Groundhog Day: The Reality Of The School Run

Some days I’m woken by the chirping of birds, other days, like today, I’m woken by my five-year-old's knees landing on my boll*cks while a rogue elbow hits my spleen. 

Written by: Digital Dad. Dad of 3. Husband of One. Master of None.
Some days I’m woken by the chirping of birds, other days, like today, I’m woken by my five-year-old's knees landing on my boll*cks while a rogue elbow hits my spleen.  
“Good morning stinky dad...”
I didn’t have kids for this. But this is parenting. At least this is what it’s like in our house on school mornings.
My five-year-old likes to wake before the sun rises. He’s great like that. My seven-year-old, on the other hand, he’ll usually stay asleep until his brother decides he needs a wake mate.
Our two-year-old? Well, he’s a fan of Russian roulette so he could be asleep or awake at any given time of the day but, like his five-year-old partner in crime, he usually likes to wake before the sun rises too.
In fact, sometimes he also likes to wake when Mummy and Daddy are going to bed. He too is great like that.

But hey, it’s not all bad. At least the two eldest boys dress themselves each morning. We lay out their clothes the night before... but they put them on themselves, often back to front - but they put them on nonetheless. It’s a small win in the grand scheme of morning tasks. Or so you would think.

Today, for instance, we had a five-year-old who couldn’t find one of his socks.
"It’s fine, just get another pair or get any other sock," I said, but he was having none of it. He had his heart set on the ‘yellow Lego ones’.
So up I get, cupping my privates and readjusting my spleen, to play the first game of ‘hide & seek’ of the day.
The sock, it turns out, was already on his foot. He just happened to put the second sock on the same foot hence why he couldn’t find it. His reasoning? “Oh it was a yellow sock so I didn’t see it on my foot”.
This is what you’re dealing with, but look, it’s not as if it’s a daily occurrence or anything. It’s not like he couldn’t find the coat that he was already wearing when we were leaving the house or anything.

They can make their own breakfast too which is great. Again, another task off of our parenting list. OK fine, fine, once you’ve reminded the seven-year-old that there are no prizes for trying to pour an entire 2 litres of milk into a cereal bowl and you've chiseled away at the cement dried Weetabix on the table, chairs, floor and walls, it’s not all that bad.
We’ll ignore the Gremlin-like two-year-old eating soggy corn flakes off the floor for now.

Dressed and fed. Done.

“Boys, once you’re finished, put your lunches into your school bags and come upstairs to brush your teeth.”
And so the exorcism begins.
If it’s not the brushing of teeth, it’s the brushing of hair and the daily fear that the neighbours will call the police for the howls they hear coming from the bathroom. Howls from the same boys who get into a bath and scream that ‘it’s too hot’ even though there are ice cubes floating on the top of it.
Howls from the same boys that don't want to ever get out of said bath once they're in it. Exaggeration is their forte.

A full tube of toothpaste and 16 gallons of water later, the teeth are brushed, the hair is less tangled and they’re finally ready to get into the car. Oh of them has to do a poo. Silly me.
Some things in ‘parenting world’ never change.

We say goodbye to Mummy and wave goodbye to Jabba The Hut, who’s almost finished his ‘floor flakes’, and ten minutes of arguing why a ‘sleeveless coat won't be warm enough’ later, we finally make it to the car.
I usually like to leave a good three hours before school starts so that the boys have time to buckle their own seat belts. It’s one of the highlights of being a taxi parent. Who said patience is underrated?

And we’re off. Only we’re not because our five-year-old wants to get his school bag from the boot so that he can recommence his Pokemon card trading with his seven-year-old brother who has fleeced him of everything decent he has (he’s going places this kid).
“I can just jump over the seat to get them, Dad”.
“No don't, you’ve already buckled your seat, none of us can go through all that again”.

We swing by a neighbour's house and pick up two other kids. They go to the same school so it makes sense, otherwise, it wouldn’t. They too are Pokemon dealers. Great. The only fear I have now, while listening to yet another Brexit radio bulletin (snore), are the Gardai pulling me over and discovering the Pokemon Drug Den I have going on in the back seats.
Breaking Dad. This parenting lark is tough.

Thankfully the school is close, so the seven minutes the neighbour’s eldest boy has spent riding shotgun and trying to break the controls on the dashboard isn’t so bad. There’s always tomorrow though. We park up. Get out. School bags on and I walk them to their classrooms.

The neighbours give me a high five. My seven-year-old too. Gone are the days when he’ll kiss me in front of his friends. I miss that. My five-year-old, on the other hand, is still all hugs and kisses. I love that. He hangs up his ‘non-sleeveless coat’ and I help him with his school bag. His particularly light school bag.
Why is this so light I wonder? Oh, I know.  He’s forgotten his lunch. Great. It’s not like I have to be in work for a meeting or anything….And back home I go as I consider a job in Deliveroo.

This parenting lark is tough, but I love it all the same. A one-way ticket to Groundhog Day please.
Digital Dad. Dad of 3. Husband of One. Master of None. Find me on Facebook | Instagram | and sometimes Twitter

Digital Dad

Father of Three. Husband of One. Master of None. All opinions are my own unless my wife tells me otherwise.

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