Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Did That Slip By..?

It’s so peaceful at 6am in the morning, only the birds are up before me. I truly savour my precious hour before the kids are roused. I wake with a shower, then go down to greet and feed the animals.  Cooking breakfast, I tune into the BBC news, to find out what has been going on with the world as I've slept.
It’s a short Oasis before the 7am scramble.

7.30, Abby’s throwing a guilt trip on me.

"Will you test my algebra?"

(She has a maths test today.)

"I tested you last night."

”But can you test me again?"

Obviously the worst mother in the world, I order her to brush her hair up in to a pony-tail, instead. She's only showing off. Unlike her, I don't know a Pythagoras from a pie-chart, and I'm not about to haplessly trip into that embarrassing trap again.

"Do you need me to sign your homework diary?"

"S'alright, I did it for you."

"Good girl.   Hey, Matt - you will remember to help Beccy off the coach with her case, won't you?" (She's off on a weekend sleepover straight after school.)

Beccy thrusts my purse under my nose. "I need some money for the cinema and the restaurant."

"Huh?  I thought this was meant to be a birthday sleep-over?"

"Ye-ah, but we still have to pay for ourselves."

“What about that twenty I just gave you?”

“Oh Mum! That’s for her present, I put it in the card.”

WHAT?? Bloody cheek. Maybe I should try that one, eh? I have a fish in my purse, and it turns out she's in luck, but only because I was going to pay the milkman this morning.

Sam thunders down the stairs yanking at his tie. Having unfortunately yanked it the wrong way, it's now welded in to an undo-able knot. Apparently I didn't get the right length for him the first time round, and the world is going to explode. Using a chop-stick for leverage I finally (on the third go) tie it to his exact satisfaction.  (Why the hell they force him to wear a tie every day to school is beyond me, it hardly encourages independence.  He can’t even fasten a zip, how’s he ever going to master a tie on his own?

Glancing the clock, I utter the battle-cry, "Time to go!" and all four children miraculously disappear.

Jake follows me out to the garage.

"Not you."

He slinks back, tail dragging.

I slide the key into the ignition, as Abby throws her books and bum on the back seat.  Why is the Tardis maliciously beeping at me?

I know, regardless of what the helpful dashboard is flashing, the left rear door is not open, and turning right will not fling Abby out under the tread of a two-ton Juggernaut. 

Or will it? Nah,'course not. Anyway, her seat belt's fastened.

“Abby, just open your door and close it again, will you?”



It works.  Kind of.  ‘Cept now it’s claiming the tyres are deflated.  Useless heap of crap.

Where is everyone?  Oh, for goodness sake.. Telling Abby to stay put, I go off to round up the strays.   

Beccy, as ever, gets almost to the car before remembering to turn back to fetch her history project/hockey stick/emergency lip-gloss/'phone with no credit, whilst secretly ditching her not-quite-swallowed vitamin pills on route (our aquarium may house the healthiest tank of fish ever to swim this side of Douglas).   Girl thinks I was born yesterday.

As usual we are left waiting for Matt - knowing all the clocks are set at least five minutes ahead, he takes this  bonus to perfect his hair sculpture, whilst allowing me to scream myself hoarse.   In the interim, doing a circuit upstairs, Sam's wisely decided not to have any truck with joining us today; he's a motorbike, and as everyone knows, motorbikes don't fit in to cars.
Ten minutes later, we are loaded up and ready to roll. I chase the coach to the next stop, and park to block it whilst three of my little cherubs leisurely disembark. Sam decides he wants to sit next to me in the passenger seat now, so I continue to hold up three-quarters of the rush hour traffic whilst I endeavour to re seat him. Halfway through, he changes his mind and makes for the back again. (And people say kids like him have no sense of humour, eh?)

Back at the house, I discover Beccy's case still in the boot.

Sam let's out a howl from the hall. Darn, he's had a peek at his cookery ingredients for the day. I wish his teacher would stop baking with eggs, she knows they scare the crap out of him. I promise to tell his escort about them, and we wait for his taxi to arrive.

