6am is an ungodly hour to find the morning dark. Last time I did the school-run, I at least opened my eyes to hear the birds twitter, and a crack of sun filtering through the drapes.
Who crept up and stole the summer away?
My first port of call is a sleep-walk to the shower, where I only open my eyes to find the shampoo/conditioner/shower gel. I wouldn't even need to do that if the kids quit using my bathroom and moving all my stuff about. We have plenty of showers in this house, but ever since my shower gained jet pressure, I've found it's mine no more.
They've taken all the towels, too.
Sighing, tutting and muttering dark curses under my breath, I begin the day with grudges.
It doesn't get any better when I go down to start breakfast. I discover the bacon has scarpered with the eggs, and taken the last of the bread with it.
WTF? I know there was ample left there last night.
My thoughtless, lay-about eldest, of course, he of the hollow legs and eternally ravenous belly, has only swooped in for a midnight fry-up, hasn't he? I have cupboards spilling over with food, a freezer fully stuffed to the hilt, and enough nuts, crisps and fruit in the kitchen to sit through a three month siege, but seems the only thing to tickle his taste buds last night had to be our breakfast.
Not his. He sleeps all day.
Grrrrrrrr! I bite on it, reminding myself there is just one last week to go before he
I settle for mixing a pancake batter.
The reason I rise so early is so I can organise everyone to eat and shower (in the only shower they agree to use) without bloodshed, and still make it through the door for 7.30. This generally also allows time to sign all the forms, cheques, and excuse notes my crew suddenly remember as urgent. In the car I am briefed on where and at what time I need to ferry the girls and their friends around after school.
(Why can't my kids be couch potatoes, just like me?)
Hubby being off the island, I again find myself expected to be in three places at once, and attempting to break up the threatening riot, I re-allot the more realistic pick-up/collection timetable.
"Yes, I know it's wet, but you won't shrink, now will you? Anyways, isn't it about time some other parent picked up the slack?"
Bec shoots me a look of utter disbelief. "They do jobs, mum!"
Of course, silly me.
Grateful our Tesco delivery is due today, I peek on-line to see when to expect it.
That can't be right.
I know I booked it. I did. Why is it only showing next weeks delivery date?
I cannot believe I screwed up the order, is this for real? I peek again.
Oh, for the love of God, what a pain in the arse - it's pissing it down with rain and blowing a hurricane gail outside, I do not want to go to Tesco's today.
Jake agrees, he's up for his run on the beach.
"You'll only blow out to sea, y'know - remember last time you went out in this?"
He doesn't. Thankfully, I do, so my conscience is untroubled as I push the wonky trolley through the aisles. Passing the wet fish counter, I remember Matt promised to show me what he can do with a fillet of salmon, and decide to take him up on it.
I know the guy behind the counter, 'cos he's worked there since forever. His face lights up when I ask for five salmon fillets.
"Nahhh, you don't want that."
"Um, yes, yes I do."
"I can do better than that for you! Look, this is on special offer today, half price - far cheaper, and it'll give you a lot more than five cuts from it, too."
He thinks he's doing me a favour. The queue formed behind me seems equally impressed. Gazing into the ugly eyes of the brute of a salmon thrust before me, I lose all energy to explain my son will NEVER cook that monster.
Not wishing to appear churlish, I agree to take the bloody thing, deciding to ditch it in the freezer section as I pass.
Mid-way down the canned goods aisle, a
"I wonder if I could borrow your eyes for a minute, dear?"
(Awww, poor thing, eh?) "Sure," says I, "No problem!"
For the next hour I'm
It isn't until I reach the checkout, I realise I've gone and inadvertently bought the sodding gargoyle of a fish, after all.
Matt is still blissfully snoring in his pit when I arrive back at the ranch, only rudely awakened as I thrust his shoes under his nose. Since two thirds of the shop always disappears down his gullet, the least he can do is unload the car for me.
Mid-way into wrestling Arnold Schwarzenegger of the salmon world into the freezer, the doorbell rings.
It's my Tesco delivery.
The pickers at the supermarket hit "delivered" once they load it on the van - and mine must have been one of the very first orders completed today - that's why it didn't show through as "pending" when I checked.
I'm so busy explaining that, no, I don't want another three hundred quids worth of groceries today, thanks, that I forget I'm meant to be picking up Sweet Sam from college - and when the lightening bolt finally hits me, I realise the van is blocking the drive, and all the trays of shopping this nice Mr. Delivery-Guy has gone and lined up at our door, needs to be re-loaded back into his van before I can set off for him.
ARGHHHHHH! (Sweet Sam panics if I'm late, and has the memory of an elephant, he'll be reminding me three times daily about this for months to come.)
So intent am I to scoop Sam up from college, I forget about the darned giant fish still rammed half-in, half-out of the freezer, and simply take off, leaving the bottom two shelves of meat wide open to the tender mercies of a pillaging hound.
By the time I discover my error, the mutt is happily polishing off ice-lolly puddles from the floor, surrounded by ripped open packages of assorted, gnawed lumps of frozen flesh and bone.
And yes, that darned, bloomin' fish still sits safely wedged, and gaping defiantly out at me from the top of the freezer. I swear that's an insolent, satisfied grimace on his face.
Sooo, in light of my day, and generous soul that I am, I'm thinking of running a free "give-away" competition, posting him up as the prize. Maybe I'll pool all your comments into a hat, and draw out the