Well the children are back at school. I know this because my alarm clock is back, signalling to me that it’s time to a) get up and b) make Herculean efforts not to take my thunderously bad mood out on anyone else. It’s fair to say that I am not a morning person. Everything before 9am annoys me – sunshine, kittens, Mother Teresa, you name it. And by 9am, I mean 2pm.
I can’t even use caffeine as a way out of the morning fog because I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t like either tea or coffee. I draw the line at Diet Coke for breakfast, so my only option is chocolate for that caffeine fix. And it’s not that I haven’t tried that, but at the moment I’ve already bought, eaten and re-bought the kids’ Easter Eggs twice, and I’m seriously considering just giving up any attempts to stop, and investing instead in some lovely stretchy maternity jeans.
In my defence, I have had good reason over the years to be less than thrilled about the prospect of waking. For several months, one of my daughters enjoyed luring me away from sleep by pulling my eyelids apart and asking loudly if I was dead or not. We lurched from that phase into the phase of being woken by the megaphone-decibel level of a small child yelling from the toilet that she was finished, which number she had done, followed by her own carefully considered grade out of 10 according to how much mess needed clearing up.
Thankfully we’re well past all that now, and these days I’m reasonably good as long as nobody looks at me, speaks to me or thinks things about me.
But even I have been pleased to get up over the last couple of weeks and drive my youngest to school, because they are so absolutely thrilled to be back. They have been isolated for so long, and even though it’s only been a couple of weeks, the difference in them is already enormous. They are happier, they are seeing their friends, learning in groups, interacting with others. It lifts my heart to see it.
And that lighter heart lasts right up until about 4:30pm when the exhaustion of suddenly having to concentrate and be on best behaviour all day kicks in, and the meltdowns sometimes reach epic proportions. For example, did you know that if your child asks for a snack and you say no because it’s ten minutes until dinner, you are in fact starving them to death entirely on purpose, you don’t love them, and may as well accept your position of Satan’s assistant now and have done with it.
In the same vein, if you suggest that your child might be tired in a sympathetic kind of way, she will look at you with a scorn normally reserved for serial killers and inform you of how very little you know of the world and everything in it, because even the thickest person alive knows that if you are tired, you yawn. Then she will yawn, and that will also be your fault because you made that happen just by mentioning it. Your only escape will be to crawl back under the stone you so obviously came from and keep very still indeed until food has been consumed. It might then be safe to come back out, but only (and I can’t emphasise this enough), ONLY if you don’t ask them any questions, don’t smile at them, and come bearing pudding. A bit like me in the mornings really.
Bring on Bedtime!