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Converse and Cornflakes

"Being organised is not in my DNA"

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Author's Notes

"This was written and first published some years ago. My children are much older now though the youngest is still feral."

My Alarm goes off at 6 am... it starts with the calm mellow tones of Enya, then Adiemus and progresses through to the likes of Pink Martini and Fever Ray. I really do not like waking up, my finger is well trained at locating the snooze button, so off I go again, back to the land of nod, subconsciously aware of the gentle sounds until I’m very rudely brought back to reality by ACDC’s “Thunderstruck” blaring out. It’s already 6.30 and I am running late!

So I leap out of bed, dash down the corridor to my elder daughter’s bedroom and attempt to coax her gently from her slumber. Before I know it, its 6.45 am, said daughter is not yet dressed, neither am I, and her feral little sister is happily squeezing shampoo over the bathroom floor and unrolling the toilet paper.

Downstairs and there’s a long face and a drawn-out sigh as the little lady rolls her eyes because Mum forgot to buy more Cocoa Pops. So I shove cornflakes into a bowl, slosh on some milk and sugar, hand it over to her and vaguely wonder what to put in the break and lunch boxes.

Its 7 am. Bright pink food boxes are packed with olives, apples, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and pasta salad, mango juice and water... very particular my daughters are, black olives for one, green for the other.

Now, where have the schoolbags got to? Where is last night’s homework? And then she says “I can't find my swimming costume and rash vest” And I ask “Isn’t swimming on Tuesdays and Thursdays” to which she replies “it is Thursday Mum!” When did I lose track of the days?

Ok... 7.10a.m, bags are packed; Converse for homework, Billabong for the swimming kit (get it right mum!) and the feral princess has decided she no longer likes her Dora explorer bag as her partner in crime at nursery school now has a Smurf one…

Break and lunch boxes are in the cooler bag but now we’re missing a shoe! Cereal and milk have been spilt down the elders' clean white school shirt, the feral one is running around the garden in just sparkly welly boots and a tiara and neither have brushed their hair or cleaned their teeth. So it’s off with the shirt and on with a fresh one, clean the teeth, brush the hair and then she remembers the permission slip for a class trip that she has forgotten to pass on. It’s in her school bag...somewhere... she thinks...

7.15... another alarm goes off... this is my 5 minute warning, time to leave the house and I’m still wearing just a kikoi. So it’s back upstairs, throw on underwear, shorts and shirt, splash water on my face, clean my teeth and tie up my hair. The Feral one has now chosen her own attire… I shall pretend she isn’t mine. Twenty past seven and we’re almost ready.

Finally it’s into the car and off down the road, joining the line of Stepford wives and mothers with their perfectly groomed children wearing their perfectly spotless uniforms and not a hair out of place. They walk into school like little robots, unlike my offspring who, let’s face it, is definitely her mothers' daughter, skips in late, laden down with bags and sports kit and, don’t ask me how, has managed to get her shirt dirty again.


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