I FEEL like the worst mother in the world this week as my children have been resenting having to get up in order to go to school.
As usual, despite getting up at silly o’clock when my alarm abruptly dragged me from my lovely slumber, I still found myself running around like a headless chicken trying desperately to get everyone out in time for the school run and work.
Sadly my three children – well, the eldest two anyway- are not great at getting out of bed in the morning. When they were babies this was a godsend. Many of my friends had children who would be up at 5am and wouldn’t settle back to sleep despite all bribes and coaxing.
Mine would happily not be up and about until 7.30am at the earliest.
On weekends this is a real treat for us and the envy of many of our friends.
But on school run days this is not such good news. With three small people in tow the morning mayhem has to be controlled and carried out with military precision.
I am first up, showered and dressed then the other half has the same ritual while I do my finishing touches.
There is a moment in the morning when it is just me (and the odd lark tweeting forlornly outside my bedroom window). I quietly pad about getting ready when it is still dark and the whole house is still happily in the land of nod.
The getting out of bed part is the worst – especially as the mornings are cold and under the duvet is lovely and warm. Sometimes I have to put my alarm across the room just so I am forced out of bed to go and switch it off. The only way then to maintain the warmth of the duvet is to dive into the shower at top speed. Once the water hits my face I am fully out of my slumbers.
Waking my ‘angelic’ offspring is a whole other matter, though. Then the quiet lull breaks. The baby is the easiest one. She wakes up with a beaming smile on her chops and instantly strikes up a conversation in her babyish way. Getting her in her clothes can be another matter though as she would always prefer to be naked.
And once she is released from her cot she can be a real menace – opening and shutting every drawer and cupboard, emptying all the contents everywhere. So we tend to leave her to the last minute in her cot before opening the ‘cage’ door. This however, has the effect of making her grumpy and screaming ferociously.
This week I have felt most sorry for our son. The instant his curtains are opened he starts pleading for us to go away and leave him to his sleep. Every morning we have to literally prise the bedclothes from him and persuade him into his clothes by bribing him with treats for doing so. This week he was the most upset I have seen in ages, refusing to budge from the bottom step until “someone looked after him”, he said.
A few jelly sweets later and he was consoled. But it did make me think that if they are difficult to get ready now how on earth will it be in when they are teenagers who are notoriously bad at getting up in the morning (I know I was – used to drive my mother round the bend!) I don’t think a few sweets will do the trick then! I might have to even think of paying them to get up and start their day.
But I am a firm believer that children should be in school as much as they possibly can be.
So despite the fact that there is a battle now and a battle to be had in the future I am sure, I will still be there hounding them to get up and get out to school.
Anyone who wants any tips or advice on how to help their children if they are in a similar situation as me should visit Sheffield City Council’s website on: sheffield.gov.uk