I sit leaning over the sink with a mouthful of white foam shouting “HEEF HIME!!!” as loud as I can whilst trying not to spray toothpaste everywhere. The children do not respond to such demands. It is playing time, not heef hime. Brushing their teeth is really not important right now, they have still got to dress Supergirl, even though she wears the same fucking outfit every day and she’s only just been undressed.
“HEEF HIME…HAN ANYONE HEAR NE?” That’ll be a no then. I spit out the remaining toothfoam and shout even louder, well as loud as I can with my croaky morning voice. “HELLOOO? WOULD ANYONE LIKE A BISCUIT?”
“ME!! I WANT A BISCUIT!” come the stereo replies as they elephant up the stairs still without shoes or socks on, despite having been downstairs to finish getting ready for a whole 9 minutes.
“So you can hear me! I am pleased! You’re not having a biscuit though, I was just checking your ears worked properly, which I have concluded they do, so here you are. Now brush.”
Two faces look at me like I’ve just cancelled Christmas, and I feel smug. I win. They do not. The older child then finishes brushing her teeth and goes for a lie down on my bed. That’s normal isn’t it. I finish brushing the younger one’s teeth and wheel into our bedroom to see the 6 year-old looking rather relaxed amongst the unmade bed, and I feel it is necessary to question her whereabouts.
“Why on Earth are you lying down in here? Are you finished getting ready? Have you found your shoes from the depths of the shoeboxfromhell? [They are actually on her bedroom floor in clear view of the doorway from where I saw them, but I want her to discover this for herself] You haven’t even got any socks on. Then you need to brush your hair.”
The younger child then feels the urge to perform her ritualistic hand-grabbing involving her baby brother who is crawling around in their bedroom, unaware although, really fully aware that doing so will mean he falls on his face.
“LEAVE him alone please. If he’s crawling you can’t just grab his hands, how many times do I need to tell you that nugget of information?”
“Ohhhwa. Don’t want to.”
“‘Don’t want to’ what? I haven’t offered you anything, I have told you to leave him alone or he’ll get hurt. You really need to go and find some shoes now.”
Younger child then seems to melt into the bedroom floor, flailing about like beached octopus, ensuring her feet go very close to her brother’s face, enough for him to try and eat her toes, at which point she shouts-
“NOOO, GET OFF MEEEYUH”
“You’re on him! You get off, just stand up and he won’t be able to eat your feet and then you will be able to choose yourself some shoes, that’s handy isn’t it.”
I sit near the door frame incase I need to bang my head against it. Older child is standing next to her shoes and does not know where they are.
Child looks down to discover the elusive shoes that have been there for over 12 hours, and then grins at me with an alluring coyness that I do not find cute.
We eventually make it downstairs, ten minutes later than would be helpful and the sloth-like children have yet to choose a coat. The younger chid has decided to drape herself over the shoe box, definitely sure that she cannot find her other purple shoe. I wheel past her and glance into the shoe box and sure enough, the shoe is literally under her hand. Well no wonder she couldn’t see it, her hand had blocked it out from all vision and discovery. Understandable.
“It is right there. I can see it. Under your hand. Lift your hand up. The other hand. *Oh for fuck’s sake* The OTHER hand, you only have two. See, now put it on.”
“Why do I have to?” she ponders, at least I think that is what she says. It’s hard to tell what a 3-year-old is saying when her face is squished against the shoe box and the moaning tone of voice would seem like I’ve asked her to complete a 1000 piece baked-bean jigsaw puzzle.
“No no you’re right, you can of course go to nursery with one shoe on.”
“Don’t want toooo”
Mummy gives up, and plans a mental timetable by which she will have consumed the children’s Easter egg chocolate before the day is out. They’ve brought it on themselves.