I don’t know how she does it!

I don’t know how she does it! Cover Image

Yes, she is pretty darn efficient. Looking at the list, I couldn’t help but wonder – How difficult could it really be?
 I was just about to find out the answer to my question.

I am quite a hands-on father. But I confess, my morning duties with my son are largely restricted to packing his bag, combing his hair (which is one of the toughest things ever) and taking him downstairs to wait for the school mini van. Collectively that takes, say, fifteen minutes at most. Yet, I complain.

I complain because every time I put stuff in his bag, he deems it necessary to pull something else out. I complain because every time I lay the comb on his hair, he wiggles his body like jelly. I complain because when I take him downstairs, he is running around in circles and jumping up and down the steps instead of waiting quietly. And when I return from this fifteen-minute trip, which to me often feels like an hour, I often spend the next ten minutes complaining to my wife, that everything is so difficult and that I need a break. My wife, J, who’s often just finishing off her morning coffee (which has been reheated at least three times since it was made) before leaving for work, often just smiles at me and says “I understand, Sid!” before she bids me goodbye for the day.

So naturally, one fine day, when she suddenly informed me about an early office appointment later in the week, I was shocked and surprised. Because it meant that I would have to take charge of all the ‘morning rituals’ for my toddler son. Of course, she did suggest that she could get someone to ‘help me’, to ensure a smooth flow of all the processes involved. Though the idea sounded appealing, I vehemently dismissed her suggestion of ‘help’.

After all, she did it single-handedly every day, in addition to all the other normal morning chores.

“How bad could it be?” I thought, with a smirk on my face.

So on the day, J (my wife) left rather early for work. However, to help facilitate the morning processes, she’d left a detailed note for me. One that included the time it took for each activity, just to ensure that Rishi left for playschool on time. Of course, I didn’t need the note. But since she had taken the paints to jot it down, I thought that it would be only fair to give it at least a one-time read.

The below ‘list’ describes how I normally see it happen:

When the wife’s in charge

Time Routine
By 7:30 am J wakes Rishi up with a smile and some soothing songs. Result – Rishi wakes up, fresh as a daisy and in a lovely mood, flashing an amazing grin
By 7:35am J commences Rishi’s morning routine which starts with the “poo-poo” seat, again whilst singing some nursery rhymes. I personally don’t understand this, but apparently it helps him “go”
By 8:00am Rishi’s morning ablutions including brushing his teeth (whilst repeatedly singing a rendition of “Here we go around the mulberry bush”) and bathing is completed
By 8:10am The young man is dressed up in neatly ironed clothes and raring to go. (Again, the ironing point doesn’t make sense. He’s just going to mess it up again)
By 8:15am J hands over his spare clothes, diapers, lunch box (yes, filled with lunch that she prepared in the morning), snack box and water bottle. All I have to do is pack it into his bag, a job which I usually do with elan. When Rishi doesn’t distract me and smartly empty the bag that is.
By 8:20am J starts feeding Rishi breakfast. Yes, there are minor hiccups but her success rate is about 99.9%. So I’m quite impressed with that.
By 8:35am Rishi is dressed, fed and packed, all ready to go to school. It’s then my turn to accompany him downstairs and wait for the mini-van.

Yes, she is pretty darn efficient. Looking at the list, I couldn’t help but wonder – How difficult could it really be?
 I was just about to find out the answer to my question.

Since this was my debut attempt in singlehandedly trying to get Rishi ready for school, I decided to wake him up a little earlier. After all, the last thing I needed for him to be late to school on my watch.

Curious to see how I fared?

Here’s what actually happened.

Time Routine
By 7:15am I whisper to Rishi to wake up. No movement. I keep raising the modulation of the whisper until it finally reaches a decibel level that my neighbours would probably term as loud. I term it as “authoritative”
By 7:45am I pick Rishi up from the bed, who by the way, still has his eyes shut and now sports a frown on his face. Conscious that I am running behind “schedule”, I dump (forgive the pun) him on the poo-poo seat and try to pry his eyes open. Needless to say, that evokes a loud cry from him, which soon turns into a wail.
By 8:05am With no poo-poo and everything from brushing his teeth to bathing him still pending, I go into top gear and crack on with his bathroom rituals.
By 8:20 Rishi is finally all dressed up, in what was previously a starch-ironed pair of T-shirt and shorts. I start panicking a tiny bit, since his mini-van often arrives for his pick up at 08:45 on the dot. And I’m yet to pack his lunch, his snack box and his bag. Deciding to do that first, I put Rishi on the sofa and hurriedly pack his bag.
By 8:31am As I try to close the bag, I suddenly find myself holding tightly onto a piece of metal. The handle of the zip has come off. Cursing Murphy and his stupid law again (Why else would it decide to snap off then?), I rush into the kitchen to get his breakfast into his bowl. Rishi has crushed muesli and milk for breakfast. (Don’t look at me – Healthy food is J’s department !). Of course, once the muesli is drenched with the milk, it becomes this very sticky concoction. And with Murphy around, you can probably assume what was going to happen next.
By 8:43am After 12 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to feed him even one spoon of this gluey mixture, (which by the way, was all over his face and Tshirt. How do they do that?), I give up and decide to let him skip breakfast (J – if you’re reading this, I know I’m dead !). As I pick him up to wash his face and change his t-shirt (I know what you’re thinking – couldn’t I have used a bib? You say that because you don’t know my son), I smell a strange odour coming off him. “Poo-Poo” is my first thought, as the repulsive stench fragrance, hits my face. I look at the time. It says 8:46 am.
By 8:56am I semi-run, semi-roll to the lift with Rishi in one hand and his school bag in the other. As I press the “call” button for the lift, I notice that all the three lifts seem to be stuck on the Ground floor. After waiting for about a minute (which by this point, felt like more like 10minutes), I rolled down the staircase, once tripping over someone’s cat (what was it doing on the stairs?).As I exit the staircase on the ground floor, I throw the lifts a glance. One of them is being held open so that the cleaners can clean the floor and the mirror; another one is being held open by two little kids for their great-great-great-granny, who at her current pace will take another 5 years to get to the lift, and third is being serviced. Giving all of them the evil eye, I rush towards the front of the apartment block, where the familiar maroon mini-van is pulling away.
Fortunately the guard manages to see us and stops the driver before he races off to join the morning rush-hour traffic. I hand him over and watch silently as the mini van exits the gates of the apartment complex.

And then I glance at my watch. It boldly states the time as 9:05 am.
As I walk back to the flat, my phone beeps. It’s a message from J. It says *“Hope everything is fine and Rishi left on time!”*

After contemplating for moment (and also catching my breath from all the  running from earlier), I reply
“Managed somehow. I seriously don’t know how you do it!”

This post was originally published on i Wrote Those

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