It occurred to me today that there may be two types who turn up for school drop off with wet hair;
1: Got up to run/do yoga/make the 6am barre class/partake in any kind of physical activity – before the kids woke up – returning refreshed, revived and ready to take on the world and managed to sneak in a quick shower before drop off.
2: Hit snooze at least three times before the kids physically dragged them out of bed, barely leaving time to have a shower and get dressed, never mind pack the lunch, organise the school bag, listen to the reader they should have done last night – and frankly most days consider wind to be nature’s hairdryer. Or, simply have more than one child!
I fall solidly into category number two, though only with the one offspring. Ali, I suspect she’s a number one. Mind you, I have to admit I have never seen her with wet hair, so perhaps she is category three? Organised. I dream of being a number one or three. Much like I’ve promised myself for the last decade I will one day train enough to have Cameron Diaz’s body, even if it only lasts a month, it WILL happen, there is still time, right?
My partner gets up at 5am EVERY day to meditate, for an hour. I doze in and out during that time, which I consider to be a form of meditation, just of the horizontal kind. At 6am, perfectly timed, my daughter creeps in and leaps on the bed instructing me that despite the lack of sunrise, it is in fact TIME TO GET UP!
I used to instruct the small human – who inherited her father’s annoyingly chipper ‘morning person’ persona – to ‘go and put the Weetbix in the bowls and then mummy will come down’, usually buying me at least another ten minutes while she gathered the bowls, spoons etc…then we graduated to ‘pop the milk in and when they’re ready mummy will come down’…now she comes up and every morning without fail says: ‘Weetbix are in the bowl, milk’s in, I have flipped them, they are soft on both sides and your cup of tea (made by daddy) is ready’ – honestly, it’s like they’re torturing me!! The rest I could let slide, but if there is a hot cup of tea down there that’s it, the countdown to it going cold is on, I only ever get half a warm one at best, so by this point there’s no getting out of it.
So, we have breakfast and a chat and I reluctantly drag myself into the shower. Once out, that’s when panic begins to rise.
I need to get dressed and with drawers and a wardrobe packed like a London underground train at rush hour, I of course, have nothing to wear. Eventually I turn to the floordrobe for a solution. Meanwhile I’m yelling out reminders, ‘time to get dressed’, ‘are you getting dressed?’, ‘Are you dressed yet?’ ‘have you cleaned your teeth?’, ‘Are they really clean?’
And of course, unlike mums one and three, I haven’t pre-cut my veggies for crunch and sip, and need to start the whole lunchbox from scratch…cutting up cheese triangles, doling out portions of crackers, sultanas, rice cakes, making the sandwich…and no matter what I do, I look down and the box is always various shades of orange and brown! No rainbows there…dammit…then I root through the fridge; carrots, no, roasted sweet potato, no, broccoli, too smelly, no…onto the cupboards; GF corn crackers, no, chocolate covered rice cakes, no, organic chips, still no, eventually I get to cranberries, brilliant! Only she won’t eat them, so I throw a few in for ‘variety’ and without fail when I get her box back at the end of the day all that remains are three dusty little cranberries – which gives you an insight into why I started this site…because I really need Ali’s help!
So, lunchbox is done, child is dressed and reasonably clean, then I see it…the matted tangle of knots she proudly calls hair! How the hell in the course of one night do they manage to fashion dreads that would give Bob Marley a run for his money? And what time is it? That’s right, time to leave! So, I grab a brush and try not to pull every strand out, eventually giving in and quickly do a plait. It looks ‘undone’ which could be considered ‘on trend’, if she was a 20-something hollywood starlet, not so much for a 7 year old, but it’s the best I can do. Then it’s a mad rush to get the shoes on, bag packed and out the door…and as I go to leave, that is the moment, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and what do I see? Clothes? Yes. Shoes not slippers, yes, bonus! Hair? Bugger it, wet, and not Scarlett Johansson post swim style, it’s more like Edward Scissorhands post an apocalyptic level downpour. And what can I do? NOTHING, because we are LATE.
So I try and flatten it down so as not to scare anyone, put on my sunnies and usher the child out of the door. As we rush down the street I’ll be scrunching, because THAT helps, non? While proclaiming that tomorrow, Mummy will get up early and the morning will run with military precision. As I steer the small human in through the gate I’ll nod, smile and make way for mums number one and three who are breezing their way out…and sometimes I’ll catch them saying something like, ‘I just wish I could be more organised in the morning’…at first I think, ‘oh god, if they only knew’, and then wonder, perhaps we are all number 4: All doing our best, which is often so much more awesome than we realise, often thinking everyone else knows a secret we don’t, and all at least managing to leave the house without our slippers on…most days.
Image by Alex Suprun