I awake to the sound of my baby’s sweet sounds as she wakes from her slumber. Again. I glanced at the time on my phone (who keeps proper alarm clocks, anyone?). It was 6:10am. This wasn’t too bad for her to wake. She had woken 3 hours before and at 11pm as well. She settled back to sleep fairly quickly so for me, it was a fairly successful night. I listened to the monitor as she seemed to settle back to sleep again. Wonderful. I could get up right now and be super organised or I could just lie here and wait for my alarm to go off at 6:45am. I chose the latter of course. This is my first mistake.
The calm before the storm THUD THUD THUD
Just as I felt myself slowing descending into a half hour of peaceful snoozing, there is a loud crash from the girls’ bedroom. I knew what it was instantly. My 5 year old daughter had fallen out of her bed. She’s an octopus. I don’t know what she does during the night but somehow she could be upside down in the bed, with no blankets and her trousers down around her knees. Her hair could be all over her face and her feet dangling off the side of the bed. We had a bed rail but thought that maybe, being 5 years old, she was ready for it to go. Plus, it was broke and definitely more of a hazard than a safety net. We had put a duvet on the floor to cushion any blows that she might have but she never fell out so said duvet was removed, rather prematurely it would seem.
I lay there and waited for her cries because sometimes, she would just climb back into bed. It wasn’t cries that came, it was the baby’s. So much for my half hour slumber. My 5 year old came into the room and her face looked like she was crying but no sound came out. I ushered her into the bed next to her Dad and tended to Baby. I gave her a bottle of water and she seemed content and happy to stay in her cot for a bit. I went back to bed. My second mistake. Why didn’t I just get up? What is with this procrastination that lying in bed for an extra 10 minutes is going to be of any benefit to me whatsoever? It just steals precious time from me and makes me stress! Anyway, I digress. I curled up cuddling my daughter as she sank into me for an embrace. It doesn’t happen that often, in fairness so I’d say she was just ecstatic to be cuddled up with Mammy. She held my hand and rubbed my thumb like she used to do when she was younger. Bliss and my heart melted a little. Just 5 more minutes I said to myself, fighting with my brain. My brain said, “Get up, you have no time for this, you have to get the lunches made as well because you decided to watch tv last night and not do them, GET UP”. Me – “5 minutes Brain, go away”.
My alarm went off, 6:45am. Snooze.
6:50am my Baby starts to call out for me. As my daughter was already back to sleep, I had to try to sneak my arm out from under her. She is very slight so it was quite easy to do without waking her. I gingerly put on my dressing gown and slippers and went into my baby. She smiled up at me, delighted to see me. I love her so much, she’s just amazing. I rubbed and shaked her belly as she squealed with delight and panic to be picked up. I gently lifted her and gave her a big squeeze and kissed her soft chubby cheek. She had her little teddy in her hand and she seemed so happy. I looked over at my daughter’s empty bed and decided to sit there for a bit and let the baby play. Another mistake.
It was now past 7:00am and I was going to be in panic stations. I decided to get up. My son called from his room and asked if he could play his DS.
“It’s a school day! You must be joking! Get up, get your uniform! Come on!” Now I could hear it already in my voice. My stress levels were on overdrive and it was my fault for not getting up 45 minutes before. I went downstairs and let the baby play with her toys as I got started making lunches. My son walks into the kitchen, “Mammy, I can’t find matching socks”. I rolled my eyes. It’s entirely my fault of course. I had loads of washing done but they were scattered in various different baskets around the house. I felt agitated, annoyed, STRESSED. I put down the sandwiches and ran upstairs to try to search in the mountain of underwear on the landing. I found a sock, then I rummaged some more and found another sock. They looked the same but the colour on the heel was green on one and blue on another. I called my son.
“Here, they almost match, nobody will know!” I gave them to him and fixed his shirt which was hanging out under his jumper. I went into my bedroom and woke my daughter. My husband was up too, getting dressed. My daughter looked at me through her mass of hair with a grumpy face on her. She hated mornings. She more accurately, hated me in the mornings.
“Get your uniform, go downstairs, bring your bobbins so I can do your hair”. Orders and more orders. I shouted at my husband to hurry up as I quickly got dressed, pulling clothes from yet another mountain and stepping over washing in the corner of the room. My room was chaos, I’ll clean it later, lying to myself.
