What Not to Say to a Mum Before Her Morning Coffee
We all have those morning when nothing goes to plan. I am a little OCD and I like things done a certain way. This part of my personality has been tempered slightly since having children. It had to be. Children will not always do what they are told, when they are told to do it, or even how you want it done. So, to get around the issue, I have put certain fail safes in place.
Each evening I follow a very strict routine. Once the kids are in bed, I lay out their clothes for the next morning. Uniforms, underwear, socks, shoes and yes even hair ties (because finding them amidst the mid morning rush is like trying to find that elusive odd sock that you are sure you put in the dryer.)
Then I make sure the packed lunches are made and put in the fridge ready for the morning. I check there are cereal bars at the ready or breakfast in the cupboard and place all homework in their school bags.
This routine is essential… why?
I hate mornings.
I hate the rush of them, and the inevitable lack of coordination of the mini people in my life. I also hate that despite the fact my husband takes the children to school with me each morning, I am the only person who has to run around like a blue assed fly to get everyone out of the door on time.
With all this in mind, it stands to reason that I am not one of those mothers at the school drop off looking like a super model. My hair is put back into a clasp, and I will not be wearing make-up. The school drop off is just that… a drop off. It is not a catwalk show, it is not the beginning of a night out. So all those mothers who turn up looking like they just stepped out of a Stepford Wife movie, in my humble opinion you can all go to hell. Most days I do a little happy dance if I manage to get my two little monsters to the school bus clean, fed and dressed. To do the same for myself and look like a model in the process would mean me getting up at 4 am. Ladies, that simply isn’t going to happen. I love my bed far too much.
With so many people to co-ordinate in the mornings, most days it is safe to assume that when I drop off my kids, I have not yet had my morning coffee. On these days, I should carry a “Beware, Do Not Approach” sign.
I am a grizzly bear first thing in the morning on a good day. Sans cafe means… well… imagine waking a grizzly bear after hibernation and sticking pins in his eyes before he has had food… his reaction would not be far off mine in the morning.
Knowing this, let me tell you a short story.
This morning, I woke up to find that our mini hairy friend on four legs had left a lovely little present for me right outside my bedroom door. First mistake of the morning. Never piss off the mummy before she even reaches the bathroom. The pooch was incredibly lucky that I had not yet opened my eyes long enough to focus, because had I been awake for 5 minutes longer, my foot would have been lodged up his backside. Then, on entering the bathroom I discovered that one of my darling daughters had risen early enough to play ‘snow fights’ in the bathroom with my new bottle of Talcum Powder.
Yep… I was close to losing it already, and this was 4 minutes into my day.
Still no coffee in hand yet.
My other daughter, who is already acting like a teenager at the tender age of 6, then refused to get out of bed. Cue lots of screaming and huffing and dramatics about ‘hating me’.
Still no coffee.
Which is probably a good thing, as she may well have been wearing it.
Downstairs in the kitchen I quickly spotted that smallest mini beast has decided to help herself to breakfast, chocolate muffins of course, not the allotted breakfast I had laid out.
I slowly count to ten and take deep breaths, trying incredibly hard not to lose my shit. I tell the girls to dress themselves and flick the coffee machine on. I am determined to try and swallow some caffeine before I get in the car, because so help me god if I do not, I will kill someone.
No words. No words can describe the anger that rose in me as I turned to watch my daughter putting her PE kit on without pants (as my husband stood watching her, not saying anything). Just then, my daughter snaps her hair tie. Not her fault admittedly, but for the love of god, try finding another one of them 10 minutes before you are due to leave the house.
After 10 minutes of screaming, shouting eat your breakfast and wrestling an octopus shaped child into a ridiculous off-white sports kits, I can feel myself getting closer to the edge. My husband hurries the children to the door, finally recognising the look on my face… saying calmly “come on girls… I think its time to go, I think mums head is about to explode“.
In the car on the way to school, my husband puts on calming music and tries his best to chill me out, but the screams from the back of the car boil my blood further. I need caffeine.
Then comes the drop off.
As my children clamber onto the bus with their other friends, I am grateful to have gotten them here in one piece. Just as I begin to breath easily, I feel the faint tap on my shoulder. One of the “yummy mummies”. Oh the joy.
“Hello darling. Oh sweetie you do look tired. Late night was it?”
Wow… ok. So that just happened. Did you really just poke a bear in the eye with a stick before 9am? Girl, do you not know there is a strict Pre 9am etiquette? First step is to never approach a mother before 9am, unless:
A) She is making eye contact with you.
B) She is holding coffee and therefore you KNOW she has had her morning fix or
C) You are prepared to get a swift sharp shock.
I quietly explain that it has been a tough morning, and I was just grateful to get my kids to the bus on time and dressed. To which she laughed and patted my shoulder condescendingly. “Well darling, maybe keep a hairbrush in your car? It’s easy. Then you just give your hair a quick once over before you drop the kids off.”
Did she just say that? Really?
For a moment I stood stock still. Utterly dumbfounded.
Just before the bus pulls away, I turn to the yummy mummy and smile sweetly before saying, “Are you going straight to work darling?” She grins a smug smile – you know, the one that says ‘I’m off to a swanky office job while I trot on back to work from home.‘
“Well then Darling, shouldn’t you carry some make-up in your bag. Surely you are not going into the office without a touch up?”
I am not generally a cruel person, and I blame this particular incident on the fact that I was not yet caffeinated.
So Ladies, please, in future remember these key points. A Lesson in Pre 9am Etiquette – when you are doing the morning school run, remember…
1: Never ever approach a mum before 9am without a coffee in her hand.
2: Never ever comment on a mothers outfit before 9am. You have no idea what she has had to contend with to get her kids to school that morning.
3: Never ever, at any point of the day, comment on a disheveled mothers attire, but at 9am, if you choose to poke that particular bear, expect to hear her growl.