The morning school run is always a rush. No matter what time we get up, we always end up rushing down to the school in the mornings to make it on time. Usually the boys are not too much trouble getting to school, although I'm sure Noah knows the mornings we are running really late as these are the mornings he decides to play up the most.
Picking up time with Noah is normally pretty good as well, although occasionally Noah can play up on this walk home. Like I used to with Aled, I ask Noah how his day has been and what he has been up to. When we've crossed all the roads we need to and get to our road Noah is allowed to go off onto the grassy bit and is allowed to run home. Normally he jumps and plays about. On sunny days he might pick the daisies or hide behind cars. It's all a game to him. This is fine with me, we're in no rush to get home other than for lunch, so I let him get on with it. This is the only place that he does have 'free reign' as it were, as he can't be trusted to walk without holding hands at any other time as he tends to run off or, on one occasion, run over the road (and nearly causing me a heart attack as I try to catch up with him!!)
When I get home with Noah from morning nursery, we take off his uniform to keep it clean for the day. As Noah is something of a nudist, he refuses to wear a change of clothes until I make him for the afternoon school run.
The three o'clock school run to pick up Aled is a completely different kettle of fish and the one that I dread on a daily basis. At about 2.30pm I attempt to get Noah dressed for the school run. This normally ends up in a fight with Noah refusing to put on clothes. As I get one trouser leg in, he's taking off the other one and it's a real battle to dress him. Of course this starts us off on a bad footing and the rest of the school run is rarely any better. Once he's dressed we then have the battle to get on his coat and actually get out of the door. Half of the time I end up having to practically drag him down the school, sometimes kicking and screaming. The other days I am having to bribe him with the promise of biscuits or sweets on our return if he's good. I think I have now earned the sympathy of the lollypop lady who sees my afternoon struggles daily.
Of course, Noah's behaviour attracts the attentions of the other parents and I can feel their eyes boring into me. This is nothing new to me anymore, Aled's social developmental issues and meltdowns have already got me well practised in attempting to ignore the looks and stares, the tuts and whispers, although it doesn't make it any easier.
By the time we get to Aled's class it normally goes one of four ways.
- Noah has calmed down and is his usually bubbly, hyper self, Aled comes out of school in a good mood and we set off for home with no further issues.
- Noah has calmed down, but something has triggered off an Aled meltdown, so I end up having to try to console/calm down Aled while trying to control the bubbly hyper Noah. Sometimes ended up with Aled screaming all the way home.
- Noah hasn't calmed down, so having to drag/carry him home, while trying to have a 'how's your day been' conversation with Aled. We have also started to adopt the stand still until he's finished his tantrum method as well, or even walking off and telling him I'm going without him. Unfortunately, this has backfired and Noah thinks that this is a game and will then stop every 5 minutes on the way home and tell me to go.
- Noah hasn't calmed down and Aled is having a meltdown, cue taking home two screaming pre-schoolers!
No matter what type of day we have had, I am exhausted by the end of the school run! Some days are better than others. Some days I feel like it's not too bad and I can cope, other days (like today) I feel like I'm the worst mother in the world and wonder why I can't control my children! I look at the other mums and dads with their children walking nicely and wonder why can't I have that, what have I done wrong?
Please excuse the self pitying post, I normally try not to write them, but I just needed to get it out of my system!