The boys are back to school today after half-term, so the morning scramble has also re-started. No matter how hard I try to prepare ahead (clothes hung on hooks, bags packed, cattle prod fully charged) it always seems to descend into frantic chaos. I realised things were getting out of hand a while ago when a neighbour, a very nice retired lady, told me she and her husband always enjoyed watching our progress (or lack of it) up the road every morning (for example, Boy 2 lying in protest flat out on the pavement, me pulling Boy 1 out of a hedge or from behind someone’s dustbin..)
It was already a challenge. Then, in a brilliant attempt to make my life even more exciting, I decided to embrace glamour, or at least, try to get myself out of the house looking presentable rather than in Nutella-covered pyjamas. It is all to do with getting older and realising I need all the help I can get, looks-wise, and this means blowdrying my hair into a respectable shape – beautiful young girls can get away with straight, shoulder-length hair still damp from the shower, but I was looking haggard and worryingly like Rasputin on a bad hair day.
Parlux as recommended by FF and top hairdressers
So the morning timeline now goes something like this:
5.45am Mr B arises, ablutes, breakfasts and departs in one swift, fluid operation (that man can really move when he wants, as evidenced by the wedding escape attempt, so glad I went for the armed guard option when arranging the wedding cars).
6.35am I dream about Leonardo di Caprio, though worryingly fantasy involves me going to collect Leonardo’s car from valet parking; so sad that even my dreams involve boring admin tasks and even sadder that I find this really quite exciting.
6.45am Boy 1 standing by my bed fully dressed including school tie, looking vaguely menacing.
6.47am Haul sorry carcass to shower.
7.05am Prepare myself mentally and physically for Blow Drying Operation. Apply Sectioning Clips as advised by hairdresser (had never heard of these before and Mr B v amused, saying he always thought I needed sectioning*, ha ha, Mr B, ha ha).
7.06am Begin drying operation.
7.07am Incredible wailing and screaming from region of Boy 2. Ignore, carry on drying.
7.08am Boys 1 and 2 now involved in violent verbal altercation, then hysterical crying from Boy 2. Switch off dryer most reluctantly and investigate. Boy 2, clad only in underpants, is puce and covered in tears and shouts “He’s stolen my £5 note.” Go into top investigative mode and finally, after extensive cross-examination and forensic work, ascertain that:
Boy 2 gave Boy 1 £5 note (gift from Grandma) in return for 2 Pokemon cards several weeks ago;
Boy 2 now wishes to undo deal;
Boy 1 feels a contract is a contract.
7.30am I invoke dodgy equitable principles à la esteemed judge/lawlord, cite “restitutio in integrum” which I vaguely remember from term 1 of law degree and make Boy 1 give back money and Boy 2 return cards.
7.35am Return to hair which has now dried in funny way and sticks up due to sectioning clips.
7.40am Realise time, abandon hair, rush downstairs, frantically get Nutella all over kitchen worktop and self, throw assorted foodstuffs at boys, make hot chocolate which Boy 2 NEVER actually drinks.
Breakfast, a time of calm and quiet and undrunk hot chocolate
7.50am Boy 1 now lounging comfortably on sofa in kitchen deep in book, refusing to do teeth, put shoes on or remove Nutella from face, on grounds that we are irredeemably late, and it is all my fault for “lying in bed snoring”.
7.55am Chase both boys round kitchen table as part of morning exercise regime.
8am Load boys, rucksacks, tennis rackets, cricket bats, book bags etc into boot of car.
8.01am Let boys out of boot of car so they can climb into car seats.
8.04am Decant boys at school, wave merrily and drive off at top speed.
8.06am Return to school as have forgotten to unload clobber from boot.
8.10am Return home and survey the scene, lie down till feelings of futility and exhaustion pass..
And the best thing? We get to do it all again tomorrow!
Has that child gone to school without socks on again?