Now, the title of this post probably doesn't surprise you much, does it? After all, the start of the week, getting back into the groove of work and daily routine, is never nice. And no, it's not. But that's not why I dislike a lot of Mondays. Oh no. For a start, getting back into the daily routine means the children are back at school, even if they don't quite seem to remember on Monday mornings that we must get to school by a certain time. I can live with that and the arrival at school on Mondays is like a full stop to the weekend, and I breathe a sigh of relief as they walk through them sometimes.
But no, not that. What I really hate about Mondays is the tyranny of the After School Activity. On Mondays, it is the Swimming Lesson. School finishes at 3.30, lesson is at 5.30, bedtime is 7.00. This leads to an interesting schedule as follows.
3.10 Check tweets.
3.15 Realise the time, grab coat phone and keys for school run.
3.20 Leave house, drive to school, remembering to slow down where they hide the mobile speed camera.
3.25 Hope to get parking space on back road.
3.27 Check phone for tweets and emails. (It's been 12 mins, OK?)
3.28 Get out of car and walk into school playground.
3.29 Play the "Guess which child will come out of their class door first" game and choose door to stand near.
3.31 Mutter that they're late out. Again.
3.33 Realise you've lost the "Guess which child will come out of the class door first" game and that the other child is waiting for you to collect them.
3.35 Wait, pointedly, by other door with child that wants to run all over the playground.
3.36 Door opens. Late, again!
3.37 Remember this means your child is at the back of the line again.
3.39 Child finally appears.
3.40 Realise other child has run off whilst you weren't looking.
3.41 Locate other child and retrieve (For which read: holler at them to come here NOW!)
3.42 Finally leave school grounds.
3.43 Holler at one child again as they run off into the distance.
3.44 Walk back to car with children, trying to ascertain what they ate for lunch/did at school today.
3.46 Get children into car.
3.48 Drive home, remembering about the speed camera.
3.53 Arrive home, herd children with book bags out of car and in through front door.
3.55 Make sandwiches for tea unless tea is already made (vain hope) whilst refereeing argument over whether Sky Sports News or CBBC is the channel du jour.
3.58 Give sandwiches to children, ask them to eat them. (This might seem stupid but at least one forgets).
4.00 Shout at children for not eating sandwiches whilst you get a drink ready for them.
4.01 Make cup of tea. This will go cold before you reach the bottom.
4.04 Remind (shout at) children that they need to get sandwiches eaten and not play with toys/watch telly/argue.
4.07 Remind/shout at/nag children for a third time. Realise one child has at least finished, but wants more food.
4.08 Provide said child with yogurt. Shout at other child to "just eat the flipping sandwiches, how can it be that hard?".
4.09 Tell child who has now finished yogurt to get changed into swimming costume. Lose patience with other child. Have a sip of tea.
4.12 Show child where swimming kit is, ie the same place as last week. Provide second child, who has FINALLY finished sandwiches with a yogurt and ask they eat it quickly.
4.15 Tell second child to go and get their swimming kit and get changed. Remind first child to ensure they remove underwear and visit toilet BEFORE putting on swimming costume.
4.18 Ask loudly why neither child has swimming costume on and uniform put back on. Have sip of tea, whch is now a bit on the lukewarm side.
4.21 Locate child, who has wandered off after a loo trip, and gently remind AGAIN of their mission to put on swimming costume and uniform back on over it.
4.24 Remind first child, who has finally finished getting changed, that they need to get their book bag for you to check. Tell second child that no, they don't need to take their socks off as they will only have to put them back on again in a minute.
4.25 Check book bag. Read newsletter. Have sip of tea. Say through gritted teeth "Will you get that flipping costume ON?" whilst reading. (Thank God women can multitask, eh?)
4.26 Realise child has reading and spellings to do this week. Ask child if they want to do spellings or read book. Get negative answer.
4.30 Realise drinks have not been drunk. Ask children to drink them. Hope children don't need loo again before leaving house.
