It is 9:52 and I am exhausted. I didn’t have a late night. I haven’t done anything of particular interest this morning. But I am still exhausted. I have been up just 3 1/2 hours and I’m ready to go back to bed.
All the children slept well last night but when Archie woke up he was covered in snot and incredibly grumpy. He wasn’t feeling well and wanted to be asleep again. He wanted to drink his morning bottle of milk but not quite as much as he wanted to throw it across the room. His throw is really coming on and as a result I still haven’t found the bottle. He continued to shout and scream until Anna walked through the door and Archie popped out his dummy, smiled and said “Hiya Anna”. All the effort we put in to sooth him and all he wanted was his sisters. Well perhaps tomorrow morning I will take him straight to her room!
After this the morning continued reasonably smoothly. Only a few minor hiccups which mainly came from Iris’ direction “I can’t get my knickers the right way around!” she says as she is throwing them in the air. Followed by “I don’t know what a t-shirt is.” And topped off by “I like my sparkly top on the outside but not the inside. It is scratching me!” Today is of course Christmas jumper day. Something which I forgot when I made both children set out school uniform before they went to bed last night.
Anyway we then went downstairs to find out what the Elf had been up (if you haven’t started this then I recommend you don’t – I calculated that if Archie “still believes” until he is 7 then we have over 100 more ridiculous Elf scenarios to act out. And our Elf only arrives halfway through December as he is too busy to come earlier). This morning the Elf had been making snowflakes and had left out paper for the girls to make him some too. Nothing too over the top but I have learnt – he will not be drawing glasses and a moustache on the baby overnight like last year as apparently it does not look good when you have to take the baby out and the pen won’t wash off. Saying that yesterday the Elf did wet himself after getting drunk and spent the day on the radiator drying out. So the girls make the snowflakes which is fine but does slow them down a bit.
Remarkably Archie then ate all of his breakfast himself without launching his bowl across the room for the first time in weeks. The girls ate up quickly and we were on track to leave on time. Whilst the girls were brushing their teeth I nipped upstairs to do mine and go to the loo. Of course 20 seconds after I sit down the doorbell rings and I hear Anna shouting up the stairs “It’s the postman!” and then “Wait a minute postman!” I have no option but to run downstairs with my trousers half done up to open the door and receive a parcel. Not ideal. Then whilst I am helping Iris do her coat up I hear a cry and Archie has opened a cupboard door up but failed to move his head out of the way whilst doing so and he is laying on the floor with a red line across his head. We dash out to the car which is a courtesy car as our car is at the garage (one of our cars is always at the garage). There’s no central locking so I’m trying to individually unlock each door whilst holding Archie (who has now started throwing his dummy and then immediately wanting it back). Iris is spinning in circles because she is having a home packed lunch. Everyone else is eating Christmas dinner today but Iris doesn’t like it so she is excited by Dairlylea sandwiches. Anna at this point is carrying home made lip balms and a cupcake she decorated as gifts for her teacher and teaching assistant. Anna has no qualms about buying their favour.
We get to school and as we are getting out of the car I say to Anna “Please hold on to those envelopes whilst I get out as they are important and have certificates in that I need to post this morning.” Ten seconds later there is a scream. Anna has dropped all four envelopes directly into a large puddle. Archie is half strapped into the pushchair and Iris is singing about her packed lunch. We walk round the corner to school (without my certificates to post) and Anna then drops the cupcake box onto the floor. Luckily the cupcake survived and is just upside down in a broken box. The rest of the drop off went fine although Archie continued to throw his dummy whenever he had the chance.
After walking back to the car I find my car door won’t unlock. After a few minutes of fiddling and reaching around from the door behind which fortunately I hadn’t locked earlier I still can’t get in. So I reach across from the passenger side and promptly bash my head against the rear view mirror. During this time Archie is just shouting as he has thrown his dummy away. Eventually I get in and we have to drive to the shops as the shop near the school was out of cat litter and we were in dire need of it. Wilbur had demonstrated this yesterday by refusing to use his litter tray and pooing in Anna’s bed instead. I decide on Poundstretcher as it is nearby and should have what I need. We pick up cat litter and a few other Christmas bits. Poor Archie is tired by now and wanting to get out of the trolley. He is still throwing his dummy and then crying when he doesn’t have it. At one point he threw it so hard it landed in someone’s shopping basket. The lady didn’t realise so I had to go up to her and ask for it back which effectively made me look like I was accusing her of stealing it. She apologised and handed it back! Archie was not given his dummy back after this. He did then spot a dressing gown hanging up which was identical to Carolyn’s and he started to repeatedly shout “Mumma!” at the top of his voice and looked around as if expecting her to appear in her pyjamas. She didn’t.
Finally we got home. Archie was tired and grumpy. I had left the shopping in the car so I could get him in and put him down for a nap. I put him on the floor so I could take my boots off and he walked straight over to the kitchen table, reached up and pulled Anna’s half drunk apple juice down all over himself. He turned around sopping wet and just looked at me like it was my fault.
So now it is 10:24. Archie is in bed. The shopping is in the car. The kitchen is a mess. I haven’t had breakfast. And I have wasted 32 minutes of valuable nap time when I should have been tidying up or organising replacement certificates. I think it is going to be one of those days.
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Joe Ellis-Gage is a registered paediatric nurse who runs Mini First Aid Norfolk – a local company running first aid classes for parents, grandparents etc., first aid classes for children and Certified First Aid Qualifications (Full 12 Hour Paediatric First Aid, Emergency Paediatric First Aid and Emergency First Aid at Work for Schools etc.). For more information head to the Mini First Aid Norfolk website or Mini First Aid Norfolk on Facebook