Sometimes I think my eight-year-old daughter is far too wise for one so young. Or should that be Young?
As usual, 8.23 finds us struggling to get out of the door ready for an 8.30 start at the village school which is 5 minutes’ walk up the road. The adrenalin is pumping, voices are rising and each of the three of us blaming the others for the delay. Gotta get there before the bell rings!
Nothing I do makes a difference. Setting the alarm to kickstart the day at an earlier hour, having a “no going downstairs until you’re dressed and washed” rule, strategically choosing a breakfast that’s speedy to eat (Frosties bar beats bowl of Frosties by miles) – we still end up in a mad dash.
Leaving the house, we’re like a racing car leaving a pitstop. Coat, hat, scarf, bookbag, flute, music case, medical bag (to take care of her insulin dependent Type 1 diabetes) are flung at my daughter from all directions by two pairs of grown-up hands. Usually, but not always, they land in the right place.
Laura, as ever, remains calm. She has absolutely no sense of urgency, ever. When I’m grumbling one day at pick-up time that she’s yet again the last in her class to finish changing out of her PE kit at the end of the afternoon, a kindly teaching assistant steps in to defend her. Nicknamed Mrs Lovely by the children (because that is exactly what she is), she soon puts a positive spin on Laura’s dawdling.
“That’s because she’s always so thorough,” she says brightly.
I wonder sometimes whether my constant nagging will wear my daughter down and turn her into a resentful and resistant teenager. Time will tell, but thankfully there are no signs yet. Laura retains her own laid-back take on the world.
“Don’t worry, Mummy,” she said sweetly the other day. “It doesn’t really matter if I’m a bit late, because my name is last on the register.”
What a good thing I turned down that proposal of marriage from Aaron Aardvark.