Today was the day that I realised that I will never, ever beat the morning. The morning always wins. Always.
Yesterday the morning didn’t just win, it kicked my arse. Complete domination. I had to be out of the door early to get one kid to an excursion, which meant dropping other kids at irregular places at irregular times. Shit was always going to go down on a morning like that, the morning can smell weakness.
A parent of four has to have certain systems in place – systems that the kids mostly ignore and which more often than not get completely f*cked sideways – but they are systems whose mere existence prevent me from spending the rest of my day sitting on the mountain of dried cereal that has accumulated under the dining chairs, and rocking.
Yesterday I woke in a flap. EXCURSION DAY! Let’s do this … move it. Move it. Of course the kids gave exactly zero f*cks about the amended timeline.
“Dude! Up – off the lounge, we have to move.”
“Hey, what are you are you doing? Do you even WANT to go on this excursion? Get dressed, come on.”
“Who gave the baby a Texta? Jesus Christ!”
It was the kind of morning that was always going to result in a dropped sugar bowl smashing on my toe, before spreading sugar snow and broken glass for miles while nobody was wearing any shoes. I had exactly negative-seven minutes to deal with a situation like that.
When I finally arrived to pick up my friend for excursion car-pooling it was apparent the morning was winning at her place too.
“SHOES! Come on …” I could hear her yelling from the door.
The morning always wins
Today I awoke early. I sipped a (sugarless) coffee and worked downstairs while the rest of the house slept. It occurred to me that what I had before me was an opportunity to win. Time was on my hands today, and I should be making the most of it.
Rather than the usual lunch box assembly line of doom, I took my time. Perfectly balanced, healthy lunch box fare. I sliced, diced, prepped and presented. I made muffins. MUFFINS. There was nary a tin of baked bins tipped into tupperware in sight.
The uniforms were laid out, the bags were packed. I made up a new batch of anti-nit rocket fuel in a spray bottle, and I found the brush and the hair elastics, sans-panic … all before the
jerks cherubs awoke.
So far? Kiss my arse, morning.
I even ducked downstairs to get a bit of work finished. Mistake. Big mistake. Taking my eye off the ball was a weakness – see? The morning can sniff it.
Because while I was sitting downstairs feeling efficient, the morning and the baby worked together to throw a massive spanner in the works. A spanner I would not discover until it came time to herd the young folk into my mum-van.
“Grab your bags, come on.” I say.
“But they’re empty,” they respond.
Duke had taken out the lunch boxes, the hats and the homework and hidden them. Cue massive search, stage right. Cue massive yelling, stage left.
They were nowhere. Not in cupboards, not in the bath, not in the bin, not under the cushions. Nowhere.
Cue swearing, stage everywhere.
“Duke! Where are the lunch boxes? WHERE?” I beg, using sign language and trying to channel the force, “Where?”
Duke: *blank stare*
“Guys, are you looking? Don’t lie down on the lounge, we have to go. We need to find these … what are you doing? DON’T TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF! FARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRK!”
I scramble together some more sandwiches, but the only bread I have is frozen and that never works well. I lob apples and muesli bars into paper bags.
Ivy: “We can’t have food that’s in packets. It’s not healthy, my teacher says …”
Me: “Your teacher can go eat a d…”
Me: “What now?”
Cael: “I just tripped over that pile of blankets …oh cool. Found the lunch boxes!”
Duke had stashed everyone’s lunch boxes under a pile of blankets in the middle of the loungeroom floor. A pile of blankets that is never usually there, but for some reason we all ignored in the great lunchbox hunt of 2015.
So we had lunch, which was lucky since it was nearly lunch time – OK, slightly dramatic exaggeration, but we were not early as I had planned. In fact we were barely on time.
The morning always wins. Always.