Lets face it no-one with kids really likes the start or the end of the day and can probably accurately pinpoint the day they entered the 'drinking too many units at home category'. It was the moment they realised that the only way to get through bed time routine without inflicting harm was to promise oneself a large glass of Pinot Grigio as soon as the little angels were in bed.
The morning routine is no better and there is no carrot dangling in the form of a glass. Any working parent knows the pain of struggling to get babies, toddlers and children out of the door in the morning without tears and shouting and all clothing, PE kit, books, packed lunches, money for trips, homework etc in place.
One imagines it will get easier as the children get older. But that’s the irony of being a parent, you think you really can’t bear another day of relentlessnessly saying the same thing over and over again, and before you know it, quick as a flash, that phase is over. Only to be replaced with something even more irritating!
The morning routine at Middleaged Towers has recently moved onto a whole new level. With only one bathroom between four people and two of them teenagers, timing is crucial.
Middleagedad.com has a very strict morning routine which involves lots of grooming, precise ironing and cutting of hair. No-one and nothing must disrupt or question the routine and the words OCD or gay must never be mentioned. Middleagedmum has over the years come to respect this routine and will never question it. He must go first and enter the bathroom at 6.30 precisely.
He is followed by teenage son who is not keen on the bathroom in any form and has no routine to speak of (unless you count weeing everywhere and leaving the loo seat up) but when eventually persuaded to get in the shower, he's in there for hours. Occasionally he has to be reminded of the purpose of soap (you know that white stuff that you mix with water) and shampoo, as simply standing in the shower doesn’t actually get you clean.
Next is teenage daughter who sees the bathroom as an extension of her bedroom and spends more time in there looking in the mirror than seems healthy. Bathroom time for her is essential and involves many pots, potions and make up (usually my Laura Mercier). After what seems like hours she emerges with a face which wouldn’t be out of place in the cosmetics department of Selfridges (I've never quite understood that orange face white neck look) It seems Amy Winehouse eye make up, WAG hair, inappropriate shoes, tiny 'Just do it' rucksack or huge 'designer' handbag, worn with customised school uniform, is the look of choice for any self respecting teenage schoolgirl. Remembering the days when I could hardly open my eyes because I was wearing so much Rimmel shimmering blue eye shadow, I choose not to go there and say 'You look nice' whilst trying to get into the bathroom for my slot.
I now have exactly five minutes allocated bathroom time as I still have packed lunches to make, money to hand out, homework to nag about and PE kits to find!
I arrive at work looking like an eccentric bag lady, ok a stylish one. But quite frankly I'm not sure the Widow Twanky, one eyebrow, Heath Ledger/red lipstick, look is working for me.