"No Sam sweetie, you don't have time for another cup of tea. Look - look the taxi's here. No, he doesn't have time for a cup of tea, either."

I wave him off and head back to the beeping Tardus. Guess Jake and the beach can wait,  it's only a twenty mile trip to drop Beccy's case off.

It’s not until my return I realise I forgot to wish Matt good luck this morning, for his final exam and with his last ever day at this school. Oh Lord, how on earth could I allow that to slip my mind? His summer has begun.  Come October, he’s set to start the next phase of his life, off to read economics at Newcastle University.

Darn.  Wish I had remembered this was the last day I’d see him off to school.


It doesn't much seem to bother Matt - in the afternoon, he phones me from the pub, and sounding far too friendly for sober, tells me to expect LOTS of his friends (like um, in virtually his whole school year) in our back garden tonight.  Appears he's throwing a BBQ, but it's okay, I've not to worry, everyone is tipping in with the food and beverages, and they have even laid out for some extra disposable Barbie's, too (I sure hope he is referring to those of the cooking appliance variety..).Please, please, please, will I promise to keep his sisters locked up away, indoors?

His friends are here as I type, lighting a huge bonfire of all their revision notes (Think I'll just slide out to stand by with the hose..).

Ah well, looks like I might still manage to grab the odd photo opportunity before the day is through (wink).


Fletch said...

One down - 2 to go.

Sam ain't going anywhere, self-propelled (motorbike) or not, bless him! And I guess he is the one you will fret about most, too.

I suppose a "Bless YOU too" is in order ...

Tahereh said...

you are deliciously hilarious!! i love your posts.. hehehe

jinksy said...

After reading that, I think I should wish you ... 'Peace!!!'

TechnoBabe said...

So much mischief and mayhem in a household of growing kids. It is fun to read about it and for me I remember the days when the kids were still kids. Hope the barbies were cooking lots of good food and not the house!

sandy said...

great graphic and so true to form- i love the peace of mornings..Your story below great

Akelamalu said...

You deserve a medal! LOL

~Babs said...

I can't imagine with four!
One was a challenge for me,,,,seeing as how I don't 'do' mornings.
God bless you,,,you sure earn it shrinky!

Suldog said...

God bless you, you've reminded me of why I never wanted to have kids :-)

Of course, you wouldn't trade with me any more than I'd trade with you, so it's all perfect with each of us doing what we were meant to do, you being a wonderful mother and me being whatever in hell it is I am.

Thumbelina said...

I'm with Akelamalu - you desereve a medal!
Chaos - but organised! ;0)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

How on earth you do it, Shrinky, I'll NEVER are simply amazing...super mom! And your write about it all in such a wonderfully witty way...You never cease to amaze me! You are simply incredible. Loved this; love you, Janine XO

saz said...

above and beyond the call of duty l always say...but then we are just Mum's...

billy pilgrim said...

you make it sound so interesting i almost miss those days of chauffeuring my angels and their friends to and from school.

North of 25A said...

I am at my best in the morning when no one else is up & I can have my coffee in peace. Love your blog title & header.
Best from Long Island, NY,

Leslie: said...

A milestone, indeed! And today I had a milestone in that my youngest (of 2) turned 30! I can't believe it - she was just a baby yesterday!

SJ said...

A bonfire out of revision notes why didn't I think of that a decade back!

Your mornings seem to be the calm before the storm.

Shrinky said...

Hi Fletch, yeah, Matt is ready to spread his wings now - sure felt weird this morning setting off on the school run without him. Funnily enough, that is exactly what I said to the girls as they got into the car, "One down, only two left to go.."! (Grin)

Hello Tahereh, what a lovely thing to say, thank you for that!

Haha, yes please, Jinsky, quiet time around these parts is often thin on the ground.

Hi TechnoBabe, it was touch and go for a minute or two, I have to confess - but, yeah, it was only the burgers that got singed in the end!

Hey there Sandy, how nice of you to stop by - I see you have taken your blog down, hope all is well with you?

