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Monday, 14 January 2013

I am not a morning person.

Charlie. Lucky he is cute!
When I was doing my Masters at Sydney University, there was an amazing lecturer, Marion Baird teaching HR and IR subjects and she also did a lot of organisational research. She's really a bit of a guru and there is 2 things I remember about her:

1. She was involved in putting together the proposal and lobbying the government for paid maternity leave.  One evening during the lecture the government announced the introduction of said paid leave. It was a historical moment, she was pretty stoked and the class was pretty excited. 

2. She talked to me about a research paper that discussed how women manage to handle full time work with one child but two children often tips the balance and women often find it difficult to cope, and only manage to return to part time work at best. At the time we had the chat I was either 39 weeks pregnant or had a 2 week old Aiden. Can't remember. Damm baby brain. I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to cope with one but seeing as I was attending an evening university lecture (in whatever state I was in) perhaps I should have worked out it would be alright?

Anyway, I'm back at full time work with two kids and for the most part it works ok. Apparently, despite what some family members think, I am actually an organised person. Yes. I'm putting it out there. It's true. Sometimes. Arran does his fair share, we have a good routine and we have a cleaner. A person can only do so much.

Of course there is being organised and then there is trying to get out of the house in the morning before 8am without getting up at 5am, with hair done, make-up on, me dressed, small boys dressed (clean is a bonus), everyone fed, sunscreen on, shoes on, hats on........getting the picture? I am not a morning person. It's a lot to ask. Arran and I have a deal where I do the childcare drop offs and he does the pick ups. This means that he gets to train on his bike in the mornings when it suits him best and I get to either work late or exercise in the evening, which suits me best. 

I'm thinking that the person who conducted the research on women with two children and full-time work must have been doing qualitative  research by observing the getting-out-of-the-house-in-the-morning debacle routine and after seeing a couple of families in action decided it just wasn't possible. 

Mondays are the worst. You forget on Mondays that you really have to gear up. You are still in the post weekend haze, wishing it was Sunday morning, not Monday. Take this morning. 

Charlie screams. Fly out of bed. Shove dummy in. Exit room with haste. Hope like hell he stops screaming. He stops. Back in to bed. 

Shower, get dressed, straighten hair, put make-up on, find shoes, find phone, start mantra: don't forget to get Charlie's daycare sheets out of the dryer. Don't forget to get Charlie's daycare sheets out of the dryer.

Go into Charlie's room. Get him up for a cuddle. Put him on change table. Screams like a banshee. Get kicked in stomach. Tell Charlie not to kick mummy in stomach. Get kicked in stomach again. Twice. Sigh. Bit more screaming. Get Charlie dressed.

Charlie and I head to Aiden's room. Aiden is hiding under the sheet (a big wriggly mess) and telling us we don't know where he is. Bit of a tickle and cuddle with the 2 boys, and ask Aiden to go to the toilet and get undressed. Aiden starts talking and DOES NOT STOP until I drop him at daycare. Current discussion is on what we are going to do today and eating Weet-bix including the crumbs. Get Aiden dressed while telling Charlie not to:
a) open and close the drawers in Aiden's room 
b) close Aiden's door
c) stop crawling down the hall to go into the bathroom and turn on the taps in the bath, or

Bring boys downstairs for what I hope will be the last trip up or down the stairs. Remember that I didn't get Charlie's daycare sheets which are in the dryer UP STAIRS. Sigh.

Get out bowls and weet-bix for both boys because Charlie has decided he only wants what Aiden is having which takes twice as long to feed him. Get set up on the table and get the boys eating while I wonder what I'm having (Arran and I are on lite n' easy). In between shovelling Weet-bix into Charlie's mouth I get up to see what's on my breakfast menu. It's "Pikelets with Fig and Berry Compote and Honey Yoghurt". How delicious? How am I supposed to defrost/cook/assemble that while I'm trying to feed Charlie, keep up with Aiden's current conversation (which is now on some rough kid at daycare) and remember to get Charlie's sheets out of the dryer upstairs?

Between every second mouthful I manage to assemble my breakfast and bring it over to the table. Charlie has been watching proceedings very closely. He starts to grunt and moan and gesticulate at my breakfast. Little....bugger. So I share my pikelets with Charlie until he decides to tip his drink on his high chair tray and smack his hands in the water gleefully. Luckily I'm wearing my super-handy, nothing-will-stick-to-it-water-just-runs-off polyester Country Road dress. This is a fluke. 
Charlie goes back to eating Weet-bix and Aiden has moved onto his 3rd bowl of Weet-bix including crumbs, more milk and has changed up the conversation to "Misty Island Rescue". I just have to say that my life was fine before Thomas the Tank Engine came into it. Fine.

5 minutes to my goal of getting out of the house at 7.30am, which I never make. Remember I need to get Charlie's sheets, a book for work (which is on the 3rd floor) and put some deodorant on. Boys are fed and playing. I'll just whip upstairs. 

Arrive back downstairs to find that Aiden hasn't killed Charlie and that Charlie has filled his pants with a very. bad. smell. I don't have time for this.

Lie Charlie down on the change mat (screams like a banshee), change the fullest, sloppiest pants (sorry but you made it this far) and re-dress him. Ask Aiden to come over so I can slather every exposed inch of his skin with sunscreen and ask him to put his shoes on. This is possibly the most excruciating part of the morning routine. He has also changed topics and is now telling me that jumping castles are not scary and they have music in them. I don't care. Really. 

Open the door to take them out to the car. It's cold outside. What? We-are-having-the-highest-temperatures-in-the-know-universe and it's bushfire season! Sunrise have been doing 24/7 specials on it! Aiden and Charlie are wearing shorts and T-shirts. Bustle them into the car. Aiden is still talking. Race upstairs to different ends of the house to get them a jacket. Race downstairs. Pack their clothes in the bags. Pack my lunch and bits and pieces. Put it all in the car. Race back to lock the house up. Get in the car. Drive out of the driveway. Don't have to go back for anything. Miracle.

Drop them at daycare. Aiden stops talking and goes to look for trains. Charlie get's wiggly because there are toys he wants to play with. They don't care that I'm leaving them.

I'm not sure that researcher realised that if you actually survive all that you can go to work and have a coffee in peace. Bliss.


  1. So did you remember the sheets? And an organized person doesn't have to "look" for their shoes, watch, etc! I rest my case!!!!

    1. Yes I remembered the sheets!! You could be a little supportive....