Going out of the house every day is essential. On a fine day, the garden may suffice, but if we want to be more certain that the day’s chaos will be short, generally manageable interludes, rather than prolonged sessions of mayhem, it’s best to make a day of it, or at least half a day.
Unfortunately going out of the house involves, well…getting out of the house. And that can be a lengthy procedure. The questions, “is it daytime yet? Is it getting-up time yet?” may well have been posed at 6am, but I can guarantee it’ll be 10am before I finally accelerate away from the house in a car which appears to contain virtually every possession we own.
So what can possibly happen in those four hours? We often start with a lengthy clothing negotiation, perhaps discussing the relative merits of shorts/long party dress as an outfit for a bike riding excursion to the park. The daily dematt of Luna’s curly hair is sometimes delayed due to reasons such as, “I’m not ready to have my hair brushed yet. I just want to look at these things.” As she balances precariously on a wobbly chair, turfing out on to the floor a drawer of stuff I still hoped was out of reach. Meanwhile Willow might be downstairs, maybe investigating the cat litter…
Breakfast is always a delicate affair, not to be rushed. Choice of bowl, and cup is of incredible importance and the same crockery is not always in favour. Porridge can go down very well, but really only if I pretend to be Goldilocks.
After mopping oddments of porridge from here and there, it’s time for teeth brushing. Now I’m the ‘dentist’ and the child not lying on the dentist’s chair (coffee table) is the ‘hygienist’. I brush whilst counting, singing, telling stories about car transporters driving around mouths…anything to keep the mouth open. And swap – next child. Nappy on for Willow and last toilet visit for Luna if it can be engineered (“I don’t need wee wee…”).
Finally, it’s time to get in the car. A system seems to have evolved whereby anyone under the age of three runs off and hides at this point. Once children have been located and ushered out of the front door, they tend to wander to the herb garden for a snack (having not eaten their porridge) and getting them into the car can be a challenge. Getting them out of the driver’s seat/boot/passenger foot well and buckled into their own seats is near impossible.
But we manage it every day. Because going out of the house every day is essential. And while all of this sounds like a thoroughly tedious chaotic nightmare, it’s worth every second when I get to spend my day with the funniest, loveliest little people I’ve ever met.