Morning person

– by Amanda Coop

RAISE your hand if you’re not a morning person.  Now, keep that hand raised if your kids are also not  morning people, except on the rare occasions when  you have the chance to sleep in. 

To those with raised hands, let us shake our fists in  our collective anger. I feel your pain. I felt it quite  forcefully in my ears, on a morning not so long ago  when I woke to both my kids bellowing at me from  beside the bed. 

“Mum!” They yelled in unison. “MUM! Wake up!” 

“Huh?” I said, abruptly ripped from whatever lovely  dream I was having (probably about the day I will  actually get to sleep in). 

“What time is it?”  I looked at my phone, which was beside the bed.  “Guys, it’s 6 o’clock,” I said, both horrified and  confused. “What on earth are you doing?” 

Such early starts would normally be reserved for  exciting occasions such as Christmas morning,  birthdays, or heading off on holiday somewhere. 

“We’re ready for school!” Miss 8 announced  enthusiastically.  I groaned and flopped back on to the pillow. “Well,  your teacher’s not.”  It was, you guessed it, the first day of at-home  learning for Term 2, brought about, of course, by the  coronavirus pandemic. 

My kids, who, on any normal school day, need to  be dragged kicking and screaming from their beds  at 10 past seven, were standing there, dressed in  school uniform, their little eyes gleaming, brimming  with enthusiasm for the day ahead.

The school  hadn’t required them to wear uniforms for their  home learning, and Mr 5 is in kindy and doesn’t even  start school until next year, so he never needed one  anyway, but that hadn’t stopped him borrowing one  of big sissy’s polo shirts.  It was actually sort of adorable. But it was also 6am. 

“It’s really early, guys,” I said. “You could go back  to bed for a while. We don’t need to do any of the  normal lunches and packing.” 

“We’ve already started making our lunches,” Miss 8  said.  I was feeling at this point fairly grumpy (did I  mention I’m really not a morning person?) but it  was actually lovely to see them so keen to hang out  with boring old me for the next five weeks while I  fuddled my way through primary school maths (and  boy, did I fuddle). 

Even so I couldn’t help but think they were killing off  all the benefits of at-home learning – no washing  of school uniforms, no lunches to make, sleep-ins. 

There’s gotta be some payoff for the parents, right?  Especially for those poor souls who had to hold  down their day jobs at the same time and/or have  more than one school-aged child. 

Fast-forward to the end of our five weeks together  and I had surprised myself by mostly enjoying it  and realising I didn’t really want to part ways at the  school gate the following week. I was still pretty  hopeless at maths but hey, we never expected any  miracles. 

The kids had settled nicely into the groove, and  thankfully abandoned uniforms, pre-packed  lunches and early starts. 

Just in time for me to have to drag them, kicking and  screaming, out of bed at 10 past seven the following  Monday morning. Right after I made their lunches.