes, when 5MO has gone to uni, right??
Now, amongst all this fabulous success, there was I’ll admit, one failure.
Did you spot it?? Did you?
That’s right. I may have been super mum this morning, but I was not a clean one!
No time for a shower or badly-needed hair-wash amongst all the hustle and bustle. (That’s what dry stick deodorant and dry shampoo are for. Plus, being able to take 30 minutes and have a lovely relaxing bath, hair-wash and even shave of legs after drop-off and 5MO’s gone back to sleep.)
I am now clean, tidied, fed and caught up on a smidgeon of work.
Now do I have time for a wee.....?
As ever, with love from our family to yours,