Sunday began at 6am as I was woken simultaneously to church bells ringing and my two year old son sticking his fingers in my eyes whilst singing ‘Head Shoulders Knees and Toes’. ‘And so it begins’ I thought to myself as I was silently cursing the fact that I had told Teaching Dad that, yes, he was allowed to go out on his bike with his mates at 7.30am.
Ah, 7.30am. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that he goes out early, so he is home early to spend the rest of the day with his family. Well, you’d be wrong because as I write this now, at 6.05pm, the bugger still isn’t home.
But, at 6.30am Teaching Dad awoke and took the kids downstairs so I could go back to sleep for an hour. A whole hour! Thank you very much. I am wondering, did your halo slip a little while on your 11 hour bike ride?
At 8.30am I attempted to wash up the breakfast cutlery, but was unfortunately accosted by a five year old asking for ‘chicken crispies’. “It’s 8.30 in the morning”, I told her, but to no avail. Two bowls of ‘crispies’ later (because heaven forbid one child has something the other doesn’t) and it was time for me to wash my hair – the once weekly wash that tames my mane.
I began to run the bath around the same time that I started putting last night’s ironing away. I then decided to sort out the washing in the dryer and pair the socks.
We are clearly harbouring a sock munching monster in our house because what felt like an hour later, I was still pairing them and the bath, still running, had been long since forgotten. By the time I lowered myself into the water, it may have well have been the inner circle of hell because my skin pinked and steam filled the room. Adding to the painful bath was the fact that my two own little devils were standing over me watching and pointing out my numerous flaws as I washed and shampooed my hair. There is something so very disconcerting about your children standing over your bath even when Mr Matey bumbles are strategically placed over body parts and that Green Day tattoo on your stomach you stupidly got aged 17. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my ridiculous tattoo, I just don’t want my daughter to get one in twelve years time.
At 10am the clouds parted and the heavens must have heard my whines as Granddad knocked on the door and took his beloved grandchildren for two hours whilst leaving me to clean the house and mark my Y9 assessments.
The house was silent. I breathed in and out, in and out. It was time to crack on with some work…
I put the TV on.
And made myself a cuppa.
And ate two chocolate biscuits.
Only then did the guilt kick in and I just couldn’t concentrate on the dodgy horror I had downloaded.
The niggling feeling wouldn’t leave me alone. How dare I want some time to myself! Therefore, the bathroom got cleaned, a few books were marked and bread was taken out of the freezer in preparation for lunch. Despite being alone for over two hours, my one true companion – the TV – was only watched for twenty minutes.
Mum guilt + Teacher guilt = it’s a b*tch!
By 12.45, my children were returned to me and it was lunch time.
“I want a carrot sandwich!” my daughter demanded.
“Carrot?” I asked as I eyed up last night’s open bottle of Prosecco in the fridge. Would it be frowned upon to have a tipple at 1pm on a Sunday? I reached in for the bottle. “I don’t think people tend to eat carrot sandwiches. Is ham okay?”
She told me that it was. The sandwich was made along with tomatoes, crisps and, of course, carrots on the side. She ate absolutely everything but the sandwich. My son? Oh, he guzzled his sandwich like there was no tomorrow. In fact, he ran around the living room aiming chewed up pieces of ham and Warburton’s Toastie at the wall, at Chase and Ryder on the TV, at his sister and in my hand.
Damn it. I could have eaten that. I stupidly opted for scrambled egg because I had noticed we had two full egg cartons that expired in two days and as you can see by the way I parent my children, we don’t like to waste food. Once cooked however, the scrambled egg looked like it was floating in its own pool of urine, so I didn’t eat it.
The food, almost in its entirety, was returned to the kitchen. Plates were set down next to the bottle of Prosecco that was warming nicely by the fish tank. I dared to give it a second glance before my daughter shouted to tell me that her brother had spilt Fanta all over the Sky box. Oh dear God, not the Sky box. Without that, I am nothing.
The Fanta was wiped up, the Sky box was safe. What next? Entertain my ankle biters? Unfortunately, no. The laptop was opened, placed on the table in the room and I began creating some poetry resources for the department.
*type, type, type*
“Nope.” *type, ignore tantrum, type, type*
Goddamnit! Why is he so gosh darn cute? I lifted my boy up for a cuddle and he licked my cheek. He then stuck out his tongue and stuck it in my mouth that was wide open in sheer disgust at the fact that he had licked my cheek.
Gagging, I stood up and ran to the kitchen.
The 1pm bottle of Prosecco was still blocking the fish’s view of the microwave and Mr Potatohead’s missing arm, so I placed it back in the fridge making a mental note to treat myself to a glass after finishing my work.
I dashed back into the living room with a packet of chocolate eggs.
“Here! Take them all!” I said raining mini Kinder eggs onto my boy.”
*Type, type, type.*
Suddenly, a crash sounded over by the TV and there was my daughter on the floor crying and holding her mouth. As if the sky was falling, she sprinted to me, jumped over her brother, who was knee deep in chocolate, landed on my knee and shoved her gums in my face.
“Is it geeebing?” she asked pulling down on her lip.
“Yes, there’s a little blood, but it’s fine.”
“Will it heel? Will it heel?” she asked through floods of tears.
“Yes, of course it will,” I assured her.
She jumped off me then, waded her way through Kinder chocolate and a river of five year old’s tears before clambering up on the sofa to look in the mirror.
“It’s heeled!” she rejoiced.
She fell off the sofa.
“I’m okay!” she proclaimed.
Thank the Lord.
*Type, type, type.*
Finally, at 4.50pm I finished my work and my phone, that had been blasting out ‘Dave and Ava’ tunes to nobody in particular for the last hour, dinged and it was Teaching Dad telling me that he’d be home in an hour.
I would have to make dinner.
Out came the bottle of chilled Prosecco again and I felt much better about drinking it at 5pm as opposed to 1pm. Nine chicken nuggets, McCain oven chips and a Thai Green Curry (a microwave one from Tesco) later and I was just about to pour the Prosecco when…
“Daddy’s home!!” they shouted in unison.
Jumping up from their seats (well, the boy jumped up from his booster seat, clambered onto the table, jumped onto me and used me like a fire pole) and running towards the window, my children were chanting ‘Daddy!, Daddy!, Daddy!’ I opened the outside door and dazzling sunlight came spilling inside; it was glorious. It was also the only time I had stepped outside all day. A regular habit of mine, unfortunately, on a Sunday. No wonder I am on prescribed vitamin D tablets. All work and no play makes Teaching Mum a pale, washed out, knackered and useless individual.
Daddy had left the house over ten hours ago. In that time I had cooked, cleaned, worked, had my face licked, changed nappies, wiped bums, washed up, stared longingly at Prosecco and the children were circling around Daddy like he was some God sent down from heaven on a muddy mountain bike.
“Go run the bath!” he shouted as his children smothered his face with kisses and a few random licks from the boy.
Did he just give me a job to do?
I told him no. No way on earth was I doing anything else. However, then he agreed to put both children to bed (but only if I bathed them) and I wasn’t going to turn that offer down. After all, I had a dodgy horror film to finish.
Before running the bath, I grabbed my full glass of luke warm Prosecco and headed upstairs.
Ten minutes later and I was happily enjoying the little tipple whilst watching the kids playing in the bath.
“You’re drinking wine while the kids are in the bath? That doesn’t set a good example, does it.”
Oh, on your bike, son. Get on your bleedin’ bike!”