4.33 Ask second child, who has FINALLY got swimming costume on and uniform replaced, to go and get their book bag.
4.35 Realise they have books to read and spellings to do too. Second child keen to do all of them. Sigh.
4.36 Have a sip of tea. Getting cold.
4.37 Supervise child doing spellings.
4.40 Child finishes spellings. Check them.
4.41 Child settles in to read book to you. Try to get sip of nearly cold tea.
4.43 Remember they get new books on Monday and child is never as good at reading through first time.
4.44 Have a sip of tea. Colder.
4.45 Have another sip of tea.
4.46 And another...
4.47 And another...
4.53 Child finishes book. Locate reading record and insert meaningful comment.
4.54 Instruct children to put on coats and shoes. Quickly get a drinks bottle and fill it with water to take.
4.55 Remind children of their task.
4.56 Get children out of house, remembering to collect own coat, phone and bag on the way.
4.57 Get children strapped in to car, leave for swimming pool.
5.10 Arrive at swimming pool car park.
5.12 Attempt to find space.
5.13 Give up, and park car in the retail park next door.
5.14 Get children out of car. Escort onto premises.
5.15 Get children into the changing room cubicle. Instruct to get undressed and put clothes in swimming bag.
5.16 Find a locker.
5.17 Return to children and remind them of their task.
5.18 Start yanking clothes off children.
5.20 Get bags repacked and place in locker.
5.21 Check children over.
5.22 Get bag back out of locker and give one child the goggles they forgot to get out.
5.23 Send child to toilet.
5.24 Child returns. Send both children to wait by pool for their lesson.
5.25 Child free time begins. Go to cafe by pool.
5.26 Try to attract attention of café staff.
5.28 Finally get a coffee.
5.29 Join rush for tables overlooking pool.
5.30 Watch children in lesson whilst tweeting. Occasionally look up and wave back to child waving at you.
5.57 Reluctantly, stop tweeting to return to changing rooms and join other parents waiting for their charges.
6.00 Lesson ends.
6.02 Go collect towels from the locker. Oops.
6.05 Try to work out where children have got to and realise they have gone for a shower.
6.08 Children appear. Put towel on them and herd back to changing cubicle.
6.09 Dry children, remove swimming costumes.
6.10 Ask children to get dressed. Help get clothes out of swimming bag.
6.11 Go to spin dry swimming costumes.
6.12 Tell child off that has followed you but is not dressed and return them to cubicle.
6.13 Return to cubicle; lose patience with lack of speed of getting dressed.
6.14 Start helping children to get dressed.
6.17 Finally get last item of clothing on child. Give them coats to put on whilst you repack swimming bags.
6.18 Chase child who has decided to run up the changing room. Ask them how come we are the only people left from the class that finished at 6.00?
6.19 Check changing room cubicle for dropped/missed items. Check you still have phone.
6.20 Herd children back outside to car and get them into car.
6.23 Get in car, breathe sigh of relief. Drive home.
6.33 Arrive home, get children and bags into house.
6.35 Get children a drink/something to eat.
6.37 Send children to put pyjamas on. Make cup of tea and hope to drink it whilst hot.
6.38 Place swimming kit in washing machine. Shout in reaction to sounds coming from upstairs which suggest no pyjamas are being put on.
6.40 Threaten immediate bed if children are not back down in 1 minute.
6.41 Children appear in pyjamas.
6.42 Brush hair. Sip tea.
6.45 Send children to get toothbrushes and toothpaste.
6.46 Put toothpaste on toothbrushes and supervise teeth brushing.
6.48 Send children to put toothbrushes away.
6.49 Allow children to call Daddy to say goodnight. Sip tea.
6.55 Get children to finish call. Take them upstairs.
6.56 Check uniforms out and not just dumped on floor.
6.57 Get children to have quick tidy by removing as much as possible from bedroom floor. Join in or they'll be there forever.
6.58 Get first child into bed, have a hug, kiss and say goodnight.
6.59 Get second child into bed and do the same.
7.00 The children are in bed. I repeat, the children are in bed. Woohoo!
7.01 Remember that you need to cook dinner.
I thought the After School Activity was for the kids, not me....