“How can you always be late if your children wake you up so early?” If only it was that simple. For parents of young children, long gone are the days where we can simply pick up our purse, keys, and phone and leave the house. Instead, each morning consists of a ritual that involves tantrums, begging, and copious amounts of poop. One Mumblog parent shares her typical morning:
6.15am. Baby wakes up and requires feeding.
6.20am. Baby finishes feeding after just a few gulps and falls back asleep. I attempt to dose in bed.
6.35am. Baby wakes and starts grunting. Check nappy. All is well.
6.45. Pre-schooler starts shouting. He is apparently stuck in his bed and needs help. I go into pre-schooler’s room and explain that he is nearly four-years old, weighs nearly three stone, has perfectly functioning legs and, therefore, no, I cannot carry him from his bed to our bedroom.
6.47am. Pre-schooler starts crying. He cannot walk because “he has forgotten how to”. I carry pre-schooler to our bedroom.
6.50am. Pre-schooler has left teddy in his bedroom. I retrieve teddy and put cartoons on for pre-schooler.
6.55am. Baby wants feeding. Takes a few more gulps before giving up again.
7.00am. Pre-schooler announces that he needs the toilet. Then denies all knowledge of needing the toilet. I gently try to encourage pre-schooler to go to the bathroom. Pre-schooler refuses because he “absolutely does not need a wee”. Pre-schooler is known to unreliable in his assessment of his bladder needs, therefore, I become more stern and explain that he needs to go to the bathroom. Pre-schooler refuses. I begin countdown. Pre-schooler runs to the bathroom and does a wee.
7.02am. Husband heads to bathroom to help pre-schooler and then goes for a shower. Baby takes a few more gulps and starts grunting again. I check nappy. All is well.
7.05am. I send pre-schooler to choose some clothes. Pre-schooler returns with one sock. I explain to pre-schooler that he needs trousers, t-shirt, pants, and two socks. Pre-schooler retrieves second sock and pyjama top. I explain to pre-schooler that he cannot wear nighttime clothes during the day. Pre-schooler takes pyjama top back to bedroom. Returns with pants, trousers, and pyjama top. I put baby in crib and go to get t-shirt and return pyjama top.
7.10am. Baby resents being placed in crib and starts to cry. Pre-schooler states that he does not like chosen t-shirt. I send pre-schooler to choose a different t-shirt. Pre-schooler returns with the same t-shirt, then states that he doesn’t want to wear it. Pre-schooler asks for Captain America t-shirt. I explain that Captain America t-shirt is in the wash and he needs to wear something different. Pre-schooler demands Captain America t-shirt by shouting. I warn pre-schooler not to talk to me in that way and explain that he cannot wear something that is wet from being in the washing machine. Pre-schooler shouts some more. I give pre-schooler final warning. Pre-schooler stomps off to bedroom. I pick baby up and begin to soothe.
7.15. Pre-schooler returns with pyjama top. I explain to pre-schooler that he cannot wear his pyjama top to childcare and that he needs to get dressed quickly. Pre-schooler returns pyjama top and retrieves t-shirt he originally claimed he didn’t want to wear. Pre-schooler takes off pyjamas and puts pants on, then runs to his bedroom to “get something important”. I give the baby some more milk.
7.20am. Husband returns from bathroom wanting to know why pre-schooler is running around wearing only pants and waving a toy screwdriver. Husband gets dressed. Pre-schooler puts trousers on. I change baby’s nappy and clothes. Baby vomits on clean top. I change baby’s top. Explain to pre-schooler that he needs to put his socks and t-shirt on. I head for a shower knowing it will need to be very quick if we are to leave the house at any time before midday.
7.30am. I return from shower. Pre-schooler does not have socks or t-shirt on but does now have a pair of my pants on his head. I remind pre-schooler that he needs his t-shirt and socks on and ask him to remove my pants. Husband is stripping baby. Baby has filled nappy and poop has leaked out of the sides and back. Baby has poop all down her legs and up to her neck. I get bowl of water and cloths from bathroom and help husband clean baby.
7.35am. Pre-schooler has put one sock on inside out. I accept that I need to take over dressing him before we are really late and put socks and t-shirt on pre-schooler. Pre-schooler states that he does not want to wear this t-shirt. I tell pre-schooler that because he has put this t-shirt on it now needs to stay on or Mummy will get in trouble with the laundry police.
7.40am. Husband takes pre-schooler downstairs leaving baby in crib whilst I get dressed. Baby really doesn’t like being in the crib and cries. I finish dressing, soothe baby, then go into pre-schooler’s room and put away all the clothes and toys he has pulled out since getting up.
7.45am. I go downstairs. Pre-schooler is crying because husband cut the toast into four triangles instead of two triangles. I explain to pre-schooler that we cannot stick the pieces of toast back together. Pre-schooler states he does not want breakfast. I explain to pre-schooler that he needs breakfast to grow big and strong. Pre-schooler wants cereal. I tell him that I will have his toast and he can have cereal and fetch him some cereal. Pre-schooler starts to cry and states that I have “stolen his toast”. I offer toast back to pre-schooler but he does not want it. Pre-schooler starts eating cereal.
7.55am. Baby gets fussy and is hungry. Finally starts taking a proper feed. Pre-schooler knocks cereal bowl off the table, sending milk over himself and the floor. Husband takes pre-schooler to get changed whilst I finish feeding the baby.
8.05am. Baby finishes feeding. I burp baby. Baby vomits and manages to miss muslin square and coat my trousers instead. Take baby upstairs and change trousers. Pre-schooler is running around in pants and socks whilst husband attempts to chase him with trousers and t-shirt. I explain to pre-schooler that he will not be seeing his friends today if he doesn’t get dressed. Pre-schooler agrees and husband puts trousers and t-shirt on him. All return downstairs.
8.10am. I ask pre-schooler to put his shoes on. Pre-schooler cannot find his shoes. I explain that his shoes are in the hallway with all the other shoes where they are kept every day. I put baby in car seat. Baby resents being put in the car seat and starts to cry. I remind pre-schooler that he still needs to put his shoes on.
8.15am. I give up entirely on teaching pre-schooler how to be self-sufficient and put his shoes on for him. Pre-schooler announces he needs a poo. I accompany pre-schooler to bathroom to ensure he is sat on the toilet correctly as past experience has taught that this is necessary. I tell pre-schooler to shout when he has finished.
8.20am. Pre-schooler is still pooping. Husband removes baby from car seat as she has become purple from screaming.
8.25am. Pre-schooler is still pooping. I start to wonder if pre-schooler needs to eat more fibre.
8.30am. Pre-schooler is still pooping. Husband and I have our shoes on, coats on, and bags ready to leave as soon as pooping is complete.
8.35am. Pre-schooler announces he has finished. I assist pre-schooler with wiping and then return downstairs. Husband has put baby back in car seat and placed her in the car along with all bags. I put pre-schooler in car and get in myself. Husband starts engine and reverses out of driveway. Pre-schooler shouts that he has forgotten teddy. I jump out of car and return to house to retrieve teddy. We finally leave.
8.40am. Pre-schooler starts shouting that he did not want to wear this t-shirt, he wanted to wear his Captain America t-shirt. Baby starts crying. Husband and I silently despair.