When it’s a time thing.

In case you didn’t already know this about me, I can’t stand being late.  I mean, seriously, the thought of it fills me with  nausea, it causes me to break into a cold sweat, it’s just not in my gene pool to be late.  In fact, I’m actually one of those irritating people who is often about half an hour too early.  So as you can imagine,  getting sometimes three children (I take one of The Beast’s friends to school a few days a week) out of the house to school and nursery on time can be somewhat of a military operation.  I like timetables, I like plans, I LIKE ORDER.  I also like to be able to come back home and have a cup of tea and eight a rich tea biscuit before cracking on with work, rather then tidying up the carnage of children.

Therefore you’d think, you would think, that I’d be grateful for those rare days when Matthew leaves for work a little later and can offer a helping hand…wouldn’t you?  Well before you think that, let me inform you, being on time is not a phrase which is in Matthew’s vocabulary.  I, along with other people, have been known to tell him we need to be somewhere – anywhere – up to an hour earlier then the actual ETA.  This has got worse since we’ve had the boys.  It’s not that he INTENDS to be late, he just has no concept of time.

For example, it’s Saturday morning.  The outlaws have called to see if we fancy getting together.  We are all around the breakfast table, pots strewn about, toast unfinished but still having the jam licked off one finger wipe at a time, Matthew says quite confidently “we’ll see you in about 40 minutes”. To which, if I’m lucky enough to be in earshot, I have to butt in and say an hour and a half. The outlaws live 20 minutes away, two adults need to be showered, two children need to get dressed, the explosion of weekend pots need to be cleaned away, and I have to put my face on.  THERE IS NO WAY we can be out of the house in 20 minutes. Especially when Matthew suddenly decides that he wants to MOW THE LAWN BEFORE HE GETS IN THE SHOWER.

We’re not even home dry if we make it out of the house within the required deadline…you see, we may suddenly need a 5 (20) minute stop at B&Q for a light bulb or something.

So, am I grateful for his “help”? No, it makes me want to cry.  It also ALWAYS makes me late.

When we first started the new school routine, I thought I’d get him involved, make life easier, I made a plan.  To me the plan seemed simple.

6.45am – Aimee up and Shower, Matt goes and makes a brew and has breakfast (Fatty has been up for hours and is bumbling about watching tv and attempting to pull the curtains off the curtain rail)

7am – Matt in shower

7.15am – Aimee gets Fatty dressed, Matt encourages The Beast dressed (it’s not just my child that takes about SIX YEARS to get dressed in the morning is it?)

7.30am – The Princess arrives

7.45am – Matthew and Fatty leave for nursery, I feed the older children breakfast

8.30am – We leave for school.

I thought it looked reasonable, relaxed.  I felt it was unfair for the fat one to witness others eating breakfast when his is waiting for him at nursery.

The first time I explained the plan to Matthew his response was “oh I have to help?” followed swiftly by “but I don’t want breakfast early”.  Head.on.wall.

But we tried, we TRIED TRIED TRIED.  However, even with a fortnightly meltdown from me where I say “FINE NOBODY CAN LEAVE THE HOUSE YOU CAN ALL STAY HERE AND I WILL GO TO McDonalds STARBUCKS”.  Usually because this happens.

6.45am – Aimee gets in shower

7am – Aimee: “Matt MATT MATT GET UP”

7.15am – Aimee gets Theo up

7.20am – “MATT can you encourage T to get dressed while I do Larry?”

7.25am – “Matt – they’ll be here soon, can you get Theo dressed..THEO no get out of your spiderman costume, it’s a school day”

7.26am – “MATT WHY ARE YOU GETTING IN THE SHOWER?” “oh? you want me to get Theo dressed BEFORE I get in the shower today”

<<<FIZZ BRAIN BURST – I get both children dressed>>>>

7.45am – Matt is lying on the floor doing a gym sessions worth of sit ups.  Fatty has a pre-breakfast.

On the days where we don’t have a visitor it’s even worse, he gets complacent, he floats about, he decides to put up the towel rail which has been sitting behind the bathroom door for two weeks, HE DOESN’T LEAVE UNTIL 8.25am.  This would be fine, except Fatt should be at nursery for 8am, and T has to be in the car.  PLUS, because he’s floating and “helping” I realise that socks aren’t on, drinks flasks aren’t filled, and my general routine is caput.

Yesterday I had another brief tantrum, we weren’t even taking The Princess but as I’m running around attempting to sit on the fat one to get him dressed and The Beast is lolloping on the landing not wanting to get dressed as he’s discovered it’s not lunch box day, and Matt is prancing around, suddenly deciding he’s needs a pooh.  We don’t get the children downstairs to eat breakfast until 8.10am.  Twenty minutes might sound like a reasonable time to eat breakfast (after all, if you remember, I gave Matthew 15 in the original plan), HOWEVER, we’re talking about a 4 year old who is already sulking.  We end up leaving at 8.40am and as I predicted, getting stuck in a line traffic on a road I normally fly down (within the speed limit obvs).  I practically have to throw him through the classroom door.

Does anybody else’s child, even though they’ve been able to get themselves dressed for TWO years, suddenly find it impossible to put their arms through vests.  Are socks suddenly being worn on hands and pants on heads?  Are toddlers suddenly attempting to slide under the stair gate (no luck their fat baby).  Are you having to confiscate Spiderman suits? And in a sudden panic moment, is the bribe of being allowed to watch Peppa Pig at the breakfast table (if you don’t tell daddy even though it was his suggestion) suddenly rebuffed in favour for crawling under your bed? Or is it just me?

Pass.The.GinCup of Tea and Biscuits.





  1. emmakerry

    I’m sorry, but this made me laugh. This is *exactly* how my mornings go. My 4yo is up at 6, but is usually still naked at 8.30. Then there’s the gathering of books/computers as he decides he needs a “little poo” when we need to leave. I’m so glad it’s not just me.
    The boyfriend does the “be ready in half an hour” thing too. argh.

  2. Laura Briggs (@Lady_Briggs)

    Great post, really made me chuckle! And no, it’s not just you, it is always a challenge for us to get out of the house (never mind on time) and children definitely forget the ability to brush teeth, get dressed etc etc when you’re in a rush! In fact, if I say we’re in a rush I think it makes things even worse!

  3. Black Confetti UK (@BlackConfettiUK)

    I detest being late, unfortunately i have a husband and a son who, like Matthew have no concept of time whatsoever. I used to wake my son up at 7 and tell him we had to hurry because it was nearly 8:30 and even so we were lucky to get to school by 9:05. Thankfully my other son is more like me and is always ready on time, they are now 24 and 27 but boy I do not miss those mornings, I seemed to spend my whole time shouting, hurry up, put your shoes on, no, put your shoes on your feet not your hands. Where is your tie? You had it in your hand 5 minutes a go. Right into the car, aaagh you didn’t tell me you had a school trip today, how much money do you need. Oh no, don’t miss those days at all.

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