Ok so I admit it, I am the very essence of not a morning person. Some little gremlin comes to me every night, glues my eyelids together and puts me in a children induced coma. Even House would struggle to bring me round, although I wouldn’t object to him trying!
Seriously though, what sane individual would bounce gleefully out of bed at the prospect of getting 5 kids up, fed, dressed and off to school? Yes, I do have 6 but I draw the line at calling my oldest in the UK to motivate him out of his pit of a morning, much as he might need it.
Hubby deals with the first one up who has to leave at some ungodly hour I prefer not to concern myself with because she’s at secondary school. I renege on this on the grounds that she needs to be driven and I have never mastered the art of cars. Nor do I have any desire to, it would not be in the public interest, trust me. I once ran over a well known poet on my bike when I was twelve so imagine the havoc I could wreak in charge of a 4×4. Grand Theft Auto re-enacted. Posthumous but sincere apologies, by the way to Mr Philip Larkin, I hope your shins weren’t too bruised. I do believe he has died shortly afterwards but I am not aware the two incidents were connected in any way. At least no charges were ever brought.
Tears before breakfast
Anyway I digress; neither do we have to concern ourselves with the third eldest as he is now at college of an afternoon. Lucky sod. So that leaves three, ages twelve, seven and four.
I think I may have alluded to my undomestic goddess qualities previously along the line. Well I’m afraid to say this does impact on the morning routine. In as much as there isn’t really a morning routine. More a frenzied hour of clothes throwing, sock hunting, stain removal, hair brushing and ramming toast in what usually turns out to be the right orifices. This is usually accompanied by at least some tears and a minimum of one tantrum; and that’s just from me.
Clothes are a massive issue here. You know how Europe has Butter Mountains and such like? Well we have the European dirty laundry mountain. Right here in our house. I blame the schools. No, really, in England they had uniforms. Here the kids are free to dress as they please. Even the primary school corridors resemble the catwalk at London fashion week. And that’s just the boys. Wearing the same clothes to school more than one day is just so last year, even when you’re 7. Hence we keep the manufacturers of Ariel in business, but it’s a constant game of catch up. Even if they have been washed they are often still a tad damp. This is no problem for pants and socks. Larger garments are a different matter. I must confess to having reassured at least one child in the past that it was ok, it would dry on, whilst pulling a slightly humid T shirt over their head in desperation.
I do have a little trick up my sleeve when it comes to soggy socks though. I microwave them. Really, it works. You just pop them in on high, give them a few seconds blast, check and shake out the steam then repeat until you get the desired result. Hey presto dry socks. Now it works for me but at first my husband thought I was quite mad. You know that parody of The Exorcist with the reversed line “Your mother cooks socks in hell” (think about it if you haven’t seen it!) Well yes, that neatly sums up our morning routine really.
Unfortunately however one morning Hollie had no dry knickers. Unbeknownst to me hubby decided to try my little trick. Sadly he did not take the advice of the microwave queen first. The first I knew about it was when Joe came running through from the kitchen shouting “Muuuuuum, Muuummmm Hollies knickers are on fire!!” Of course as any self respecting mother would I panicked, grabbed my daughter and prepared to dunk her in a full bath of iced water, bottom first. Not that I had a bath full of iced water to hand but it’s the thought that counts. Then it struck me that firstly there was no smoke and secondly the poor girl was still minus her knickers. Only then did I realise that my husband had popped her pants in the oven, set the timer for three minutes and buggered off to the loo. Promptly dropping a dazed, confused and half naked Hollie on the floor I then raced to put out the microwave. Having doused the flames all that was left of the poor girls undergarments was a pile of ashen cotton and a somewhat distorted Hello Kitty plastic transfer grimacing up at me out of the debris. Hubby then meandered out of loo asking what all the fuss was about. And he says I can’t cook.
Needles to say the phrase”Liar, liar, pants on fire!” was bandied around our house for quite some days afterwards. So the moral of the story is, dear readers, most definitely don’t try this at home. More handy household tips next time. Not.
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