As a mother of one daughter (and primary carer of a small dog) I really can't complain about the amount of time it takes us all to get ready in the morning. But after one particularly stressful, pre de-tangler morning, when a truce had to be drawn following a hard fought battle with Billie's bed-head hair, I thought back to a story I'd been told about one ruthlessly efficient mother who had three unruly boys to get ready for school each morning, before going on to her second high pressure job in the NHS. She came up with a radical new method of getting ready for school; bathing her three sons each evening then getting them dressed in their uniforms before putting them to bed, thereby dramatically streamlining the entire process of getting ready for school in the morning. Admittedly only by getting them ready for school the previous night and desperately hoping they stayed relatively neat and crumple free. And wouldn't mention it to their teachers.
“It's all in the preparation!”
I was inspired. I used to ride as a child and I'd had it drummed into me that you should never leave a pony in his stable plaited up overnight as he might get an itch and scratch his neck or bottom against a corner and rub his tail or a chunk of his mane off at the base, leaving a large bald area. I had an irrational fear of this happening to my daughter. Inspired by the impressive efficiency of NHS mum I decided we could risk it and now we (loosely) plait each night before bed. So far so good, she hasn't managed to break it off by sleep-rubbing against her water trough. I can thoroughly recommend tight plaits as a nit deterrent too- so far so good.