My Little Blue Fish
My son is a delay fish.
There is no getting away from it. He always has been and I expect he always will be. He works on his own time – it’s like he measures time using the metric system, so an hour lasts a lot longer in his universe. Or something. It’s not that he doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do (mostly), it’s just that even when he looks to be busy, he can achieve so little!
This morning, he was playing his role to perfection. We looked to be on time. He was up, eating breakfast, all was good. I was dressed, car loaded, just his sister to wake up, nappy change and dress – 5 minute job. But uh-oh. 15 minutes later he’s only just finished his breakfast – how long can it take to eat a pot of yoghurt and a pear? Then, when it came to getting dressed, he seemed to go backwards. When I went upstairs to get Plum up, Bean had his pants and shirt on and had his trousers in his hand. When I came back downstairs, less than a minute later, he was nowhere to be seen. I assumed he had gone to brush his teeth, but to check, I called out to him to ask. “Bean, are you brushing your teeth?”
“No, I’m on the toilet!”.
oh. Well, that’s it then. All bets are off. To be fair to him, he didn’t take his usual six days, but still longer than we had time for in our morning schedule. He came back into the living room and started to play with his sister who was, by this time, fully dressed and ready to get in the car. “Oh”, he said. “I forgot to brush my teeth.” and toddled off back to the bathroom.
I felt the first bit of steam rising, knowing what this meant. I put Plum in the car, reasoning that if everything else is sorted all I have to do is yank him out of the house and we can leave, if not on time, then something close to it.
As I came back into the house, Bean was just emerging from the bathroom. And I see it – he hasn’t even got his socks on yet! Back he goes to fetch socks from his bedroom. It takes about a year to put them on and then “Oh, this one’s inside out”. Giggle. I snatch the sock, turn it the right way and put it on his foot. “Shoes!”. He looked at me as if I was mad. “Put your shoes on, we’re late!”. He waves his head about aimlessly, this being his impression of looking for his shoes. “They’re next to your feet Bean!” It takes every ounce of self restraint I have not to burst out with “FFS get a move on!”
By this time, I had given up all hope of being time, and just hope we can make it to school before his classroom door closes (it has a code lock on it). He runs out of the house and then comes back “book bag, lunch, coat”. I stuff him and the book bag, lunch and coat into the car, belt him in, get in myself and hope. But I already know we’re going to hit the traffic now, even on the quieter back route.
By the time we get to the junction near the school we pass on the way, but that he doesn’t go to, I know it is bad. The lollipop lady has packed up and is on her way home and I have to sit waiting forever at the junction. When we get to school, I can park right outside the gate, since everyone else has gone already. I’m still trying to speed him up like a mad woman, hoping we can get him to his class before the register closes, otherwise he will be marked absent for the whole morning.
We manage it. Just.
He is a delay fish. I may change his name to Dory.