The School Run

Fionnuala and Hannah stayed at my wonderful mother in laws last night so I was entrusted with looking after Adam, Rebecca and Charlie the border terrier; or rather they were entrusted with looking after me. Either way the prospect of orchestrating the school run this morning filled me with dread, despite Fionnuala’s detailed instructions which the average five year old would have been able to follow without too much bother.

I was up bleary eyed and not so bushy tailed at 7 a.m. to tackle the first of my herculean challenges – the ironing of the school uniform. Fionnuala says I have the most awkward, impractical ironing style she has ever seen. Which makes perfect sense given the awkward, impractical man I am. Putting the ironing board up was a battle in itself. Think Steve Irwin wrestling a crocodile and you’re close. Or did he wrestle alligators? Hmmmmm…..

Fifteen minutes later and you could have cut your finger on the creases in Adam’s trousers. His school shirt looked as if it had been injected with Botox – totally wrinkle free. I had the school uniform, all I was missing now were a couple of school children to fill said clothing. I utilised an old tactic taught to me by Fionnuala. Stick some bacon under the grill and wait until the aroma wafts up the stairs. Ten minutes later, hey presto! We have salivating kids storming the kitchen.

The lunches were next on the agenda. I played it simple. Ham sandwiches, yoghurts, biscuits and crisps. Easy peasy. Charlie kept an eye on proceedings just in case I messed up. Or dropped a slice of ham for him to gobble up. This was a breeze. I was bringing my A-game to the adulting stuff. Alas, it was all going too well. Disaster struck when Adam plodded barefoot into the kitchen. He had no clean black socks! Had my good fortune finally run out?

Thankfully I had put on a clean pair only that morning. I did what any other self respecting father would have done and sacrificed them for my son. I raided the sock drawer and came up with the only other clean pair I could find; a rather fetching set of novelty reindeer socks. . It was the middle of June and 20 degrees celsius outside but hey, a man has to do what a man has to do. I may have gotten a few odd looks later when I strolled into the village shop but I reckon I rocked the look. Haters gonna hate and all that.

I was on the home stretch now. Dishes were washed and I left Rebecca to sort her own hair out. I was hitting them out of the ball park but, believe me, French plaits were a bridge too far. She did compliment me on my delicious bacon sandwiches though. Charlie also wagged his tail a lot when he got his bacon so breakfast was a win-win all round. Following that it was the small matter of chauffeuring Adam to his bus stop where I resisted the urge to publicly embarrass him in front of the other miserable looking teenagers awaiting their transport.

My last task was to drive Rebecca to school. While she no doubt missed the slick, uber efficient morning routine Fionnuala provides she admitted she did enjoy ‘Daddy Rules’ which allowed her an extra half hour outside playing before bedtime and an extra fifteen minutes asleep the following morning. With her safety deposited at the school gates I headed on into Belfast to see my wife and other daughter; all the while wondering if I had left the iron on.

Some people wonder if I do anything other than write or run. I accept I could bore for Ireland on either topic. But I hope that today’s post shows that there is more to me than that. I do try. And I’m determined to be the best possible husband and father I can be in the process. I want my wife and kids to have good memories of a man who wasn’t perfect but did his best. Love and hard work can take you a long way. I intend to see how far I can go.

How slick are you at getting out of the house in the morning?

36 thoughts on “The School Run

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  1. Well done! We’re typically pretty good at getting out the door on time, though I only have one child and one dog. I’m curious about next school year though because my boy will be responsible for getting himself to school {it’s a 10 minute walk from my apartment}. I hope I have given him a good example of allowing a little extra time for padding in his formative years 🙂

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      1. Ha!! My kid is more of a clothes horse than I am. He’s recently been asking if the laundry has been done, so he’s been getting laundry lessons. He seems to enjoy it and it’s a good life skill to learn. Honestly, he probably should have learned how to do laundry a few years ago, but I’m happy as long as he learns before he flies from the nest.

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  2. I am at that wonderful age – retired, empty nest. So my mornings are slow – enjoying 2-3 cups of coffee while I sit in my pajamas until the spirit moves me to get up and get going. Sounds like you did a pretty good job on this school run.

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  3. Dad’s are so under rated. Without you, the family suffers. Trust me. I grew up without a dad. I wish he could’ve embarrassed me and barely held the routine together. At least I would have had the experience of having a make figure in my life. My husband jokes he is the library…always open, deoendable, but boring. Hey, I like boring. He calls me valley fair which is a theme park in Minnesota. Its closed in winter because it needs a break so I guess that’s me, emotionally speaking.

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  4. Well, luckily for me my boys are out of school for the summer. When school is in, it is sometimes difficult. I have trained the boys to pretty much get up on their own (alarm clock), they shuffle downstairs, fix oatmeal or cereal for breakfast and TA DA, we are off. Somedays, they do have to get me up to get them to school especially if I worked late the night before. I am not a morning person, never have been and probably never will be. I think it is awesome that you were able to step into your wife’s routine and keep it on schedule. Great Job! Our morning routine is not so slick.

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  5. I love the homeyness of this post. I do not own an iron…so your descriptions thoroughly humored me haha!! I’m going to have this post in the community spotlight on my blog Peeking Beneath, I decided to do two versions so I can cover other posts that I enjoy throughout the month, not just the ones I post on Inside Cup’s Community Spotlight. 🙂

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  6. I think you rocked it. Many years ago, a man I was dating made a playlist of my day – including the “Mission Impossible” theme for getting the kids up and out of the house. Well done!

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