Friday, January 23, 2015

Morning Routine Hell

Recently I shared what a typical day is like for me in London.  Today you will learn about the intricate dance that is getting the kids to school.  It only lasts about 90 minutes, but many days it can be the most exhausting part of my day. 

Back at The 407 we set our own pace for the morning.  I liked to leave by 7:45 so that I could drop the kids off at before school care and still have time to get my classroom ready for the day.  If we did not leave on time, it was an internal fail, and we could only blame ourselves.      

In London, the bus rules our morning routine.

Once I’m ready shortly after 7AM, I wake the kids and cajole them down to breakfast.  They are pretty easy to please for their morning meal so it usually goes quickly.  After they eat, the kids are to get dressed and brush their teeth.  This is one time when the whole morning can derail.  Youngest Kiddo can decide that he is not interested in donning his uniform and commence playing cars whilst in his undergarments.  Oldest Kiddo might decide that an impromptu concert is needed in front of the bathroom mirror instead of brushing her hair.  

By far what causes the most drama is when I check the bus status using the City MapperApp.  Our morning lives or dies by these times.  The bus typically runs every 6-8 minutes, at least that's what Transport for London hopes.  However, the bus is subject to traffic delays and diversions due to construction which impacts the frequency of the busses.  

Just before the kids make their way downstairs for shoes and coats I check the time to the next bus.  I bite my lip and squint my eyes when I type in our destination, and I prefer to see these options...

Not our real location
I like that we can zip to the stop and get a bus in 3 minutes or if we are moving slow we have 10.  Unfortunately, it's usually this....

4 minutes then 27!?!?  What the heck!?  If school starts at 9, and the time on the clock is 8:25, we aren't going to make it if we wait.  Cue the panicky, "Come on kiddos, we've got to go!"  It can either go swimmingly or Youngest Kiddo can decide that he's not interested in hustling up the street for the 4 minute bus.  

So, that means we have to walk.  Cue a pouty fit from Youngest Kiddo.  He's not opposed to walking in London, but he's pretty particular about taking the bus to school.  Additionally, he is not a rapid walker so when we only have 30 minutes to get to school, our walk is more of a speed walking event.  Let me tell you that it's no fun to walk in public while dragging a complaining and pouting child behind you.  Sometimes that pouty child even stops in the middle of the sidewalk to declare that he refuses to walk to school.  

The days when the bus isn't for 27 minutes is when I curse us for living so far away from the kids' school.  But at the end of the morning, we always make it.  The kids have only been tardy once this year and once last year so we are doing something right.  No curses necessary.  The bonus?  There is always a coffee shop on the way home.  

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