Actually Akelamalu, most times it's my kids who need a medal - at least that's what they will have me believe..

I think it's more work raising one kid, than four, Bab's, I've rarely had to "amuse" them, y'know? There is a lot to be said for having your own travelling road show (smile).

Jim, haha, that is exactly what my horrified Ex said, when he heard I'd had four kids..!

Hi Thumbalina, life is never dull living with four teenagers all under the same roof, that's for sure!

Oh Janine, I am laughing here, see I am also one of four, since I've never known any different, I guess this is actually NORMAL for me. (Hugs)

Saz, I'm hoping the respect will kick in later, when they eventually have thier own little broods to raise..?

Billy, I can't wait to trade my Chauffeur's cap in, that's one part of parenting I'll be happy to pass over!

Hey Colleen, how lovely to see you in here, thanks for stopping by - I think my blog title best reflects my usual state of mind (wink)..

Oh Leslie, isn't that so? I do a double take sometimes - my kids CAN'T be that old, can they??

SJ, I drew the line at them tossing their school uniforms on the pyre (shaking my head)..

Rock Chef said...

Ah, life with a house full of kids! I love how this post captured the utter mayhem of getting everyone out of the door in the morning!

Hope the party went well!

Shrinky said...

Hi Rock Chef, yeah, the party later moved on to a club, or so I am told.. ah, the resilience of youth, eh?

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Great sense of humor. Love it!

Michelle H. said...

Wow! How do you get anything done in the mornings? Incredibly hilarious! Wish I had remembered that $20 in the card thing with my parents.

Anonymous said...

Oopsie, my bad... as I was saying...

Some BFF you are! You post without telling me? Humph! (shove)

Mark it up as another glorious day in the Shrinky household. I think Matt had partying on his mind all day. Until tomorrow... and new surprises... (wink)

The Urban Cowboy said...

Nothing like a house full of kids to keep you on your toes. Sounds like beautiful chaos!

Shrinky said...

Hi Michelle, oh, don't even get me started on that one - like how it is NEVER them who cherry-pick's all the pound coins out of my purse, gotta' be one of the OTHER sib's, eh? (Gahhh, is it any wonder I am so demented???) Yeah, bless 'em, the little lyin', thieving, tormenting darlings, that they are..) Good job I love them.

Hi Phivos, thanks for stopping by.

Shucks, Chewy, thought we were meant to be telepathic? (Shove's ya' back). Wink!

Urban Cowboy, I had kids late in life (30's), once I started, I forgot to stop. It's still quite a shock to the system, but I'm sure once I find some meds to kick in, it'll all make perfect sense. (Hey, I'm joking with you, relax!)

Robyn said...

Wow... i'm exhausted after reading that post ;)

take care and i hope you get some lovely time out this weekend and are not spending it cleaning up after the teenage celebrations.

be well

Skunkfeathers said...

"The dawn comes up like thunder" ;-)

Postman said...

Good grief. You keep an eye on that revision-note bonfire. Those things can get out of hand, fast.

[Ahem] Not that I'd know or anything.

secret agent woman said...

I've wondered that myself.

tattytiara said...

Yes, I can see how that one hour would be a very, very precious thing for you!

Shrinky said...

Hi Robyn, hubby arrived back from London with a bout of the man-'flu, so gained a pass on the kid-ferrying duties this week-end (grrrrrr). Not the most relaxing of week ends, no.

It sure seems to in this house, Skunk.

Ha, Postman, of course not - sheesh, perish the very thought!

Glad to know it's not just me, Secret Agent.

Yeah Tatty, it's the best way to start my day.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I am so glad I discovered your blog. It makes me smile and feel better for having visited, Roland

San said...

Your highly entertaining domestic dramas actually make me nostalgic for the time when my own children lived at home, Shrinky.

Shrinky said...

Oh, thank you Roland, what a lovely comment to leave! I am very pleased to make your acquaintance, and look forward to knowing you better.

