*This is a sponsored post*
We are lucky to live less than half a mile from Ben and Chloe’s school – so, come rain or shine we walk to school every day. The only time we might drive is if I’m dashing somewhere straight from dropping them off as otherwise it actually takes longer to faff about fastening everyone in the car, carrying Amy around, getting back in the car etc than it does to just crack on and walk there. Aside from that it’d be a huge waste of fuel and a missed opportunity for a bit of exercise, some fresh (ish) air and a chance to have a good old chin wag.
When we first had Ben I never thought I’d get to do the school runs as I had always expected to stay in full time teaching – I know the very first time I walked Ben to school I was almost giddy and determined to drink in the simple pleasure of it. Even now I have regular moments where I remind myself how precious the school run is and how lucky I am to be able to do it.
That’s not to say I don’t have mornings where it all goes wrong . . . there were in fact a couple of mornings last week that we particularly heinous.
Wednesdays and Thursdays are my “work” days – which means everything is a bit of a mad dash. I have to get up, showered, dressed and ready before I get the kids up. They are usually awake but they know they can turn the light on and play once they’ve heard the shower running. We’re out of the house for 7.30am to drop Ben of at his “out of school club” and then on to our child minder’s to drop the girls off and I’m usually leaving there shortly before 8am to get myself off to work. Sometimes this runs like absolute clockwork. Other times? Not so much. At the moment Chloe is working hard to learn to dress herself but she’s at that stage where sometimes she wants to do it on her own and others she doesn’t – of course I have no idea which way she’s going to swing. Wednesday morning saw a full on melt down over getting dressed, I can’t even remember the specifics of it now but I basically just ignored her while I carried on getting the other two ready to go, this culminated in Chloe standing at the front door in her pants screaming as the poor love thought I was going to go out without her. Once she finally realised that I would help her if she just brought her clothes downstairs she calmed down very quickly and was fine by the time I dropped her off.
Friday morning was, however, probably one of the worst mornings we have had. Certainly since Chloe started school anyway. A 40 minute complete meltdown over a plastic cup . . . On Friday I was actually pretty calm about it, I think the fact we had plenty of time probably helped a lot! She sorted herself out in the end and got dressed. By the time we got to school she was telling Ange all about how silly she had been. If we’d been in a rush this would have been a massive stress for me and I’d probably have ended up shouting at her which would inevitably have made things worse. It’s one of those times that you know perfectly well the ideal way to deal with a trantruming tot who’s just really frustrated that they can’t have their own way – but it doesn’t mean you’ve always got the time and patience to do it!
On the flipside last Monday morning was a complete joy – Amy had slept through most of the night, Chloe got herself dressed all by herself, Ben was lovely and Amy celebrated it all by learning to clap. In fact Monday morning ran so smoothly that I actually managed to do a whole load of ironing before school!
Interestingly all of this rarely affects the walk to school itself. We have the odd stressful morning if the weather is really bad or we’re a bit late but usually our walk to school is steady and enjoyable. Ben and Chloe are pretty well trained which makes things a lot less stressful – they like to hold on to the pram but don’t have to. They know they can run ahead as long as they “stop at the next post” which means they are never too far ahead. When it comes to crossing the road I don’t make them hold my hand (as I’m usually pushing the pram anyway) but they know to wait right next to me until I have said “Ok go” before we step out on to the road. One of the most stressful things about our walk to school, sadly, is having to avoid all the dog poo . . . its no exaggeration to say there will be a minimum of four poo obstacles on our walk each day. Our walk to school is so “routine” now that it is rarely stressful and mostly just a pleasure.
Kia and Tots100 sent me a heart monitor to wear to see just exactly what the stress points were in my morning but having worn it on quite a steady morning where I got everyone out to school without any fuss I can’t say I really noticed any particular spikes. I wish I’d managed to wear it on Wednesday or Friday morning instead but then perhaps I wouldn’t really have had chance to keep a track of the numbers! It would have been interesting if the monitor had created a graph so I could have pinpointed stress points across the morning.
International Walk to School Month runs throughout October, it’s purpose being to encourage primary school pupils worldwide to celebrate the benefits of walking to school. Perhaps this would be a good time to talk to your child’s school about the Walking Bus – a Kia-sponsored scheme to get more children walking to school each day.
How do you find the school run?