I had one of those mornings during the week that made me reminisce about my life BC (Before Childers). BC my wakeup call was an alarm clock at 7.30am and not a child between the hour of 6 and 7am. I fired a pile of All Bran into a bowl, chopped a banana on top and added milk. Got dressed in clean clothes that had been carefully left out the night before. With matching shoes. Once someone even stopped me on the street to admire my suit and ask where I got it. God, those were the days. I took massive delight in their shock when I told them the suit was bought in Penney’s. When you’re a size 8 -10 you can wear anything well. Sometimes I even brought in a cappuccino and a croissant for a treat before “work” started. “Work” involved, depending on the various positions I held, answering phones, imports and exports, booking people for work, Dictaphone typing, dealing with money, coping with the public, drinking tea, doing a spot of filing, photocopying, arranging house viewings, going on a lunch break, then watching the clock in the afternoon for the countdown to home time. It used to take me all day to do that. Just look at all I can get done before 8am these days. It was six thirty on this particular morning recently and I needed to get up as Mister Husband was on his way to work and some of the Screecher Creatures were awake and restless. This is never a good sign. Things get demolished on mornings like this. On peeling myself away from the bed and slowly standing up, I was assailed by Things That Need To Be Done. One of my pet hates: bed linen. Two double beds, a single and a cot needed to be targeted. Screecher Creature No. 1’s pillow had dried blood on it having had 5 teeth extracted the previous day. Blood is a bitch to remove. The hot press was teeming with clothes and looking to be cleared out to make room for what was in the washing machine. Which would be refilled from the over flowing laundry basket in the bedroom. Kids were waiting for their clothes so they could get dressed, then have their breakfast and their teeth scrupulously cleaned afterwards. A distinct odour hinted that a nappy needed changing. But before that, the potted plant in the hall had been attacked again – several Screecher Creature No. 4 sized handfuls of soil were sprinkled on the floor. The same child had also gotten into the bathroom and taken a shower in the toilet. Which hadn’t been flushed!!!!! The kitchen sink was overflowing with dishes that had mysteriously appeared overnight. The draining board was also piled high. There were empty beer bottles (5 in case you were wondering) that should have been put into the recycling bin along with the empty cardboard boxes and yogurt cartons that also graced the counter top. The floors were in dire need of a sweep. And a wash. The toddler was busy emptying two drawers in the kitchen; stuff all over the floor, some of it had rolled under the press where the kicking board had been removed since last winter. Funny smell emanating from there too. One child was expected at Montessori in an hour’s time. The others would be expecting entertainment at home thereafter. I still wasn’t dressed. I took a basket of clean linen out of sitting room and shoved it into the hot press where I could forget about it until I opened the door again. Another toddler alert. This time he managed to pull the pipe out from under the sink and there was water all over the floor. One job inadvertently done I suppose. The older boys were going mental in their bedroom, refusing to put on the clothes I had left out for them. Instead they were going through their drawers, (each other’s!) to select their own. Screecher Creature No. 3 had at that moment decided to wake up. It was still only 8am and he was in the horrors. His underpants were caked with the half-finished poo he made in his sleep. He was refusing to let me help him so I went into the kitchen to get out the bowls for breakfast. Spotted my phone on the counter top and hoped no-one had been trying to contact me as it had upped and died the day before. Too much sweat and condensation from running had finally taken its toll. Another thing to replace. Made me think of the car and how it needs fixing too. Still. I will drive to town for milk and essentials only but no further. Too dangerous. Especially on roundabouts or whenever I need to stop which is often. Screecher Creature No. 3 was still roaring but acquiesced and allowed me to help him in the bathroom. Screecher Creature No. 4 was crawling around after me shouting as he wanted the tails of my top to hold as he sucked his thumb. I threw a pair of tights at him and he sat back on his haunches, humming. Content for another five minutes until I prepared his breakfast. Shit! Did we have milk??????? Upset child was clinging to my leg as I did the necessary to his rear end. He needs to see a doctor. Tonsils are so large they are affecting his hearing and quite possibly the reason he has been so lethargic of late. I wanted to take the thoughts of another hospital visit and bill, stick them in the hot press along with the laundry. Dammit! Now I was thinking of the laundry again. That made me think of the state of the house in general. Toys everywhere. Most of them broken. The unused stairs piled high with bags of clothes for recycling, tools to be stored upstairs, a cooler box from our holidays that had to be returned to its owner, magazines, books and various other bits and pieces. And that’s only the inside of the house. I am beginning to think there is a lot of truth in feng shui. De-clutter your home and it will de-clutter your mind. Back into the kitchen where I tackled the stinky pile of cloths from the sink leak. Emptied the washing machine so I could store them in there. Made breakfast for a toddler who would not wait any more. Cajoled the others to the table for theirs. One was dressed, one was naked and another was half and half. Watched as they ate and dropped food onto the table. Their childish toilet humour made me smile. Screecher Creature No. 4 has a tiresome habit of sticking his thumb in after each spoonful of food. We were going to be there all day but as I hid the one and only Coco Pox bowl, at least the others weren’t taking turns to eat. Began to mentally download my list. Needed to get code from a weekend break away card to order school books on line. But first had to get to the bank to put money into my Laser card so I could pay for them. Was thinking that maybe Mister Husband could do that for me. It would save me heading into town in the broken down car with small kids. Screecher Creature No. 1 seemed to have had a growth spurt on holidays as his trousers wouldn’t fit. Stop growing! I can’t keep up!!! I hope his trousers for school will still fit him! Had to go in search of something that did fit him. Found it but it was too short. It would just have to do. Took out veg, garlic, ginger and various other ingredients for a stir fry for dinner. Will invariably get one of them that will refuse to eat it. Tough! I am sick of mashed up beige and brown food for them, chicken nuggets, spag bol, disgusting pancakes and drop scones, bowls of Weetabix, toasted sandwiches, yogurts and the never ending peeling of bananas and apples. It’s my choice of dinner today. Made me remember Monday’s dinner. A proper roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings to make up for the stodgy holiday food the week before. It took me all morning to prepare, and I was the only person who sat down to eat it. I am slumming it today with a stir fry. Three quarters of the kids were fed but it was time to offload one of them. I issued loud instructions to find shoes or whatever they wanted to put on their feet, put them on and get into the car. I put Screecher Creature No. 4 and his tights into the car first to buy me some much needed bathroom time. Nine o’clock on a Wednesday morning. How are you? What else have you got in store for me? Please let me get this child to Montessori and have a bite to eat when I return home before you throw anything else at me.