The School Run


Because this is Gympie and everything is blissfully close, on any given weekday we need to set our alarm for 7.45 to get everyone to their respective schools on time. I know there are some people out there who think that’s pretty good, but I’ve always suspected we can do better.

“Honey,” I whispered, not wanting to disturb my wife so much I might frighten her out of my arms.

If there’s a better way to start the day than lying in bed in that moment when your mind is shrugging off the fog of sleep and your eyelids are still reluctant to let the morning light in while you snuggle into that one person you love above all others, I don’t know what it is.


“What day is it today?” I asked.

“Monday,” Tracey answered sleepily.

“And the kids still go to school, yeah?”

“What are you talking about?” “she murmured.

I knew I was about to drop a bomb on the lovely, snuggly moment we were having, but there really wasn’t any way to avoid it.

“It’s nearly eight-thirty.”

That was the last sentence not screamed in a sort of screeching falsetto for the next 20 minutes. A mushroom cloud erupted from our home and in Brisbane seismologists were rushing to their equipment to try work out the depth of this latest earth-shaking tremor.

When we erupted from our room we were surprised to find all five of the kids were not only up, they’d assumed various sloth-like positions throughout the house – it resembled a home decorated with the Louvre’s reject bin of Italian repose sculptures, only the marble sculptures might give the illusion of movement.

“Go! Go! Go!” I encouraged my kids. “Clothes, teeth, bags!”

“What’s for breakfast?” asked Miss6.

“I’m having adrenaline,” I told her as I threw six pieces of bread in the toaster for the ride in.

“What happened to the alarm?” Tracey wanted to know.

I’d forgotten to turn it on, obviously, but rather than admit to that I deflected blame and answered with a question of my own.

“Why didn’t you wake us up?” I demanded of the kids as we tore around trying to piece together uniforms. I thought to myself they’d want to have a bloody good excuse or they were in for a world of hurt when they got home this afternoon.

I say hurt, but I mean housework. Judging by the screams and tears while they do it, though, it’s the perfect word substitution.

“We got in trouble when we woke you guys up on the weekend,” said Master10.

“You said you’d ban us from using electricity for the entire holidays if we did it again,” added Miss12.

I shot Tracey a guilty look because we had said this.

Tracey caught the guilty look and tossed back at me so hard my ego suffered a mild concussion.

Okay so I said this, not her.

On the bright side, only one kid arrived late so we’ve just proven we can get our little family dressed and in the car in slightly over twenty minutes.

I’m resetting the alarm to 8am just as soon as Tracey puts me back in charge of it.

I’m not saying I get the kids to their various schools late regularly enough that I have a plan in place for just such an event, however….I have the morning song from Miss4’s pre-prep downloaded on my phone so we can play it in the car on the way in if I know we’re going to miss it.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


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