Up until this week, my morning routine was manageable, just about. It was realistic – by no means easy – but I was aware that some people had it worse than I did. I didn’t complain. Kate’s just landed a new job, though, and it’s completely pissed on my chips, routine-wise.

As I sit here typing this I can’t help but think that I’m about to just moan for about 800 words. I might – but it’ll be in the same way I always moan. It’ll be that groaning old-man tone I generally talk in when my workload increases; the tone I use when no one gives a shit but I can’t stop myself.

Grumpy man
Pretty much…

Morning routine: before now

Since we moved into this house in April, our morning routine has been pretty constant. Kate’s alarm would sound at 6:00. This is her pre-alarm alarm, it’s not her real one – its purpose is to prepare her for her real alarm in half an hour. A side effect of this, though, is that it wakes me up. It doesn’t seem to reach Kate’s eardrums, she’s a ridiculously heavy sleeper.

After kicking Kate a good six or seven times she stretches her arm out in a zombie-like manner and kills the alarm. As she does this I shake my head and devote my standard 40 seconds to wondering what the fuck she does all this for.

3.4 seconds later at 6:30 her main alarm sounds. This one takes fewer kicks and she gets up and starts her feature-length process of getting ready. Evelyn’s up at this point and has joined me in the bed – she never wants to play that “who’s the best statue” game as I try and fall back asleep so I give up and start to get her ready.

Evelyn and I are both washed and dressed within 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES!

We leave the house shortly after Kate is ready, Evelyn’s already cried twice, me only once. Evelyn gets dropped off at the childminder’s (Jade) and Kate drives me to the station if I’m lucky – if she’s running a minute or two late though I have to make the 25 minute walk myself (I know, right?!).

Still with me?

Yes? Good.

Onwards and upwards for Kate

As I mentioned, Kate’s awesome and has recently landed a new job. Her hours at the new place are 8:00 – 16:00, and the post-apocalyptic-show traffic she faces each morning now means she has to leave the house at 7:00 – much too early to expect Jade to be ready for us.

The Walking Dead traffic
This isn’t too accurate – we never see blue skies here.
The morning routine I always thought was a bit of a piss-take is no more, it was about to be replaced with its ugly cousin – one that would see me at point A, needing to be a mile away at point B, with no method of getting there but walking.


The British haggle

We spoke to Jade and asked what the earliest time we could drop Evelyn off was. We wanted it to be such that we could still drive Evelyn to Jade’s. After some talking we arrived at a drop-off time of 7:20. It literally felt like we were haggling Jade’s free time away, we felt uncomfortable at 7:20 and it still wasn’t quite early enough. I’ve drawn a stupid Venn Diagram to illustrate this, just because I can.

Venn diagram of childminder times
Am I “that guy” for creating this? I am, aren’t I?
Jade is the type of woman who will go well out of her way to make things easier for someone else. I’m the same, I think, but long-term commitments based on this ethos always come with an element of regret down the line. It was unfair to expect her to change the timings this much.

So here’s the kicker, it’s just me and Evelyn now, walking the mile-long trek to Jade’s. Have you ever tried to walk a mile with a three year old?

Evelyn goes painfully slow. She stops to think, to look at flowers, to warn me of dog poo landmines that might be in our direct path. The child that thinks farts are hilarious and lollipops are currency will stand and contemplate the meaning of life in times of great haste.

She will take a 400 meter detour if she suspects there might be a puddle somewhere and when she inevitably gets her feet full of mud and water she gets tired and wants carrying.


Wading through mud
This is how I imagine my new trip to Jade’s

Morning routine: after now

Tomorrow is the turning point for all this. On Wednesday 14 December 2016, I will make my first Journey to Jade’s with Evelyn. Frodo would be jealous – his “adventure” is going to look like a game of hopscotch in comparison to what awaits me.

I know, I’m being a bit dramatic. It might not sound like that much really – but all I have to compare it to is what I currently do.

Is there a moral to this story?

Well, kind of. I never started off with one but I’ve just thought of one. I suppose it would be that things could always be a little bit shitter. There, that’s one for the fortune cookies!

There are parts of the world where people will walk many times this distance just to get water for their family for the day though. I’m very much aware that I’m facing a first world problem. In an age where a phone battery being at 2% is considered a disaster though, it’s all relative.