Today I am resenting my unexpected new position of Person-Most-With-It-In-The-Morning-in-Our-Household.
I am not a natural morning person, not an early riser. I like staying in bed for as long as possible. 9 o’clock? Fine. 10 o’clock? Even better. This has been my inclination for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s something to do with having Glandular Fever as a teenager, maybe it’s just how I am, maybe I just never grew up and got my act together. Whatever, I am rarely the first person up in my house. Add into that the habit of hiding under the cover because I don’t want to face the day and I’m hardly ever the first person up. Plus my husband struggles to sleep in late, he just wakes up, and my 2 children, well, they are fairly typical, they wake up early and loud.
So it is somewhat a shock to the system when on a Monday morning I am the first out of my room and trying to organise everyone else. Unfortunately this is not due to some amazing leap forward by me finally getting my act together but rather a reflection that everyone else seems to have slipped below my rather minimal standards.
This morning I had to try and persuade my children to stop rolling around on the floor and get dressed, whilst trying to make the grown ups their morning kick start cup of tea. Which I want to happen at the same time, but the kitchen is not near the kids bedroom and the kids are rather reluctant to get their act together (weeks of settling late to bed (despite our
deperate best efforts) due to the light hot evenings are starting to take their toll). I sort of manage. Then I have to persuade them to eat some breakfast. This proves tricky. My son is easily distracted and would undoubtedly benefit from living in a minimalist household with everything not currently needed neatly stored away out of site in an elegant cupboard. Whereas our household has piles of unsorted Parent Trap (our very own Cockney Rhyming slang) everywhere ready for him to become fascinated with, pick up and start fiddling with. Then there is the negotiation over who has what bowl. I manage to steamroller him through that, helped by the knowledge that he is so much easier to be around once he’s eaten. Then the incomprehensible complaint about the lack of the right kind of breakfast cereal, except it’s unclear what the right kind of breakfast cereal would be, althought it’s clear we don’t have it. I just about manage to hold it together whilst being shouted at in the manner of someone with a justified complaint who had clearly requested this cereal in a timely and polite fashion and is now at the end of their tether. I resent being shouted at like that the first time an issue is raised.
Finally, they are both sat eating breakfast. I take the cups of tea upstairs hoping to sit in peace and drink half of mine on our bed before geting dressed. Except that it’s starting to become clear that my other half is struggling to make it out from under the covers. I want to find out what’s wrong, is he tired, hayfever, stressed, but an almighty fight breaks out downstairs, I try to ignore it but it migrates onto our rather steep stairs and sounds like it might get violent any minute so I go to intervene.
Turns out one of the things that were in a random pile on the dining table was a sheet of stickers that I had picked of the floor when tidying up last night but had got no further in their journey to where they belong (partly as I’m not even sure where that is). Bought as simple white dots, my son had coloured them in (over a week ago I think) and now they are the most important thing in the world and he has grand plans for what he is going to do next to decorate them. Grand plans that have been dashed by his sister stealing one. Getting her back to the table and breakfast is easy, she likes breakfast. Getting him to move on from Stickergate is harder but I manage it in the end.
Right back to my cup of tea. Except it is now becoming obvious that husband is really not feeling great and it seems to be all his, you know, stuff (gestures to one side). I have no idea what the right thing to do is. After a big hug I coax him upright and give him his tea and mutter something about coming to have some breakfast and seeing how he feels after that.
Then, now half dressed (yippee, progress for me) I make it back downstairs and do some more negotiating with little sister about not leaving breakfast half eaten to strew your box of precious things / small irritating rubbish (we have a difference of opinion on the contents of this particular box) all over the hallway and make husband toast.
Life continues in this vain, with me running from person to person, coaxing/cajoling/bribing/threatening them back on track and trying to get myself ready at the same time. One lowlights is having to rewrite a check for school dinner money as I inadvertendly signed in the amount payable box (the woman in the office who deals with checks appears to take great delight in pointing out errors in how they’re written which really winds me up, she came into the playground recently to tell me in front of as many people as possible that I’d written 2013 rather than 2014 on the check and not for the first time). Another is realising that despite having been brought toast in bed hubby is now hiding under the duvet again and not speaking. He manages to communicate that he plans to stay there and request I phone his work. This is really tough for me. Phone calls are the thing I find hardest when stressed and phoning in sick because you’re feeling stressed brings back some painful memories for me. But I manage it.
Finally we are on track to leave for school. And then my son goes to the toilet. This is his latest habit. Right at the last minute he goes to the toilet. And takes ages. And then more ages. And I get cross and frustrated. And then I feel guilty because bodily functions are not a sign of disobedience. And yet. I know some of the time he’s not doing what he should be in the bathroom. We are in no mans land. No longer in the parent assisted toileting, not actually reliable and trusted either. He shuts the door. I respect him. But sometimes I knock and open it and find him fiddling with the shower curtain having not even started using the toilet yet despite being in there over 5 minutes. Or opening and closing cupboard doors and then it transpires he hasn’t washed his hands yet. So this latest habit, of being a long long time just as we need to leave, is it a case of bad timing, or his infinite ability to distract himself, or a subconcious derailing of the going to school progress.
Today I decide it’s unfair on his sister to be late every day. I take advantage of another parent on site and give him a deadline, then leave without him. Maybe drawing a line in the sand will help. Unfortuantely rather than appreciating my efforts to get her to school on time and valuing some one on one time with her mum, instead she argues at me half the way to school about the contents of the bag of junk modelling stuff we’re taking in (I’d actually sorted that out the night before). When I refuse to argue further she sulks the rest of the way.
So, drop daughter off, explain sulking to her teacher, go and tell his teacher that I’m going back to get him now and he’ll be late, go home, get him, take him to the office to be signed in late, give in the cheque for dinner money and be told that I DATED IT JULY NOT JUNE. Agghhh.
So thank you, inerenet thingy, for listening to my rant. It helped. It made me feel better. For a whole minute and a half. And now Bitchface has started up pointing out how petty and small my problems are compared to real problems and what an insult I am to those really suffering…