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Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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Ten minutes of my day

At the start of every school day, I spend time plaiting my daughters’ hair. I love their plaits, but I do insist on them to reduce the chance of the girls acquiring nits. Plaits do not guarantee no nits, but I sincerely hope it reduces the probability of the tell tale itching of heads.

Unpleasant truth of life, but it does have a silver lining. Every morning I spend a few minutes just chatting with each of the girls as I plait their hair. In the general rush of the morning this would be a luxury, but we do it every week day morning without fail.

Take this morning. Start plaiting AJ’s hair. Discussing the probability of our latest nature find being a toad skull rather than that of a frog. We dismissed snake fairly quickly. Finished one plait and TF turns up with a duplo model that looked like a flight of stairs. We didn’t discover what he had made as BL whizzed him off with an “idea”. Continued plaiting AJ’s hair and discussing skull formation of juvenile creatures. (edited: More likely a bird’s pelvis)

Two plaits complete. TF and BL return with their duplo stair transformation. It is now a duplo dragon. Start plaiting BL’s hair. She explains the finer design points of their dragon. I admire the fact that she has innovated a new technique. Instead of snapping all the bricks together, they have left the muzzle of the dragon slightly open, like it is ready to breathe out a plume of fire.

Another plait complete. BL and I decide that nature find is not a dragon skull. TF suddenly realises that the wings are missing. Off he goes and returns with the appropriate bricks for wings. Dragon is now ready to fly.

Fourth plait of the day complete. Skull formation discussed. Accurate representation of dragon complete. Successful team work executed.

Roll forward half an hour. All the children are off at school and kindergarten. The house is quiet. I reach for my coffee and find a snapping dragon guarding the coffee machine. A lovely reminder. I love the children’s imagination and their curiosity. Lots of questions and ideas. Among all the bustle of the morning, I hope I can always savour these special ten minutes at the start of each day.

{PS Before you think that our early morning routine is calm and unharressed, I have to admit that I need to remind the children to get dressed, put their shoes on, pick up their bags – several hundred times even though they need to do these things every single school day. Anyone managing complete morning calmness? Or do I have to wait until they have all left home?}

19 Responses to Ten minutes of my day

  • (As you can tell from the pics on my blog), I do not spend time each morning on my girls’ hair – we often have no where to go, so a quick brushing is usually all I insist on (if that), but your post is inspiring me to start taking time out to do their hair for the quality time anyway. I love the snapping dragon guarding your coffee 🙂

    • Cheryl says:

      Hair plaiting routine does not happen at the weekend. I try and tie their hair back, if we are going out, otherwise the girls can look a bit wild. TF sometimes queues up as part of the hair taming ritual, but his hair takes about 5 seconds and that is stretching the time out. I may have to think about something different for special time with him!

  • se7en says:

    We have indeed achieved morning calmness… it goes like this: We don’t go to school, that’s the first step… but there is more!!! You may only sneak across the creaky wood floors to the lounge and read, until the last person wakes and this is sometimes nine o’clock. My older kids have a pile of school books in the lounge each and start reading through their history and science – frankly I don’t mind what they read as long as they are super quiet!!! I take this opportunity to gather my ducks and by the time the last person is up everyone is ready for breakfast and the day and we just keep going!!! No I could not begin to imagine getting mine all to different schools by eight in the morning, frankly I would rather take a looong trip!!!

    • Cheryl says:

      That sounds blissful. I love the idea that they go and read. If I was them, I’d like to start the day like that as well. I shall think about you guys when I’m herding my lot. Enjoy your mornings.

  • Anne says:

    Ahhh, the joys of motherhood. Miss C. is 20, Miss G. 17 and I’m still asking them in the morning if they are awake and getting ready. I also have problems the other end of the day, getting teens and young adults into bed is a nightmare. Hubbie and I want to retire and they are still up doing who know what and making noise! Late night showers, hair dryers, last minute hot drinks before bed. 🙂 Love them though, they make me smile and they are such interesting people these girls of mine.
    Enjoy your 10 minutes a day of hair grooming.
    P.S. Did you know that tea tree oil is good for keeping away nits? You can find shampoos and conditioners containing the essential oil.

    • Cheryl says:

      I went through a stage of spraying the girls’ hair every morning. I love the smell of tea tree. We got out of the habit over the summer holidays.

      One of mine is a night owl. Very occassionally, she is still awake when I go up. When she is older, I think I can expect her to be the one switching off the lights at the end of the day.

  • LOVE this post and the comments.
    I can’t remember when I brushed Big Seed’s hair! I put my hands through it.
    I found mornings so stressful with the baby…so glad he goes to Montessori in the afternoon!
    I’ll never have the chance to plait hair! Oh the joys of having girls!

    • Cheryl says:

      I feel a bit guilty that I don’t spend as much time getting TF ready, although, at the same time, grateful not to have another head of hair to plait. He does go through stages of lining up with the girls, his hands full of hair bands and slides, ready for me to do his hair. One of the girls usually obliges and arranges them in his hair.

  • Rattling On says:

    I used to French plait the girls’ hair every morning. Now they are teenagers I still have to get them up and the 14 yo still likes me to do her hair in a morning!

    • Cheryl says:

      I think I will miss doing their hair. I’m french plaiting two plaits for each girl at the moment. It takes longer to hunt down two matching pairs of hair bands, than actually doing the plaiting.

  • Val says:

    I am reading this with cold fingers and a very guilty expression… youngest and I rushed to the bus stop (self with hairbrush and alice band in coat pocket as we were running late)
    We trotted down the frosty street ..had a nice chat at the bus stop… youngest scrambled onto the bus as it began to get light and was waved off to start another school day.
    I get home find hairbrush and headband in my coat pocket and sit here painfully and fully aware that youngest has set off with an unbrushed mop of hair under her cosy hat and has no headband ….. oh rude words…perhaps we should grow it so she can wear plaits and her daft mother would find it more difficult not to miss….
    Love the dragon btw :0)

    • Cheryl says:

      Ha. We all do it. I’ve come home still clutching a packed lunch bag before now! Blame it on the hat. Woolley hats always reduce my girls’ slicked hair to something resembling fuzz. There lies the quandry. Neat hair or warm head? I’m sure she’s not letting it ruin her day!

  • sue says:

    I think you will probably have to wait until they leave home but then if they are anything like mine they will keep coming back! Once a mum always a mum. Oh and my 24year old still likes me to comb her hair when she has washed it.

    • Cheryl says:

      Oh, I think it is lovely that they still need you. I think I’ll just enjoy it all for now. I might get the camcorder out one morning to record it, so I can play it when they have gone. Just to remind me.

  • Astrojill says:

    I came across your site when searching for an image of a toad skull. The date you wrote the blog was my birthday, and I was born in the SE of UK so I felt I had to say ‘Hi”. Are you on Ravelry?

  • scott Quimby says:

    hi just found your blog whilst researching a similar skull for my grandson, its taken me six months to find out what it was, it turns out it isn’t a skull but the pelvic area of a starling. It gives them the stability in flight and enables them to perform fast turns the holes in the top of the “skull” are where nerves pass through from the back bone which is fused into the pelvis. I think i will just let my grandson think it is a snake skull till he’s a little older. he has it on his shelf with his other mysterios.

  • claire says:


    Saw the duplo dragon on google images after a request to build one from my 3 year old son. Just made him some and a baby variation and he loves them 🙂

    • Cheryl says:

      A baby version too! Love the idea. Duplo and lego are such brilliant toys. This morning, youngest was explaining his latest lego creation – a robot. Very inventive!

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