Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (Basically any school day)
I’ve been up for about 40 minutes and got myself ready for the day. As the clock reaches the hour, I take a deep breath, switch on the hall light and start waking children. They are not happy.
DD1 ignores me until I’ve repeated myself 12x and then only answers when I promise to shut up and go away.
DD2 burrows under her duvet and screams that she’s not going to school today.
DD3 gets up as soon as she hears my voice but merely relocates to our bedroom where she snuggles up to her father. 90 seconds later, after muttering about how tired he is, DS follows suit.
I start with DS and harrass him until he gets out of our bed and goes to the toilet. Then I strip him off , supervise his tooth brushing and leave him beside a pile of school uniform with instructions to get dressed. In the meantime, I yell at DD1 and DD2 a couple of times to make sure they haven’t gone back to sleep.
Next, I move on to DD3. She’s usually pretty good at getting herself to the loo and finding her toothbrush, so I usually intercept her mid brushing. She has a couple of tricky areas that the dentist had to scrape last time we went, so I do those for her and send her to get dressed. She has to be watched though as she has a tendency to start playing with toys midway after she’s put her top on, but before she has got her trousers or skirt on.
I check on the progress of DD1 and DD2; if everything is going well they should at least be out of bed. I go back to DS, finish off his dressing, give DD3’s ensemble the once over ( she specialises in wearing items that are too big for her and belong to her older sisters) , untangle two lots of hair and scrape them back into presentable ponytails.
In the morning I give the kids 30 minutes to get up, get dressed and get downstairs for breakfast, otherwise they lose their screen time for the day. It works, but it’s a lot of hard work for me.
And worst of all, it’s all so repetitive.
Saturday, Sunday and any non-school day
I wake because I can hear breathing in my ear. Suddenly there is a voice.
‘Mummy, is it time to get up?’ I pry open my eyes and glare at DS standing beside the bed. I focus on the clock. For god’s sake, it’ s only 6am. Earlier that I usually get up on a school day.
‘No, it’s not!’ I grump. ‘Go back to bed.’
‘But I’m not tired anymore’, complains the small boy as he goes back to his room. I manage about 10 minutes of dozing before he’s back; this time he has reinforcements.
‘ DS woke me up,’ complains my youngest girl. ‘Can I get up now?’
What can I do? I know from experience they won’t get back to sleep, so I say they can play quietly in their room, with the door closed.
But of course they make enough noise that they wake their older siblings and so, before 7am we either have all 4 of them in one bedroom, playing some game that necessitates lots of yelling and arguing OR we end up with the older two storming into our room complaining bitterly about the noise the younger two are making.
Why won’t they all just sleep in on the days that they can? Or at least get up happily on the days they have to go to school?
It seems we have the worst of both worlds; are we alone?