Back in September, I wrote part one of this story. We were three weeks into Zach’s first ever term at school and he realised that it was a permanent thing. For a good few days I had to drag him to school sobbing, and leave him whilst he was trying to cling onto me or chase after me out of the classroom. It was an absolute nightmare and it broke my heart – even though he had a perfectly happy day mere seconds after I had made my escape.
The following week it all improved again, and since then, I think there has only been one morning when he cried on arrival and another when he cried on route (but that was because he had fallen off his bike). The school run soon became a thing of pleasure again – except in the rain!
Fast forward to now and I hate the school run. It is an absolute nightmare, but for a very different reason.
That gorgeous, 21 month old, brown eyed beauty.
I always knew that at some point it was going to get harder. We chose a school that is a 12 minute walk away, and I knew that at some point he would favour walking there over being in his buggy. I did not expect that time to be now. Not at 21 months. Zach still loved his buggy at this point. He happily sat in it and chilled out, watching the world go by. He was the complete polar opposite to Oscar. In fairness, Oscar hasn’t been happy for a while but I always managed to bribe him with food. But now, he accepts the food, eats it as quick as he can and then proceeds to unstrap himself and climb out.
When a toddler starts to prefer to walk places, it brings up a whole heap of complications! Here are the reasons why the school run has once again become the thing of nightmares.
He takes forever
First and foremost, this is infuriating. He stops to pick up stones or someone’s dropped rubbish. He stops to look at pigeons. He stops to look at walls. He walks on walls. He goes into people’s front gardens. He just stops for no reason other than to not move. I spend the whole time saying “come on Oscar” and most of the time he just ignores me. On Tuesday I left the house at 2.40pm to get to school and we got home at 4pm. It took me an hour and twenty sodding minutes to do the school run. And it was really hot. I got home and I was exhausted, hot and sticky! And yesterday morning we left at 8.15am and yet I was still having to carry him in a hurry for the last section of the walk. He just takes forever!
He won’t wear his shark bag
He loved it up until now. One of those little bags that is in the design of a shark, which straps over his shoulders, clips together and has a ‘lead’ if you like, to keep him safe and under control. Now he goes absolutely crazy if you put it on him and then refuses to walk anyway!
He won’t hold my hand
Uh, uh. Not at all. I ask him to hold my hand and he shakes his head. I make him hold my hand when we cross roads – which basically consists of me dragging him across whilst he is fighting to get away from me. I try to get him to hold my hand whilst he is walking along a wall, but no – he must do it himself and so I am just there ready to catch him when he stumbles.
He is constantly up and down
He wants to walk. He doesn’t want to walk. He wants to be carried, he doesn’t want to be carried. He wants to climb into his buggy, he wants to climb out of his buggy. I am forever lifting him up and down because he is constantly changing his mind about what he wants to do!
I am getting less exercise
Ok, so my left arm is going to be far more muscly from the extra carrying, but the fast paced walk that I was getting previously, is no more. And this upsets me. The school run was my main exercise. Mostly because I was always running late and always walking super fast, but now it’s like a slow amble, with loads of stopping and starting. I am technically doing more steps than I was because I keep having to go backwards to make him go forwards, but it’s definitely not the same level of cardio as it was before!
I can’t tell you how much I now wish that the school behind our house had been a decent school, because the entrance is practically at the end of our road. It would have been far less of a chore than it is now. It’s not though. It’s a rubbish school and I am so happy with where Zach goes, that I wouldn’t ever think of changing that. And I am excited for Oscar to go there too in the future. I just don’t know how I am going to cope every single day with the school run like this. I was always looking forward to being the one to take Zach to and from school each day, and now I am bloody dreading every single moment of it! I even make sure that we don’t need to go into the shops en route home because that would no doubt add another hour onto the already lengthy process!
How do you manage the school run if you have a feisty and independent toddler to boot? I would love to know so I can try anything out that might help me!