Hi San! Ah, the chaos of domestic life, I am sure hindsight will definitely sweeten the edges (wink)..

PRH....... said...

Don't get to stop by all my blog buddies much from April through June...but just wanted to say "Hey", and let you know I really enjoyed the "Veronica" stroy.


Putz said...

all these people in your life, no peace and quiet for you shrinkey ,dear::::::::i thought deserted islands like yours were quiet and peaceful>>>>you are a very ggood writer, where did you get that from???

laughingwolf said...

kids... who can figure them out? :O lol

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving such a happy, fun comment. Yes, I think you definitely should finish your novel before the query process.

I had a friend who was only 2/3 of the way finished, queried a big agent, only to have him request the FULL!

One fantastic shot at a prime agent down the drain. Ouch! Roland

Shrinky said...

I gave up trying, long ago, Laughingwolf!

Hi Roland, oh, I not only did that, I then promptly went out and told the whole wide world all about it, too - you live and learn, eh? (Pout)

Kristina Hughes said...

Another day in paradise....another brilliant post! Am chuckling to self about the Sam/tie thing - we have the same shenanigans with Jude's tie - bloody silly invention if you ask me.
Thanks for making me giggle - needed it today - wrestling with Statements/LEA. Not fun xxxx

Shrinky said...

Hello Kristina, oh those wonderful Statements, I can only imagine the fun and games you must be having right now (hugs). Good luck hon, I'll be thinking of you, it's only too fresh even now, in my mind, of all the hoops we had to jump through to complete Sam's..

Fen said...

Blimey woman, how'd you keep up with all of that, I got confused and tired all of a sudden just reading it!! I hope it all turned out well & that you got some pics!

Shrinky said...

Ha, Fen, it's just a day in the life! I'm gonna' miss all the chaos when they do (if ever) fly the coop - I think..

Deb said...

Ah, this was like a walk down memory lane for me. I also have four children...two girls, two boys. Now all grown and gone...sort of. Never a dull moment ~ and I wouldn't have changed a thing. Enjoy !

Shrinky said...

Hey Deb, having just visited with you, I am amazed at the coincedence.. just today, I've been making my case to my fam as to why I should go on a bee-keeping course..! Isn't that so weird (smile)..?

Rachelle said...


Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hello, darlin'! Just stoppin' in to give you a big hug!! Love you, Janine XO

Anonymous said...

Mornings are always crazy when kids are involved! By the time I get my 4 to school I feel like I need a nap.

Shrinky said...

Rachelle!!!! How great to see you (big smiles) - you're back, you're back!!

Awww, Janine, sheesh (blush), you sure know how to lift a girlie's day ((hugs))!

Hi Blue Zoo, ha, if only, eh? (grin)

Hilary said...

Geesh.. I'm exhausted just reading this. No wonder you're so slender.. you never stop.

Land of shimp said...

Shrinky, I'm sure you are told this quite frequently, but you really are one of the best nonfiction humor writers I've ever encountered. You're absolutely marvelous, and I greatly enjoyed this piece, as well as the ensuing giggles.

Thank you for sharing your wit.

I think your kids are very fortunate, by the way. Having a mom who has a sense of humor is a great gift, even if they don't realize it.

I particularly loved the image of you lurking around, quite casually of course, with a running hose in hand.

"Just looking at the stars...thought they might need a washing...never know when they will no attention..."

Land of shimp said...

Oh, and congratulations to both your son, and to you and your husband.

Sometimes it does feel as if you'll all go stark, staring mad together just getting them through to college (university).

Most other times you are quite sure it's already happened.

#1Nana said...

I hesitated to leave a comment because you get so many and I didn't want to give you more to do...but then I got over myself and am writing anyway!

Just wanted to let you know what I really like about your blog is that it's a peek into another culture for me. Your use of language is just enough different from Ameri-speak that I get a sense of your environment. Your writing lets me feel a part of the chaos. I always enjoy dropping by.

Anna said...

Shrinky you are the most busiest person I ever met over blogging world, and yet you don't give up blogging, lol. Anna :)