Mornings in my house are a nightmare.
I start every morning with new resolve. I will not fight with Little Pencil, I will not nag him, I will not chastise him, I will not even hurry him. Every morning it is like some part of me believes that he will have been visited by the Fairy of Responsibility in his sleep, that he will wake up in his 9 year old body but with the responsibility and resolve of a grown man who is eager to get to school work.
As soon as the TV is switched on I know that the Fairy hasn’t visited. The fairy would have taken away his desire to imbibe violence before school. Or at least s/he would have hidden the remote control.
I start well.
5 minutes after breakfast is served
Me: Please eat up angel
5 minutes later
Me: Angel, your cereal is turning to cement, please eat it
Him: I am *sounding quite indignant*
3 minutes later
Me: It is really important that you have food in your stomach when you go to school please concentrate on finishing your breakfast and then put on your uniform.
2 minutes later
Him: I don’t like this cereal, it’s all soggy
Me: It wasn’t soggy when I gave it to you 15 minutes ago *blood pressure rises*. Would you like a sandwich?
Him: Can I have nutella?
Him: I’m not hungry
Me: You HAVE to eat breakfast I don’t care if you are not hungry
Him: I’m only hungry for nutella
Me: Okay I’ll give you nutella WITH peanut butter (somehow I think the goodness of peanuts eradicates the evil of chocolate for breakfast)
Him: Can you cut the toast into 16 squares?
Him: I like squares
Me: I have to get dressed, make school lunch, clean the kitchen, get ready for work and walk the dog, I don’t have time to cut 16 bloody squares for breakfast!
Him: *has tuned out*
10 minutes later
Me: Please get dressed
Him: I am dressed
Me: I mean get dressed in SCHOOL UNIFORM. Wearing pyjamas is not the same as being dressed
Him: *starts practising some martial arts form in the air*
Me: PLEASE we are going to be late
6 minutes later
Me: Can you go brush your teeth?
Him: Did you know that D’s got a new DS game and the main guy has this really cool hair style and you just press A and left trigger and he morphs into this really awesome dude and then you press X and he kicks and Y and he punches and when you press them together ……..
Me: BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!!
Him: Okay, and then when you press the A key while holding shift he does a double forward triple somersault that looks like ….
Me: I DON’T CARE. BRUSH YOUR TEETH
Him: Can I get that game on my birthday?
ME: You can go to the dentist on your birthday. Now brush your teeth
Him: So can I? I really want it
Me: I’m going to school without you
Him: *starts to panic* no mum, I’m sorry
Me: Stop saying you are sorry and brush your teeth
Him: But I am sorry mum. Really. I’ll brush my teeth now . Can I still get the game?
It’s usually at this point that I start to question whether he has any empathy at all. He certainly doesn’t have clean teeth.
And then when we finally get to school and see the other mums holding huge chunks of their own hair in their hands, their eyes puffy, rimmed with tears and smudged with their futile attempts at make up, I realise I am not alone.
And I console myself – after all we only have another 9 years of this…………