The Herculean Tasks of a Reception Mum

The Twelve Labours of Hercules. I can appreciate all our Ancient Greek hero had to go through now. Now that I have become a school-run mum. He may of slain the Neamean Lion, but Hercules – have you ever tried to get a four year old ready for school and out the door by 8:30? Now that’s a task clearly set by the gods.

I won’t lie. I am struggling with the meltdowns at the moment. The refusal to get dressed. The wails until I say sod it to developing independence and shoe-horn him in to his clothes. I cannot and will not be late. Ever. It’s not in my DNA.

I may get six glorious hours to dust off my body armour but the Cretan Bull is frankly a pussy cat compared to the Gorgon I get home at 3:15 each day. I’ve learned to soothe the beast. A chocolate brioche. A packet of Gruffalo biscuits. Or as the tiredness really kicks in by Friday – the big guns – haribo.

As tonight proved though, the savage can only be sweetened for so long. By the time we were home he was writhing at the injustice at having to change out of his school uniform. He manages a wail that hits a pitch that literally makes me curl up.

Today I chose to ignore. I am Herculean. You will not break me with your harpy screams.

And he calmed. And he made a train track. And said sorry.

And not only did he say sorry but he spotted the Halloween CVC words I’d laid out and engaged in a game of ‘find it, sound it, blend it”. Actual proper learning. He managed ‘cat, hat, pot, bat’ and blended the others with some help. And the Gods smiled down on me!

Well, till bath-time. Then he lost his tiny gorgon mind that I had asked him to get undressed and said he had to leave his collector’s edition Intercity 125 train downstairs as it was quiet time. Yep. Hercules… over to you!

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