I ran downstairs while throwing my hair up in a bun and hearing the sounds of my baby banging on the back door at our dog. Next was breakfasts, I threw some cereal in a bowl as cousin IT (aka my daughter) slips into the room and sits on the couch, uniform in hands and lays down.
“Get up! Get up! We don’t have time for this! Get Dressed!”
She looks at me with hatred in her eyes. I pull her clothes on her and then both sit down for breakfast. 07:30am. Sh*t. I am so late. Next I had to get the bag ready for the baby. I have a list of things that need to go into it so I don’t forget anything. Nappies, wipe, powder, change of clothes, food, bottles, calpol, nurofen….. think we are good there. My husband walks into the kitchen and plays with the baby. He makes his own lunch because he’s a grown man! Next I had to get the baby dressed. She hates getting dressed. She cried and squirmed as I was trying to change her nappy. I get tap on my arm.
“Mammy, I need tissue,” as she points at her nose. In my head I was saying, Go and get the tissue for God’s sake, what is wrong with you, why do you have to tell me this information? Just get the f*cking tissue. I decided to take deep breaths instead and pointed towards the roll on the counter as I continued to change the nappy.
“What bin is out today?” A question from my husband. It was the waste bin, surely. I get a text every week about it but I don’t really pay attention to it. It was definitely the waste bin.
“The waste bin I think,” and he made his way outside to put the bin out, as men do I imagine. Baby dressed! Yes! Then she starts to cry because I put her down. I grabbed her bottle and gave it to her. I ordered the kids upstairs to get their teeth brushed. 07:40am. Yes, this may be a successful morning after all. I grab the car seat and put it on the table and run outside to put the buggy in the car and the car seat base. I run back into the house and hear my daughter crying upstairs. I shouted to see what was wrong. I swear my neighbour must think I’m a complete nut.
“He pinched me!” More wails
“She punched me first!” Protesting.
“I didn’t do it hard Mammy!” Frustration.
My response through gritted teeth “Brush your teeth we have to go NOW! Stop fighting we are late! We are late!” I don’t think that they care to be fair.
I run back into the kitchen to see that my lovely dressed and clean baby has spit up all over herself. I could feel my face going red. It was either sink or swim right now. 07:45am. I know that I have to leave at 8:00am to be in work on time. I thought I was getting an ulcer right now. I ran back upstairs to get a change of clothes for the baby. The others were still brushing their teeth. I yelled at them to stop and get downstairs. I changed the baby and put her in the car seat. My husband was packing up his food for his lunch and went outside to tend to the dog.
My daughter held her bobbins and brush in her hands and I started the dreaded process of brushing her hair. I had to give her my phone to watch YouTube because it’s the only way of lessening the screams. She hates getting her hair done. Yet, she wants her hair to be long like Rapunzel. We are debating a number 2 to be honest. I brushed, she cried. I do try my best not to hurt her, really. I wonder if her pain tolerance is unbelievably low. God help her if she has children. She will not be able. Then, I screamed on the inside. HEAD LICE. I nearly dropped and shouted for my husband. He tipped her over to look and got rid of one or two big ones. This would be my first experience with head lice. I was thinking, should I send her to school? Hmm, a number two shave is back on the cards. I didn’t worry her and tied her hair up and made a mental note to call the school later to tell them.
Ok, 3 kids ready, out the door I go.
My husband put the kids in the car. 08:05am. Damn it. I grabbed my handbag and looked in the mirror. My hair was a mess, my face wasn’t washed and I realised I hadn’t brushed my teeth so I ran upstairs to do it. 08:07am. I run to my husbands car, “HUGS” and give my children big hugs and kisses after all that shouting, they still loved me. My husband left for work with the older 2 kids to drop them to the childminder. I got in my car to bring my baby to my mother. 08:10am. I started to drive down and spotted my neighbour had her recycling bin out. I went around the roundabout and back to the house and jumped out of the car. I grabbed the full waste bin and dragged it back to the side gate and then pulled the recycle bin to the kerb. Back in the car and off to work. 08:15am.
It was actually waste bin day. I text my boss, “Running Late“.
Have a good day.
Reality Mammy x