With three children under seven, it can be tough to get them all mobilized. The morning routine can work fine – out of bed, breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed and out the door. I can do it in my sleep. I often do.
There are hiccups, of course. But we make it out the door.
It is the afternoon rush to fetch the kids from school when things don’t always click. We’ve left without shoes or jackets or a change of diapers. No change for the bus.
Today was one of those days.
I had 10 minutes to pick up the eldest girl from school, so we had to dash, the two younger kids tagging along. We’d been digging into chocolate cake and forgot about the time. Quick! Clothes on, shoes, jackets. The littlest one into the pushchair. Straps on and we’re off!
We were halfway there when it hit me. The littlest is dressed; the five-year-old has his shoes on the wrong feet. But that’s no problem. That’s often the case. No. It’s their faces – they are caked in, well, chocolate cake.
I lick my finger and try to rub it off as we dash, but the afternoon snack is smudged around the two-year-old’s lips and in her hair, and it is on the five-year-old’s cheeks and forehead.
We keep dashing and get to school a few minutes late. I nod to the other mothers and fathers. “Hello… Hey there.”
My seven-year-old daughter comes out to meet us and she isn’t missing a thing. She hones in on the chocolate faces and she must have thought, yippee, good things to eat, and then her eyes scrunch up and she says, “You better have left me some.”