We're going on a school run

It's hard to believe that I've already been a working mum (again) for three weeks. If truth be told, I still feel like I'm in floating in an in-between space.  Routines have changed, logistics are complicated and time consuming and the housework is piling up ahead of a big Christmas clean up this weekend.

The one bit of my day that has stayed the same is the morning school run. It is constant for most of the week (except Fridays when I get to school early for work, Lily goes to breakfast club and Matt drops Ollie off at nursery).

We leave the house at the same time every day, just as Octonauts finished on CBeebies. We don't watch much Octonauts because we're busy putting on shoes, coats and hats, finding book bags and an object to take in for the phonics sound table but it's a reminder that it's nearly time to leave - 'Sound the Octopod Alert' is our very own five minute alarm for getting out of the house. I dread to think what will happen if the BBC changes the schedule without me realising.

And we walk to school. Most days I push Ollie in the pram and we spend the 10 minute walk playing a sound game where Lily or I pick a sound and we take it in turns to choose words that begin with that sound. We concentrate on sounds that Lily has learnt that week in school and attempt to spell the simpler words or think of rhyming ones.

It's tricky if Ollie is walking. Matt has a bloomin' annoying habit of forgetting to take the car out of the boot of the car after the weekend. Without it the school run can take twice as long, punctuated by Ollie begging to be carried or stopping to study a decapitated worm on the side of the pavement.

On those days, I resort to games. Usually anything that involves running, or, at the very least, keeps both children moving in the right direction.

I know a fair few classic stories off by heart, and we'll recite them as we walk.

"We're going on a Bear Hunt, we're going to catch a big one..."

"A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark woods..."

"Each peach pear plum, I spy..."

And each story has a game. We pretend to traverse long wavy grass, swirling whirling snowstorms and deep dark woods. We run from Bears, foxes and snakes. We run and hide and spy storybook characters.

Anyone meeting us or walking behind us must think I'm a nutter or a teacher (or both, I guess they're not mutually exclusive) as I either play like a TV presenter or ask Lily to spell out three letter words.

But I love it. I like the comfort of a solid routine. I like the time with my children where I can chat, teach, pray and play with them with no other distractions or purpose other than to enjoy an essential walk to school.

I love walking back too. With Ollie in the pram we can look for birds, squirrels, cats and dogs. If he's walking then it's a 20 minute test of persuasion and endurance. We'll stop and start, watch a spider climb a tree, walk on a wall, play hide and seek with the bins that line the whole route.

Give it a year or two and I'll probably be over the novelty factor of the school run and it will become just another part of the daily grind but for now it's one of the best parts of my day and I just want to capture that feeling, these memories and bottle them up for a time in the future when my children no longer need or want me to walk them to the school gates and hug them before they line up for class.

I'm making the most of it.

So, we're going on a school run, and we're going to have the most fun!

What do you get up to on your daily school run?
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