Well it has to begin somewhere so this is it...
I had a thought this morning that when your children wake up late it's almost as bad as when they wake up early - especially if you have something to do. I shall explain. I have no alarm clock - my children are that thing. And unless I'm waking up really early to catch a flight (although come to think of it that hasn't happened in a few years but then I always did like living in the past), I never need to wake up before I hear that little call of 'Mummy'. I have two children. Two girls. They are two and four. I used to know which one was calling me because the elder would call 'Mummy' and the younger would just kind of cry out or just generally cry. But now the little one can speak they both call out 'Mummy' and I'm expected to go into their rooms and lift them out of their little beds (or cot as in the younger one's case) - although that's a different story - one I will share with you another time. But now when I hear 'Mummy' I don't know which one is calling me. It has been known for me to enter into the wrong one's bedroom and inadvertently wake them up before they are ready. I hate doing this.
Anyway, back to today. This morning I didn't hear the first of the cries until 7.45 at which point I looked at the time on my phone (remember no alarm clock) and I started to panic. The little one (that's Edie) had to be at nursery in 15 minutes and the elder one (that's Renée) had to be at school in 45 minutes. Actually writing it down now it doesn't seem so bad, but this morning it was horrible. There was milk to warm up (for one of us), clothes to put on (for three of us) and breakfast to make (for two of us). I would have liked it to be breakfast for three, but that's a sacrifice I am prepared to make when I'm in a hurry. And that's not even mentioning hair brushing, teeth brushing, tantrum control, dawdling prevention and all the other things that seem to need doing. And then when we're all ready to go it's into the car (why does it take so long to put children into car seats?) and drive to the nursery miles away where we used to live because there's still no place for Edie in the one over the road even though we put her name down when she was six weeks old. Which just so happens to be more than two years ago. I shall save that rant for another time. Anyway, so that's why it was all such a panic.
But the funny thing is, I had forgotten that we now have the wonderful Marion staying with us, our French au pair who's kind of related, although we had never actually met her before she stepped off the plane about a month ago. I have spent so long moaning about never having enough time to myself and begging for just a tiny bit of help, but now we have her I'm not sure what to do with her. Like this morning, I had forgotten that she was there and that I was supposed to utilise her. I think I am totally the wrong person to have an au pair simply because I can never ask people to help me. I can moan about not having help, but when help is given I insist that I can cope on my own. Oh what an idiot. I think that side of my character needs some working on.
So thank goodness for Marion. When I heard 'I'll make the breakfast and get the girls dressed' I almost burst into tears. All I had to do was to get myself dressed. I even toyed with the idea of making breakfast for myself but I decided it was too induldgent after all. So that was that. Instead of putting both girls in the car, I left Renée with Marion and took Edie to nursery on her own. It was almost relaxing. Except I was then a bit panicked on the way home that I was going to be late to drop Renée off at school, and it was a bit of a rush, especially since she insisted on taking almost her entire collection of soft toys in the car with her, some of which she dropped in the rain outside the front door, but we made it with minutes to spare.
I would like to say that I don't know what I would have done without Marion's help. But I do know. I know because I've done it for the last four years - I have coped. I didn't realise until Renée replied to a question I asked her a few weeks ago with 'I can just about cope Mummy' that that must be something I say all the time. When your four year old child is repeating sentences like that it makes you feel a tiny bit guilty, although actually it made me laugh when I heard it. She is very earnest for her age. And if she can just about cope with all the horrors that a four year old is faced with (like a younger sister who refuses to share and continually bites her even though she says sorry whilst doing it), then I can most certainly cope. I know I can cope. I have proved that. I can cope with or without Marion. Marion just makes coping a little bit more fun. Having said that, she still doesn't load the dishwasher in the right way, but maybe accepting that is all part of coping too.
hayley balozi posted a blog post
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