“Muuuuuum will you tell her, she’s winding me up”.
6:45 Monday morning.
“If anybody else woke me up like that” … I take a moment to fantasise about all of the unspeakable pain I would dish out to this imagined “anybody else” if only I had the chance.
I settle for muttering the obligatory “for fucks sake” before shouting “Okay! Hang on! I’m coming now”.
Another “for fucks sake” and I’m out of bed and in a dressing down. One breast hangs out unnoticed and the remnants of Sunday morning’s coffee in bed cling to the front. I wear them as a bitter reminder of a life I once knew.
“If anybody else woke me up like that….” I begin as I open the bedroom door.
The Ten year old couldn’t care less, she’s just waiting for me to finish saying words so that she can complain:
“Mum will you tell her, She keeps trying to break my arm”.
I step over the pile of children fighting on the landing and feel my way blindly to the kettle.
“leave your sister alone” I manage as I stumble down the stairs- the full capacity of my parenting abilities reached at 6:fucking:48 AM.
Cheerios are poured half into a bowl and half on to the kitchen floor by the Six year old.
I state the obvious.”In the bowl”.
We all settle in to our morning routine of eating breakfast and ignoring each other. The Six year old decides to play the ‘swimming Cheerios’ game – she’s very good at doing the voices.
The Ten year old stares off vacantly at some point in the distance where she doesn’t hate everybody and life isn’t so unfair.
I sit and silently add up how many more years it is that I have to put up with this shit – Eight more with the Ten year old.
I understand now why all parents are desperate for their children to go to University – Twelve more years of this with the Six year old I conclude – a little disappointed with my answer.
The Ten year old is allowed to cycle to school now, “But not before you’ve tidied that hell hole of a bedroom.” I pick the fight and wait for the abuse:
“Oh my God MUURRRMMMMMME, that’s SO unfair, She never tidies up her mess (points at the Six year old who is wearing a nightie and a floppy hat) and I always end up doing it AS WELL as tidying my own, how is THAT fair? I’m going to be late to meet S now and it’s all going to be your fault! I HATE YOU BOTH!”.
Feeling strangely vindicated for my rude awakening, I stir the pot further:
“If you had started it when I asked you to instead of standing here arguing then it would have been done by now”. An inaccurate statement at best but, I can see it’s annoyed her so I go with it.
“OHMYGODAAAAAA” infuriated, she storms up the stairs.
“I’m not even going to tidy anything anyway, I’m just going to sit there until it’s time for me to leave”
“oh are you?”
“OH ARE YOU?!”
” I don’t know where you get that attitude from Lady but you better watch it!”
Lady? I’m even getting on my own nerves.
She gets it from me – the attitude.
I’m reassuring myself that I turned out alright in the end as I hear the bedroom door swing back open.
She’s crying. Not like the tweenager from hell any more, like my little girl.
We hug it out on the sofa.
“Mum your boob’s hanging out of your dressing gown”
“Only Eight more years” I think.
And there it is – the sadness.