Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sheer Bliss, plus Mate

Its 7am Monday morning, the busiest and most hectic 2 hours of the week are upon me. The previous nights bottle of Cava only slightly slowing me down as I try to organise thoughts and plans in my head. 7.00-7.20 is Dawns slot in the bathroom, so a shout upstairs and a returned grunt gets that process going. Breakfasts are made, lunch boxes sorted, uniforms thrown on various children as I consider the first coffee of the day.

Dawn has overrun her allotted time, so a grumbling mumbling Wife takes the 7.25-7.50 position. Katy's elasticated tie is being used as a slingshot, her cardigan is on upside down, and her shoes are on the wrong feet. So far so good, a definite improvement on last week. Dawn slams out of the door, then sheepishly comes back in 2 minutes later to pick up forgotten homework. I actually get a goodbye second time round.

Wife eventually graces us with her presence, leaving me with the 7.55-8.00 final slot. I actually waste 30 seconds of my time looking in the mirror, always a mistake as the day is getting old fast, as am I by the looks of it. I waste a further 30 seconds trying to convince myself the grey makes me look more George Clooney than George Formby. An argument I lose every time. No time for a proper wash, will have to use the 'spray the deodorant in the air and wander around' trick. Can't dare despoil the wonderfully sculpted noses of the Mums who are unfortunate to be downwind of me in the playground. Well not again anyway.

Back downstairs and it's time to redress Katy, grab a sip of cold coffee, and pour everybody into the car. School bags, lunch bags, PE bags, and handbags all thrown in after them. A quick look around to check I have everything, which of course I haven't, so I pick up the nearest three things to me, and hope one of them fits the bill. Drop wife at station where she realises she has forgotten her glasses. Apparently my offer of either a stapler, empty CD case, or a blue sock does not help. A very silent (well silent on my part) drive back to the house ensues. Back to the station where a grateful (again, grateful on my part) drop off is completed. I have now lost 40% of the household, 20% to go. This is the kind of fiscal deficit I like.

On to Katy's school and we are actually early for a change, and by early I mean on time. I get a puzzled look from the caretaker as I walk past, and I realise this is the first time he has seen me not running with a child under each arm. His look of puzzlement returns to a smile as I run back to the car to retrieve the forgotten book bag. I grab a handful of hair clips from my pocket and attempt to do something with Katy's hair. I stand back and admire my work. She now looks like she has survived a heavy gale, rather than a full blown tsunami, so I am pleased. I go to wipe away her tears of abandonment but she has gone without even a backward glance. I vow to deal with my own abandonment issues. Maybe next term.

A slow walk back to the car, stuck behind the slow procession of Chanel No5 fumes and Mummy's with buggies. I forget about a quick getaway, and holding my breath, join the procession. Eventually I reach the car, my face a shade of blue from oxygen deprivation. A few deep breaths and my head stops swimming and I am OK to drive. I should walk really, it's only a 15 min walk, but what's the point having a car if you don't use it?

I arrive home twenty minutes later. Bloody school run traffic, drives me crazy. Go to get the unwanted stapler, CD case and sock out of the car, but decide against it, you never know when they will come in handy. I sweep them onto the floor to join the map of France, the old video remote, and a forgotten Teddy Bear called Tongue. Like I said, you just never know.

I open the door to the house and close it behind me, maybe a little too loudly, too extravagantly. A smile appears on my face for the first time today as I survey the silence. All I can hear is my own small giggle as I contemplate the lazy day ahead. Maybe I will put a wash on, probably not though. Maybe I will wash the kitchen floor, almost definitely not. Maybe I will read the paper cover to cover whilst sipping a piping hot cup of coffee, I answer out loud. A resounding "Sounds like a plan". I laugh again. I am happy with my lot, happy with my new found solitude. Not so happy with this new development of talking to myself, but I'm sure I will get used to it.

A small tap on the door brings me back to reality. I turn expecting to see the postman at the door, but I see nothing through the frosted glass. Another tap on the door and I open it with a slight frustration. I look down and there stands my two year old son Mate. His look says 'you forgot me again', his mouth says "breakfast". I gather him into my arms, go back into the house, and recalculate my day.

Sheer bliss, plus Mate.


Dave Bartlett said...

As far as blog postings are concerned James, you have a lovely pair there. They complement each other beautifully.

I remember the early days at primary school that I went through with each of mine:

My eldest came out of school one afternoon after rapidly dressing herself after P.E. (done in pants and vest in those days!)
She'd fastened up her cardigan with buttons out of phase, and when I pointed to the stray button at the bottom, she explained to me: "One of the button holes must have dropped off."

Then there was the first few weeks with each of them, when despite the fact that they'd all begun reading before they even went to school, school (and presumably LEA) policy for their first term was to issue them with home 'readers' that contained only pictures, supposedly for us to discuss with them.
Each evening they'd come out of school and pass the book to either me or their mum while audibly complaining "No flipping words again!"

The other week I happened to be walking in the general direction of our local primary school on the first day of term, and passed all the 'new mums' - WOW! they'd really made an effort, most of them looking like fair approximations of supermodels; it made me nostaglic for the days when I dropped my own kids off, until I realised that once the first couple of weeks have passed, each of them will resort to dropping off their kids in shell suits or top and leggings (with even the occasional one still wearing pyjamas under her coat.)

Never mind, my letching will keep until next September. (Note to self: mark start of autumn term 2010 in diary)

quillfeather said...

To put it in a few words; Humorous, masterfully written, thought provoking and above all my favorite blog of all time.

Besides nappies... write, write, write.... Do the world a favor - compile your thoughts, submit it to an agent, harass the publisher and let us enjoy your work!


quillfeather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russ said...

I'm still a year out from all that excitement. Right now, I'll just have be content with speech therapy and story time at the library.

Debra Snider said...

Hilarious! And, as always with your posts, touching and poignant too. There's so much to like in this one, but I think my favorite sentence - for sheer literary pleasure - might be "I actually waste 30 seconds of my time looking in the mirror, always a mistake as the day is getting old fast, as am I by the looks of it." The map of France is a nice touch, too.

I'm also getting to know your family apparently, because as soon as you started waxing blissful about your solitude, I started wondering, "Wait. Where's Mate?"

Anonymous said...

Teehee! Sounds chaotic but fun ;O)

Angela Montague said...

How long did it take me to get round to reading this? Sorry.

Well, just throw an inch of brick dust into the scenes you've described so brilliantly here and you'll have a pretty good description of my life of the last three weeks. A wheelbarrow of cement in the middle of your living room will never be a good look.

Plus yougest spilling tomato soup all over the sofa and falling asleep on a felt tip pen (so one hand-made nightdress and brand new sheet die an inky death). So anyway, back to your blog, loved it as ever. Get yourself a regular paid for column some where, this stuff is too good to give away for free.

Geriatric Mummy said...

Only read a couple of your posts so far but am loving your writing :)have been laughing so hard - very very fuuny...