With Screecher Creature No. 1 it was all about getting from Monday to Friday. Help was at hand over the weekend, see? With Screecher Creature No. 2 it was doing my best to stay calm and in control between the hours of 7am till 7pm – bedtime. When Screecher Creature No. 3 came along, Christ, it was all I could do to get from 7am to dragging them all out the door and into the car at 8.15am. Suddenly that hour and 15 minutes was like an entire day!! Now there are 4 of them and it’s Family on Tour! The mornings pass in a dizzying blur. If we get to stay in bed until 7am, we’re doing well. But even with a lie on like that things can go to hell in a teacup before 8am. Take this morning for example. Screecher Creature No. 4 wakes at 4.20am and doesn’t bother his nappy’d arse going back to sleep until 6.30. I manage 40 minutes of a light sleep till he wakes again. Closely followed Screecher Creature’s No. 2 and 3, who decide, after a brief but annoying debate, they want to get in the bed beside us. But first we have to make room for a tractor, a set of Peppa the effin Pig books and a large Transformers toy with sharp corners. Bed’s on the large side but this was taking the piddle. Time was marching on so I decide a shower is in order in an effort to wake up. Have 5 blissful, water and suds minutes. Jump out to dress myself and the youngest two. Roar at Screecher Creature No. 1, who had just woken up, to get himself dressed. Straight to the kitchen, hop, two, three, four! Empty a couple of mousetraps. Micro-wave half a pint of milk for their breakfasts. Break up a fight or two. Throw a few bits and pieces into a lunch box in the hope that some of it will be eaten. Put a spoonful of coffee granules into a cup. This is done for a laugh because I am not going to get a chance to drink that any time in the next hour or so. Answer a summons from the bathroom. Place three bowls of various breakfast foods in front of three awaiting Screecher Creatures and shovel another bowl of breakfast stuff into Screecher Creature No. 4, who is not so much imitating a little bird, but more of a ravenous vulture. Ever see a toddler try to force feed a tractor some Weetabix? Lucky you! That there would be a typical morning for me. It rarely varies. Except Saturdays. Saturday we go out for a very swanky family breakfast in town. I enjoy this very much. I get lovely bacon and eggs made for me and a couple of steaming cups of kick-start-your-heart coffee. I might only have to get up from the table a couple of times if I’m lucky. And then there was the morning where it was slightly different. The morning when waking up the nation had a different meaning. Mammy was going to be on the radio! Talking to the man! The whole world was going to hear her. And the best bit, Screecher Creature No. 1 was going to get a new mala scoile out of it. His old and much coveted Spiderman one, with Spiderman spider webbing his way across the front of it, was to be handed down to the next in line. The excitement was tangible. The questions flew hard and fast. Mammy, how are you going to be on the radio if you’re in the same room as us? Mammy, how did you win the prize? Mammy, can the man on the radio see us? Why not? Then how does he know to talk to you? On the phone? But the phone is way over there? Will I get if for you, Mammy? But that’s not fair! How come you’re the only one allowed to talk to the man on the radio? And then it was time for my 15 minutes of fame on the Today FM Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show. “Good morning Ian.” My rushed and echoey tones filled the room. I had recorded it the previous day in a supermarket car park with the boys screaming and roaring in the background. I shushed the lads. Listen! They’re going to play my song in a minute. The thinking was that this would make them listen to the broadcast. Hah! Which song, Mammy? Can I pick out a song? Will he play my song, Party Rock? Why not, Mammy? That’s not fair! How come you’re the only one allowed to pick out a song? All too soon my song was finished and the moment was over. The little bit of it I got to hear. The boys had lost interest and moved onto something else, my radio cameo completely forgotten about. Unless there is an instant, tangible result, it’s hard to hold their attention. And then it was business as usual. Straight into the kitchen to have a look at the clock. It was 7.15am. Only twelve and a half hours to bedtime! But who’s counting?