Friday, 9 May 2014

Morning Stories - Chaos Reigns

As a family of seven mornings are only going to go one of two ways really - organised or chaotic.  I'd like to tell you that I'm one of those enviable mothers who has everything organised to military precision, enabling us to be up and out of the house at top speed, never having forgotten anything and always being on time.  My husband reckons that there's a bit too much poetic licence on this blog already (that's his opinion, I beg to differ) and so I'll confess that I'm not at all a morning person and that our mornings are firmly in the chaotic camp.

I'm going to attempt to give you a breakdown of what actually happens in our house before school and work.  A shambles at best, it definitely isn't pretty.

6:30 am  The alarm goes off.  I'm not sure why we bother to set it really as the twins will have almost certainly woken up at 6:00 am and we will have been listening to them arguing playing for the last half an hour.  We may or may not have shouted at asked them nicely a few times to be a little more quiet.  Whether they take this on board is anybody's guess really.

7:15 am  OK, we've now overslept and so I reluctantly get out of bed and go downstairs to commence my favourite part of the day - breakfast time.  Emptying the dishwasher, I throw the bowls and spoons back on the dining table and grab the cereal and milk from the cupboards and fridge.  The noise of this should wake the older ones who are still in bed.  Rather like ninjas on a secret mission, the twins will have seated themselves at the table before I have time to draw breath and so I start sprinkling various types of cereal into bowls and sloshing on the milk.

 They are like stealthy breakfast ninjas...

7:30 am  At this point I'm usually perfecting that most ancient of calls - the mum-yell.  "Boys!  Breakfast time!" because they are still in bed.  I used to say when my eldest was a toddler that I couldn't wait for him to be a teen and then I could finally get a lie-in.  Well, that's kind of backfired really, as now he is immovable in the mornings.  His only saving grace is that he can dress himself, just.  I should mention that DH having also got himself ready, has left for the day.  He is sensible enough to know not to get involved in the morning routine if he is ever going to catch his train on time.

7:45 am  Breakfast now in its second sitting, I move on to the sandwiches and other packed lunch items.  My top tip here is to buy sliced cheese, bread, ham etc.  I can practically make a sandwich with my eyes closed these days and without risk of injury to my fingers in the process.  Actually, make everything else as pre-packed as possible and then all you have to do is lob it into the lunch boxes and you are done.  Genius.

8:00 am  Once lunch boxes are assembled and breakfast is over I commence the task of getting two pre-schoolers dressed.  The other three children have the added advantage of being able to do this themselves with minimal nagging but the twins are a different story.  The main issue I have is that DS3 only likes certain clothes.  Woe betide me if we don't have the dinosaur top (now too small), the trousers without the zips on (?) or the stripy underpants to hand.  Without one or all of the above I'm done for and we could still be debating what to wear for the next hour or so.  Happily his sister is actually quite easy to please and likes to wear most things as long as they go with her new pink shoes.

Dinosaur top, check, stripy pants, check - I win

Teeth cleaning next, which has recently taken on a new excitement for the twins.  DH came home from the supermarket a few weeks ago with some new toothbrushes with suction cups on the bottom.  For some reason being able to stick your toothbrush on the side of the sink is very entertaining when you are four and so I rarely have to argue with either of them that it is time to clean their teeth.

On the sink..

Under the sink, or on the mirror?  The fun never ends.

8:10 am  DD1 leaves for school - no trouble really - she is the only one of us who is organised enough to not flounder around in the morning and her room is even tidy with the bed made and curtains opened.  My work here is done.

8:15 - 8.30 am  During this time slot I will almost always have to nag someone (DS1 and 2) for not having a tidy room, not cleaning their teeth, not being dressed, the list is endless.  Mostly I do this from behind my bedroom door as I've just realised that I'm still wearing pyjamas.  If I'm lucky I will have found a clean top that is ironed somewhere and the bonus will be that a) it still fits or b) it matches whatever other items of clothing I've found to wear that day.  To avoid complete wardrobe disaster I have recently perfected my mum uniform - jeans and a breton top of some sort.  One for every day of the week.

Pick a top any top, doesn't matter, they are all the same.

8:35 am  DS1 leaves and we should be leaving now, but what about my hair and make-up?  So as not to scare people I make a little effort here although I have recently ditched eye make-up because it appears I'm allergic to it.  For years I stood at the school gate with watering eyes as the children went in to school.  The other mums must have thought I couldn't bear the be parted with my offspring for the following six hours - we all know that's not true ;) so to avoid further confusion I've dispensed with mascara completely.  This has the added advantage that I don't stab my eyeballs with the mascara wand as I hurriedly try to get ready, plus I save a fortune in cotton wool as I no longer have to wipe the Alice Coopereque mess off my face on my return.

8:45 am  We're all ready, in the car and on our way.  It doesn't matter that I have a mountain of tidying, washing up and beds to make at home.  I am victorious in my quest to get everyone out of the house again!  The fact that I just need to repeat the process for the next 4 days until the weekend is irrelevant - we've done it for today.

But, have you noticed something?  What about my breakfast?  Well, I don't usually have time and then I forget when I get home and by lunch time I'm starving.  Happily I was recently sent some of these beauties from BelVita.*

DH and I had the Fruit and Fibre and Milk and Cereals varieties.  In fact, they were really good for DH who usually slips out of the house having not had breakfast at all.  They are individually wrapped in fours and so he took a packet to work with him.  I even managed to eat a packet of them with a brew before the school run.  I liked the oatiness of them, in particular the Fruit and Fibre variety.

I'm not a lover of chocolate based breakfast things personally (Coco Pops make me gag) but my kids adore them.  I've often seen DS1 leave the house eating part of his lunch on the way to school - usually a biscuit, as he complains that despite two bowls of cereal every morning, he's always hungry.  The Yogurt Crunch Cocoa BelVita were perfect for him.  I dispatched both him and DD1 with them in the hope that the slow release carbohydrates would stop them both from eating their lunch early.  They were a hit and DS1 is now nagging me to by them again.  I might be tempted to change my shopping list to include these.  At £2.79 a box I think they are very reasonable.

As for the morning routine, I doubt that will ever change.  How long have I got before they all leave home?

This post is an entry for the #MorningStories Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast.  Learn more at 

*  We were sent samples of belVita Breakfast biscuits together with a voucher for Costa Coffee.  All word and opinions are our own.


  1. I have no idea how you manage all this. I get up at 7 to get one baby and one to preschool! You do well!

  2. Haha, thank you! I'm really not sure how I do it either but it works, somehow...

  3. What will we do when they do leave home? Enjoyed reading about your mornings. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part


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