OPN 200306 SCHOOL-1583487144160
It's an everyday routine for parents to pack their kids' school bags, tiffins and ensure everything is in order before rushing to the stop seconds before the bus arrives. Image Credit:

The best part of winter are its mornings. Those moments when darkness surrenders marking the break of day, when the charcoal black sky softens into a dove grey and the enveloping chill makes snuggling under a warm blanket the best place to be.

And it takes the morning alarm to break this perfect moment.

The gentle tunes to which I wish to be woken up is woven into the fabric of my dreams, becoming a part its narrative until consciousness intervenes and the spell is broken. Choosing the tunes of my morning alarm is undertaken with the goal of waking up to likes of the woke-up-like-this Instagram posts of celebrities, but while that is a work in progress, I am simultaneously working on pulling myself out of the warm comforts of the bed without engaging my groggy mind on a debate of whether or not to hit the snooze button.

If pulling myself appears to be the first feat of the day, add two children into the equation — each having a will of their own — who must be watered, fed and packed off to school.

The morning rush begins.

If one is groggily lost in deep thought and requires a chorus of reminders to keep him going, the other is vying for an audience with fits of tears between detailed explanations about a host of maladies that have afflicted her overnight. Between deciphering and sifting out the genuine ones from the rest, beginning with a placebo of soothing words. This could often end up in giving a piece of my mind as a result of having to multitask with a mission of matching one right pair of socks from 13 mismatched ones or unearthing the identity card that had mysteriously disappeared when looking for that new one that was replaced with a hefty fine.

The look on their faces remind me of Cinderella while I must look like her wicked stepmother.

The morning rush comes to a full circle if the husband offers to help but doles out words of wisdom than get anything done.

On the other side of packing bags, search missions, bickering, and soothing, we manage to arrive at the stop seconds before the bus.

Relief in madness

The only relief in the otherwise morning rush madness is that we are not alone for everyone appears to be in a rush. There is a sense of seriousness etched across every face. Only the children appear playful or in a dreamy trance.

As I walk back home, I am hijacked by a surge of love for my children, weighed down with guilt and regret for not exercising patience — a virtue that puts together a smiling face and happy tone that is claimed to have a positive impact on raising children. This usually follows unreasonable promises that last only until I have stepped into my home.

The weather on my face and the direction of my thoughts take an unforeseen turn when I see what greets me, the house almost always looks like the aftermath of an evacuation drill in fast forward. My mind fails to recollect being a part of what meets my eye, but all evidence stands against me because the area of the house worst affected appears to be kitchen.

As I rush into the next phase of my morning rush, more promises take shape, all of which shine like the winter sun and wane by the end of the day.

Today, I am working on taking a leaf off my childhood days when an uncle who had set his new music system to wake up to the tunes of a melody was pranked by his sons and instead jumped awake to, ‘Who let the Dogs out’. I could try ‘The Jokers Laugh’, which would be a scary start to my day but at least I would not dare to snooze the alarm.

—Pranitha Menon is a freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @MenonPranitha