Getting Out

Cara McKee, a writer and mother-of-three living in Largs, is making a break for the front door…

The first challenge of a day out is to get the children dressed. On weekdays it’s clear that a little screen time can be earned in the morning – if they’re dressed in time, but weekends are about lazy mornings and eating pancakes in pyjamas.

My kids keep themselves busy during the week with plenty of clubs (and all the homework, let’s not forget the homework), but they choose not to do any at the weekend, simply because they don’t want to face the horror of getting dressed. We’ve tried sitting around in PJs all day, but that is a recipe for boredom and fighting so we choose to torture our children by making them wear clothes.

This is (naturally) horrific for all of them. The boy can be enticed by promises of the good stuff he can do with clothes on, like Pokémon walks and play with his friends, and Miss 9 just needs someone to take a bit of the effort out of the whole difficult process. Putting her toothpaste on her toothbrush for her is usually enough, because apparently that job is really hard. However, Miss 6 is another matter entirely. She would rather hide in a cupboard than submit to the flannel’s touch. This morning I ended up lifting her and carrying her into the bathroom, clamping her between my legs and threatening to remove all screen privileges if she would not allow me to brush her teeth!

Why do I do that? I mean there’s a whole load of consent issues right there, but the girl has to brush her teeth and I’ve tried nicely. On weekdays I can love-bomb her into it, with lots of hugs and positive attention, but love-bombing cannot beat the lure of the weekend pyjamas. But why threaten the screens? Without doubt I would miss My Talking Angela and Minecraft more than her! Plus, she’d spend the day resentful of her siblings on their screens and end up even more badly behaved! Thankfully it worked this morning, but it can’t work every time. Can it?

Next up is where to go. A friend tells me she doesn’t tell her children where they’re going, just gets them in the car. I don’t know about yours but my children don’t ‘just’ get in a car! Personally, I love a castle, so I’ve overdone them and now no one will go to one anymore (apart from Miss 9 on a good day). Only Miss 6 will go to soft plays, and then only for 15 minutes, so they’re off the menu. The boy is 11 and must have his friends involved in any activity. It’s annoying, but it works and his friends are lovely. Today we’re going to the Transport Museum, while the boy is at a friend’s, so everyone’s happy.

Not that that means they’ll leave the house without a battle! But the trials of finding the right shoes – why we can’t wear Crocs in the snow? – and why perhaps a hat might be a good idea is a whole other story.

Read Cara’s poetry  on her blog at

The weekend Wardrope

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