“Mammy, I’m bored.” Words strong enough to strike the fear of god into me. And it wasn’t even the summer holidays yet. Every hour at least Screecher Creature No. 2 came out with this complaint during the week. One day was so bad my little grouch managed to have a gripe 5 times between 7 and 8am. It was a tough week in all fairness. Home and Away was off and away due to the football and I was missing my daily Brax fix. The 5am starts were catching up and there was absolutely nothing Wonderful about the Wagon. She was living up to her name. Hay fever season began in earnest for a Screecher Creature after a particularly bad reaction to pollen/cut grass/a flower/ a weed or all of the above at the weekend. The homeopathic remedy I had been doling out for the month of May was obviously smarties in disguise. I pumped an antihistamine into Screecher Creatures 1 and 2 and the swelling began to go down. But the questions started about when they were going to look “normal” again. The inhaler was brought out of hibernation for Screecher Creature No. 1 and he has been using it at night ever since. Tuesday afternoon saw an introduction to Big School for Screecher Creature No. 2 who was a tad perplexed at all the “Svanish” being spoken at Gaelscoil Atha I. I saw another side to our bolshie boy that day. A very quiet and introspective one. It brought back stressful memories of his early days in crèche when it took him a little more than three months to settle in. This was in the care of his aunty. He spent his mornings roaring in distress and then crawled around looking for a bean bag in which to rest his exhausted head. There were no bean bags on display in Big School so I don’t know what he’s going to do. But he did spot the lollipop jar! We had a visit to the GP then on Wednesday to replace an inhaler. Thank you Shane for our GP cards. (See Apology to Shane for details www.wonderfulwagon.com/2012/04/apology-to-shane.html ). We were in “consultation” for all of five minutes and it would have cost me €50 for the privilege normally. Thursday saw another play date but this time we were returning the favour and in an effort to ignore the bad weather, we made a batch of Smartie cookies. Went down a treat as they always do, followed by other favourite, pancakes, for tea. Friday there was a photographic opportunity in school. Unless I resort to restraints it is nigh on impossible to get The Awesome Foursome to sit still, or stay clean long enough, for a nice group picture. We have loads, but there are body parts, including heads, missing, tongues sticking out or fingers up noses, tonsils visible due to altercations and without exception, Screecher Creatures looking in opposite directions in all of them. So this was a professional opportunity I wasn’t going to miss. It was, without a doubt, the busiest week I have had in a long time and I was looking forward to the following one, this week, being more of the routine variety that I am used to and indeed favour. It was all looking good initially. Too good in fact so I should have known an implosion was pending. There were a couple of mornings where I was up well before the birds which meant my body was a couple of seconds ahead of my mind for the rest of me for the day. Things were ticking along nicely and the countdown to summer holidays for Screecher Creature No. 1 and Graduation Day from Montessori for Screecher Creature No. 2 were getting closer and closer. It was Wednesday already and for the first time in ages, since he learnt to circumnavigate the decking, Screecher Creature No. 4 fell head first off of it and onto the hard ground. There was blood and lots of crying. No sooner had I settled that little upset when Screecher Creature No. 2 came running into the house screaming and roaring as if his pants were on fire. In between the panicked screams, and tearing off his welly boot, I ascertained he had jumped off the fence and onto a nail which went through the boot and up into his foot. There was lots of blood and lots and lots of screaming. A quick phone call to the lovely nurse at our GP’s and I was assured he was protected from Tetanus by his childhood vaccinations. I don’t think my ears were protected from his piercing screams though. Must get that checked next week. A quick clean, a fancy schmancy plaster and a lollipop later, went a long way towards calming troubled waters. A long way, but not long enough. Screecher Creature No. 3 obviously not wanting to be outdone, decided to give himself a spinal-ectomy on a heavy candlestick by falling backwards into the fireplace. More roaring, screaming and crying. No blood this time though. Folks, it was still only midday and I had been up 7 hours at that stage. I’d even eaten my dinner at 11.30. The day just wasn’t moving fast enough. That afternoon saw several conflicts over a two kg ball of mala (aka plasticine aka play dough to the uninitiated). It started out as a lovely kaleidoscopic sphere of colours and ended up, as always, a dirty, mucky brown lump of stuff. It all became too much for them and a bowl of chicken curry with rice was hurled onto the floor in temper. Not by me, I hasten to add. But only because he got there first. He picked each and every bit of rice up by hand. The floor is still stained with chicken korma. It is now Friday. (Praise Be!) Screecher Creature No. 1 finished up for the summer holidays at midday. Yes, I have begun the countdown. To Thursday 30th of August when two of them will be out that front door by 8.15am of a morning. Screecher Creature No. 2, when he remembers, starts limping again and complaining of a terrible pain in “his hole.” Screecher Creature No. 3 is still moseying along doing his own thing and doling out a thump every now and again as he sees fit. Screecher Creature No. 4 is still braving the decking and climbing onto places from which he can’t get down. The Wonderful Wagon? Well, she’s going straight to the nearest off licence and gettin’ some liquor “for later.” Have a nice weekend!