I am not a morning person. Never have been; never will be. I’m much better at staying up late than I am at getting up with the lark, and have seriously considered having a teasmade installed by the bed to smooth the opening-of-the-eyes process.
All my life, I’ve somehow managed to avoid really early starts. I worked in media (9.30am start in London); freelanced for many years; and studied history at university (earliest lecture 11am, and believe me, even that felt early). I like my sleep, need my sleep and don’t function very well without it.
I’ve pretty much blanked out the early, mind-bending horrors of baby-induced sleep deprivation, and to be fair to BB and LB, they stay in their beds most nights these days, but my problem is this: schools in Dubai start rudely early.
BB leaves on a school bus at 7.15am, and the doors slide shut on LB’s classroom at 7.50am. Seriously, just typing these times makes me yawn, and if I’m driving on to work, I get there half-an-hour before nearly everyone else.
This morning – still feeling like we were getting up for a red-eye flight despite it being the second week of term – it was the usual palava hustling LB out of the house. He climbs into the car like he’s got all. the. time. in the world and climbs out like he’s dismounting a horse.
Being Dubai (where useful things like school car parks aren’t always given due consideration), I have to drag him a fair distance, past the onion-shaped dome of a mosque, over a football pitch, up some stairs, and across the ‘big kid’ part of the school. That gives him opportunities aplenty to attempt to climb walls, meander, stop and smell the flowers, or sit down.
Herding kittens would be easier.
We made it, and I was just about to slope off to get a shot of caffeine when I realised: the parents were congregating on the tennis courts for ‘Wake up and Shake up’ – organised fitness to music at 8 in the morning, with the children. (Think: mums jumping around in Lycra and a generous smattering of dads standing rooted to the spot with their arms firmly crossed and both eyes on the smoking hot PE teacher.)
If I wasn’t fully awake before, I was after throwing a few shapes to Gangnam Style on a surprisingly Arctic-like* Dubai morning.
* That may be an exaggeration. But it honestly was one of the crispest mornings I’ve known in the UAE