The Early Shift.

The utter exhaustion of Motherhood.  It’s a very real thing; a type of disease the main symptoms of which tend to hit around 4pm.  Which is also coincidently the time you’re expected to reinvent yourself and drum up a healthy meal; made from scratch with fresh ingredients, preferably organic (i.e. misshapen and covered in dirt) and ‘local’.  You’re expected to do this whilst being badgered by the kids; they’re fresh out of school, tired, mardy and at this point in time; you’re too blame.  We must find our natural maternal rhythm and juggle dishing up; including fishing out the bits they don’t like, providing cups of water, clearing up the inevitable spillages and on a particularly shit shift scraping bits of thrown food from wherever they’ve landed.  During this ‘monkey’s tea party’ you’ll be washing up and monitoring progress at the table.  A scrap will break out, a minor choking, everyone in attendance will need the toilet at least once, there will be complaints and a general rumble of dislike of your home-cooked meal.  A natural aid to sooth the symptoms at this time is wine, gin or crack though ingesting the latter is still frowned upon whilst the children are eating.

 

All finished and it’s a major clean-up operation not unlike the day after Glastonbury.  Children are then jostled upstairs into the holding pen (bedroom; whatever) to await the next stage of ‘Operation Night Night’.  Following them up it’s PJs, teeth, face and hands and the dreaded reading.  Whether it be ‘giving’ or ‘receiving’ it’s time-consuming, frustrating and soul-sapping.  Often I just leave it to an expert at 6:55pm on CBeebies; I mean they’re trained professionals besides they’re being paid.  Finally I’m on the home-straight, the end is in sight, they’re even showing signs of slowing down…

 

I’ve ticked every box, crossed every ‘t’; followed my own-devised step-by-step plan from ‘school to bed’ and everything is going according to plan; I feel relaxed (that’ll be the wine) and confident (that’ll also be the wine) in my ability to deal ‘get shit done’.  On the plus side it’s only 7:15pm! 

 

Now for the nice bit. 

 

Bedroom 1

 

Me: “Good night my darling; love you to the moon and back.”

 

Immy: “I need the toilet.”

 

Me: “You’ve just been?”

 

Immy: “That was just a wee I need a poo now.”

 

Me: “Hurry up then and don’t forget to wash your hands.”

 

Bedroom 2

 

Me: “Good night my darling; love you to the moon and back.”

 

Livy: “Wass that noise?”

 

Me: “What noise love?”

 

Livy: “Where’s Imogen?”

 

Me: “She’s in bed going straight to sleep like a good girl.”

 

Immy: “MUM, I’VE GOT DIARRHOEA COME AND LOOK AT IT.”

 

Livy: “Imogen!  She not in bed…”

 

Me: “Just wipe your bottom and wash your hands Immy.”

 

Livy: “Me want to see Imogen.”

 

Me: “No it’s bedtime now, which Teddy do you want?”

 

Livy: “Tunicorn.”

 

Me: “Where is it?”

 

Livy: “At Granmas.”

 

Immy: “MUM!  There’s no toilet paper left and my bottom’s not clean.”

 

Me: “Hang on Imogen.  Will you have bear Livy?”

 

Livy: “No me no like bear; he disgusting.”

 

Me: ” You’ll have to have monkey then.”

 

Immy: “It’s alright Mum I’m using wipes.”

 

Me: “Don’t put them in the toilet Immy they’ll block the septic tank.”

 

Immy: “Ergh that’s disgusting where shall I put them then?”

 

Livy: “This monkey is disgusting I want tunicorn.”

 

Me: “Here’s a bag Immy hurry up and get your hands washed.”

 

Immy: “Ha ha….Livy’s up.”

 

Me: “Livy get back into bed please, its’ time to go to sleep.”

 

Livy: “Me want a drink, me thirsty.”

 

Immy: “I want a drink too, you didn’t get us a drink with our tea.”

 

Me: “I did give you a drink you tipped it all over your bloody dinner; get into bloody bed and I’ll get you both a really SMALL drink.”

 

So with drinks dolled out and the invariable re-needing to use the toilet, hand washing and back into beds It’s hardly surprising that it’s now ten past nine and far too late for more wine; besides…

 

Livy: “Mumma me pooed in my nappy.”

 

Ffs…

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