These lighter mornings are so lovely, aren’t they? As a gilded yolk peeks above the horizon in a haze of pink and blues; then begins it’s slow rise to majestic heights. ‘Shooing’ the night time world away and bathing our world in it’s golden warmth. This was how I was awoken this morning. I’d been listening to the dawn chorus of lively birdsong through closed eyes; savouring the last bit of rest before it was time to get up and start a fresh, new day! I slipped from the idyll of my pit in silence; slipped on my slightly pilled dressing gown with the foundation round the collar and a pair of two-day worn socks. To a fly on the wall I was a picture of all that is wrong with woman today. But I am in my forties therefore do not ‘giveth a shit-eth’ about my morning appearance for I am just happy to be alive; to take on the mantle of another day, another chance to live; better, more efficiently and with gay (fully hetro…) abandon!
Like an imp on speed I descend the stairs lightly. Knowing that the very last thing I need at this juncture is to awaken either of ‘them’…
I make it into the kitchen and fill the kettle. Glancing round I note the tray of breakfast things already out in readiness for ‘them’ and smile broadly at my forethought and prime organisational skills. Thank fuck I’m in administration. Swiftly and with the ease of a first-class assassin I find myself in the shower. With the door locked and water gushing no matter what happens I am safe. I have made it; thus far this day is unfolding like a classic. I am fully in control.
I am out of the shower and towelling down whilst trying to avoid negatively appraising my naked form and wondering if several years after the last one just how far ‘waxing’ might have progressed. Could I use a skin numbing cream first? Could I sell a kidney and would I get enough money to have such extensive ‘laser’ treatment as to never have to view this ‘Bushtastic’ sight ever again? Would the sale of a kidney be counterproductive; as although I’d then be hair-free it might exacerbate pre-menopausal bladder issues? It is then that my musing is interrupted. I hear the thud of footsteps. Really heavy footsteps…it must be the three year old. With my heart beating much too quickly without any sort of ‘HIT’ exercise I quickly slip back into my dressing gown and make my way out into the hall. I am silent but for the sound of my rising blood pressure in my ears…
Straining to listen my inner detective tells me there is currently only one set of footsteps but I know there’ll be more within minutes. What’s next? What the hell is next? I’m sifting through my extensive previous experience and attempting to gather up my unravelling thoughts. Right. Up the stairs I nip, hop, skip and dash across the landing, my hair is brushed, moisturiser on; do I have time for eye cream? How important is eye cream? With daylight playing across my face in the mirror I realise it’s really, really bloody important. Eye cream applied, I slosh the roll-on under my pits and grab a nappy. At this point I can only pray that the three year old hasn’t yet done her morning ablutions. One full, frankly ‘adult-sized’ wee in the morning from her and it’s down with PJ bottoms, socks, top sheet, mattress protector, probably ‘panda-blankey’, furry unicorn and anything else her arse has touched and that’s a logistical washing nightmare.
“Eugh get off me; you’re wet!” Bleats the nearly 8 year old.
Right into the fray.
Seconds later with a new nappy applied I’m now struggling under the weight of two loads of washing…who knew she’d get so far in the time it took me to apply fucking eye cream? Still nobody’s cried yet so I’m essentially still winning. With one load on I’m back up the stairs. Fifteen minutes later and the protracted and frustrating ‘coaxing’ procedure is a success. Still nobody’s cried and I’ve not raised my voice…WINNING! Breakfast is pretty easy…’Cheerios’ for one and Weetabix with extra raisins (“look it’s poo! In my breakfast, look it’s poo-poo!”) for the other. It goes down in between spilling water, sticking a raisin betwixt the front teeth (always funny!), a lot of pointless dialogue and a hysterical (not) debacle over a particularly productive sneeze. Still nobody’s cried and I’ve not raised my voice! Next I usher the eldest into the shower; I say ‘rushed’ I have to observe three non-rashes, a vaguely dry patch and convince her that a mole doesn’t need squeezing…
Back upstairs and it’s ‘Operation Wriggle’…that’s right the 3 year old needs to be dressed. I’m savvy enough to still be in my dressing gown for I’ll not come out of this unscathed. I made a rookie error only days earlier when I really thought I was both big and clever in being utterly organised i.e. dressed. I lost not only a pair of new-ish 50 denier opaque tights but also had a very near miss with a front tooth. I also know I only have approximately 4 minutes before the nearly 8 year old starts making this horrid whiney noise which my ears struggle to comprehend. Her clothing is waiting in a neat, expectant pile. I eye them with disdain before taking a deep breath and ‘going in’. 3.5 minutes later; she is dressed. She did not cry and I have not raised my voice. Glancing in the mirror I note that my hair has now dried in a most unfortunate way. Who knew that an entire headful could dry simply from the heat-creating efforts of wrestling what felt like an Otter with worms into a test tube?
Like the ‘Progressive/Natural/Rustic/Organic’ Mother I am I manage to pop the 3 year old in front of the telly and get the nearly 8 year old out of the shower before a ‘whine-fest’. By this point it’s nearly 8am and quite frankly I’m already ‘high-fiving’ myself at the lack of crying or voice raising! Scanning my cerebral list of ‘yet to do’s’ I note there’s only the nearly 8 year old to get dressed, collation of all the shit required for the day and myself to ‘make good’ for public viewing. The nearly 8 year old has unfortunately already been ‘drawn in ‘by the telly and is now dripping all over the floor with her tidy pile of uniform untouched. I sense danger. I must act quickly and in a clever and cohesive way…
Popping a hand towel under her dripping form I start slathering my make-up on. Whilst 3 year old is transfixed I manage to create a neat pile of her curls on top of her head and wipe the excess Weetabix from her chin. After flicking a bit of mascara on I then whip up the hand towel and give the nearly 8 year olds hair the once over. Next a ‘double-do’ with the hairdryer moving from my head to hers in quick succession…like to two halves of the same hairstyle I realise it might have to do. The programme the 3 year old loves is coming to an end; with lightening reflexes and some deflection ‘Wow is that a butterfly?’ I manage to flick it to the alternate channel and peace continues to reign. Now to encourage the nearly 8 year old to get dressed.
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about ‘pocket money’?”
That’s got her attention.
“I’m just going to get dressed; you do the same and we can have a chat about it.”
‘By Jove!’ It seems to have worked; she’s busily squashing her saturated form into her clothes whilst complaining ‘this is too tight’…by the time she’s done I too am standing fully covered in today’s ‘work’ attire and with ten minutes left to finish my make-up I’m rather pleased. Still no crying and I’ve not raised my fucking voice!
9 minutes later we’re all at the door, my phone is fully charged, lunch boxes, book bags, etc. at the ready. Coats on, shoes on; and I’m running out to the car with the lightness of the Gazelle who got the promotion; fuck yes, still no bloody crying and I’ve not raised my buggering VOICE!!!
Running back up the drive to collect the sweetest fruits of anyone’s loins ever; they’re little faces waiting at the patio doors for Mummy to usher them into the car with love and kindness and patience and…
“OMG have you POO’D????”