Hellish Mornings

I'm practising to achieve cartoon-baddy evilness, obviously

I confess I’m not a morning person; I struggle to even slurp that first mug of strong coffee lovingly prepared by The Boss. Well, I assume it’s lovingly prepared – surely he wouldn’t be feeding me caffeine before he’s even fed himself because he’s afraid of the alternative?

Anyway, the mix of Night Owl with Chronic Lack of Sleep isn’t a good combination. Three nights ago we had all 3 minxes in bed with us at various times. Mini Minx was crying pitifully (teething) so I took her in for a comfort cuddle and cheeky wee breastfeed – there ain’t a whole lot left there, but it usually does the trick, as she goes to sleep sighing, “Yum, yum, yum”. Not that night – she drained me, then had some fun poking a finger up my nose (probably to stop me snoring), pulling my eyelids up and rubbing my (white-ish) hair. Eventually I woke up enough to get her back to her cot.

Not an hour later, Midi came in, complaining that she’d wet the bed. The Boss sorted the bed (well, he just inspected it, realised it was a night sweat, then went back to bed) and went straight back to sleep. I, meanwhile, spent a fitful hour with Midi tossing and thrashing and turning and complaining that my breath was too hot on her neck, that she was too hot then too cold, the bed was too lumpy, Daddy was too smelly, it was too dark, she was too bored… Eventually I woke up enough to turf her out of bed and gave her Tuck-Tucks in her own bed.

While I did this, Maxi sneaked into bed. Except being an uber-minx she sneaked into the foot of the bed where I didn’t notice, but it sure disturbed my sleep.

Actually, you know how fake gold is ‘goldique’ or ‘golde’? Well, Grumpy Old Trout’s sleep is henceforth to be known as ‘sleepique’.

That morning, I think I was downright high on lack of sleep. So for a change I barely nagged the kids. This had such an impact on Maxi that she busied herself for 5 mins with her stickers and tape and paper, then proudly hung up a sign on the door saying,’Mumy’ (sic): she’d made me a sticker chart. For not shouting. Oh, the shame! She beamed with pride as she awarded me 2 stickers for not yelling that morning, and praised me to the hilt. Normally I walk to school feeling guilty as sin for yelling at the girls; that morning I felt guiltier than ever.

The next morning (yesterday), the lack of sleep really hit me, so I had blue touchpaper about a millimeter thick. I swear I’d have lost 10 stickers from my chart had I earned that many. The girls weren’t worse than usual, just standard stuff. So here, to record how bloody normal they are, and how seriously grumpy I am, is our usual morning:

Start hauling everyone out of bed at 7.30hrs. Kids start bickering about cereals and who’s getting which pink bowl from about 7.31. I slurp coffee, get self dressed and grab an armful of minx clothes from 7.35 while The Boss makes his and Maxi’s packed lunch (unless he’s late, then it’s school dinner day), ignores all the milk puddles on the table and floor, then gets out the door to work by 7.45. I start chastising about milk puddles from 7.46. By 8 I’m really nagging them to Hurry Up and Eat. At 8.05 I sit down to eat some toast, and have 3/4 of it nicked by cheeky minxes. At 8.15 I start seriously grumping about there being more toast, cereal and milk on their floor than in tummies (yep, every single morning). At 8.20 I’m dressing minxes: I’ll do Mini first while Maxi and Midi run around knocking each other over, pulling hair, pestering the cat, whingeing. I start yelling louder to “Stop that! Do xyz right now! Now!” Mini done, I’ll start yelling at Maxi to hurry up and get her PJs off and get dressed, while I wrestle with Midi and argue that she *is* wearing trousers, and she *doesn’t* look like a boy. At 8.25 I release Midi, yell at Maxi to Get. Those. PJs. Off. This. Instant. and go retrieve Mini, who’s upended the contents of Maxi’s schoolbag. After re-stuffing the schoolbag, I haul Mini out the bathroom where she’s tasting the catfood* and really roar at Maxi to stop pulling Midi’s hair and get dressed in her uniform. At 8.30 I pour Maxi into her uniform and send them all upstairs to brush teeth. They fight over who gets which toothbrush and which toothpaste, and who gets to squeeze it out. I wrestle with brushes and facecloths and try to intercept the worst of the mess. At 8.35 they’re downstairs fighting over hats, mits, coats and shoes/wellies: Mini wants to wear Maxi’s wellies, Maxi’s upset because she wants to wear a thin coat in driving wind and sleet, and Midi wants to eat a banana. I throw coats at them and nip outside to the garage to get the double-buggy. In the 25 seconds that takes, I try to take a deep breath and calm down, ready for the final onslaught… Opening the front door, Mini’s upended Maxi’s schoolbag again, Maxi is lolling on the stairs, crushing the uniform I was up ironing at 23.30hrs that night, and Midi’s poking Mini in the head. I generally roar, “Get your shoes on! Get your shoes on! Get your shoes on! Get your…” etc, in a loop, in the same way that God-awful loud rock music on constant loop allegedly forced General Noriega out of hiding. At 8.45 I’m yelling at Midi to sit in the buggy so I can force a shrieking Mini in to the rear seat without it upending, and shouting to Maxi to keep the front door shut (I can’t afford to heat the whole village up from our front door). If I’m lucky, it’s not rained buckets in the 5 mins between parking it by the door and bending minx limbs into it. Sometimes I even make a cruel comment like, “I wish I could leave you lot at school just for one whole day!” which, I’m ashamed to say, leaves one or more minxes crying. At 8.47 I’m negotiating a double-buggy that weighs 6 stone combined weight (prob a few pounds more, now) with one hand through the pot-holes and kerb ramps along the hill, while dragging a sulky 5 year old with the other hand, at a quick march to get to school for 9. Usually I’m continuing the nag of, “If you do as I tell you first time, I wouldn’t need to shout, and we’d all feel better!” or I’m apologising for losing my temper and shouting. Bah. Bet our neighbours really love me…

*Aha! Maybe I need to give her catfood for breakfast! There’d be loads less mess…

**That was a joke, in case Social Services are reading this, gathering more evidence.

Yesterday was a pretty standard morning, which is why Maxi lost her dinner ticket – Mini had grabbed it, nibbled a corner, then stuffed it into the doll’s house window, which is where I found it last night. I made sure it was safely tucked next to today’s ticket about 10 times before leaving this morning.

Today was a very standard morning, except that Mini (with the terrible circulation) steadfastly refused to wear mits or anything on her feet, and shrieked full volume the whole way down the hill. I let her get cold, because we’ve run out of botch tape – when I get more, I’m taping those mits and boots on!

Thank God tomorrow is Saturday, and we can get a 2 day break from my morning nagging – it even makes me feel rubbish.

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