• Martha

Morning

Updated: Apr 7, 2019

First day of double school run.  Second day of No.1 child’s new school, first day of No.2 child’s new school.  Parent must be calm, positive and supportive to ensure smooth transition into places of learning.  All therapeutic parenting skills (from expensive Attachment course) must be employed: playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy.



Parent rouses No. 1 Child at 7am.  No. 1 Child groans loudly but, 5 minutes later, emerges and stumbles downstairs for daily Weetabix ration: 6, served in pairs, correct bowl, correct spoon etc.  Cereal boxes stacked neatly to prevent No.1 Child from having to look at sibling during breakfast.


Increasingly loud calling eventually penetrates sleeping brain of No.2 Child who wakes up screaming.  Screams in bed, out of bed, downstairs and for several minutes in kitchen. Stands, resplendent in blue checked pyjama shorts and mysteriously matted hair, indistinguishable from a purple minion. No.1 Child tries to shout over the cacophony, while Parent, drawing on all skills from expensive Attachment course, fails equally.  Brain of Parent repeatedly plays scene in ‘Airplane’ of man who shouts ‘this was the wrong week to give up amphetamines’ while throwing handfuls of pills into his mouth.  Parent starts washing up while reflecting on colleagues from expensive Attachment course, imagining them cheering on her sang froid.


No.1 Child takes only action remaining to him and farts in face of No.2 Child.  Oscar-worthy death scene ensues with the added bonus of changing the screaming to shout-barking, indecipherably.  Parent’s brain inadvertently stores away this new method of curtailing screaming sessions and places it in the ‘when all else has failed’ section, along with singing, tap dancing and all standard parenting techniques.  Parent remembers her responsibilities and admonishes No.1 Child who denies all part in the incident and marches away swiftly to get dressed.  Parent continues to wash up nonchalantly and let scene continue without an audience, reflecting once more on colleagues from expensive Attachment course, knowing that they would be enjoying the scene greatly.


No.2 Child creeps into chair and shoutily demands service.  All breakfast options are dismissed as ‘scusting’ so Parent washes up last remaining teaspoon for several minutes.  Parent considers offering No.2 Child a large toffee to challenge and restrict jaws.  Settles for cooking toast for self in order to tempt banshee with delicious smell.  Success.  25 minutes in, mouth is quietly munching on toast and chocolate spread.


No.1 Child descends stairs fully dressed and installs self in small sitting room to hide until departure time.  No.2 Child thunders up stairs in order to get dressed and then emerges from the bathroom with carefully placed blob of toothpaste on corner of mouth, teeth untroubled by toothbrush.  Parent lets this one go.  Hair issue is addressed, gently but with screams, even when brush is nowhere near hair.  Parent withdraws to insert contact lenses and returns to find No.2 Child standing on chair with No.1 Child brushing and styling her hair and placing alice-band Xanadu-style, on front of head.  No.2 Child thankful and both embrace.


Parent crawls to car and family leave ON TIME.  Due to inefficiency of No.1 Child’s school, accidents and traffic jams, No.2 child arrives 25 minutes late for first day of school.  Round trip to dispatch 2 x children = 1.5 hours.  Parent catches sight of haggard old crone on other side of school window and realises that it’s actually a mirror.  Watches child No.2 march laughing into first day of new school, doubts sanity, then speeds off to supermarket for box of hair dye. 


Tomorrow we go again.

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MS Parent Advocate is a supportive blog focusing on the challenges and wins of parenting children with additional needs. Based in Hampshire Martha runs workshops for schools and other education providers in Surrey, London & Hampshire on how to improve empathy between teachers and parents.

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