Rise and Whine

I’m not used to the intensity of mornings with kids. I’ve been on tour for nine months and my mornings usually go like this.

8am Wake up for a wee. Look at my watch. Think about the kids getting ready for school. Consider calling them. Decide they’ll be too busy/can’t be arsed. Turn over and worry that I won’t get back to sleep.

10am Wake up with drool on the pillow. Check body for signs of hangover. Pull blindfold off and reach for phone. Sneer at Faceboasts. Play Candy Crush Saga.

11am Tumble out of bed and stumble in the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of …tea. Watch This Morning and get slightly irritated by Holly and Phil’s ‘chemistry’.

12.30 resolve to switch ITV off before Loose Women comes on.

1.30 Loose Women ends. Wait for Natalie to get up and cook me something to eat.

The rest of the day might involve getting my nails done, shopping, or sitting around being silly.  This week I am at home. The Au Pair has gone home for a few days and Richard has done his usual disappearing trick – the minute I come home he buggers off on various errands and jobs. Can’t say I blame home – after two days at home I’m ready to go away again. The mornings – getting four kids up and out for school on my own – are shocking.

Yesterday this is how it went.

06.45 Frank is practicing the one big thing he learnt at school this week – arm pit farts. It is his new passion. He pit farts loudly on the landing until his brother screams at him, waking the whole family.

7am Get up and bellow over the landing ‘STOP SCREAMING!!!’ The irony is not lost on me.

7.05am give up ever getting any sleep EVER AGAIN and drag myself downstairs.

7.10am Saoirse starts her morning routine of lying in bed whining.

SAOIRSE Mummmmmyyyyyy!!! I can’t find my school top!

ME  Alright Princess Stephanie of Monaco! You’re not going to find it lying in bed – unless you have x-ray vision and can see through the cupboard. And I thought you told me you had it all ready last night? If you went to sleep when I tell you instead of staying up watching repeats of One Born Every Minute you might not be so tired and disorganised!


I then go downstairs to commence duties as a short order waitress.

‘What do you want for breakfast?’


‘We haven’t got any left’

‘Oh I want Cheerios!’

‘Can I have porridge?

‘Saoirse what do you want?’


‘Toast and jam!’

I put the toast into the toaster that has two settings – off or incinerated.

Orla starts eating leftover pasta with prawns. For breakfast.

I cave in to the school top mystery and run upstairs to find it myself, pausing only to almost break my ankle as the cat winds in and out of my feet.

Come back down to smoke and black toast. Put more toast on. It pops up ten seconds later still white. Put it back in. Repeat to fade.

‘Where are my school shoes?’

‘In the garden by the trampoline’

‘They’re all wet!’

‘Yes that happens when it rains’

Then its packed lunch time.

‘Wrap or sandwich?’





‘What fillings do you want?’

‘Can I have ham and grated carrot? But NOT salad cream – I HATE salad cream!’

‘Homous and grated carrot’

‘Ham and coleslaw’

‘Chicken breast if there’s any left’

‘There isn’t’

‘Can I have hot school dinners?’


‘Oh why not?’

‘Because I’m not spending forty quid a week on reconstituted turkey’s arsehole’

‘Mum you said a swear!’

‘Its not a swear if its true’

‘Can I have four jaffa cakes?’


‘Its not fair!’

‘I know – life isn’t fair. Get used to it. Brush your teeth’

‘I have brushed them!’

‘No you haven’t.’

(cue Oscar winning performance of indignation)

‘I HAVE! I did it upstairs!’

‘You haven’t been upstairs’



‘When you weren’t looking.’

‘Funny, that. Brush your teeth’

‘Mum listen to my pit farts!’

‘Mum where’s my swimming costume? ‘

‘I’ve lost the tangle teaser’

‘I cant go to school Mum – my knees have stopped working’

‘Brush your teeth and get your shoes on. And somebody feed the guinea pigs. Or are they dead? Not that any of you would care’

‘Listen to me play piano – I’m doing a concert. Here’s your ticket’

‘Not now – we haven’t got time’

‘But I’ve arranged the chairs!’

‘You can’t decide at 8.30 that you are going to do a concert! NOW BRUSH YOUR EFFING TEETH!!!’


This is a relatively quiet day because I am on my own and there are fewer adults shouting, and no one got pushed out of the door. But by the time I reach the school gates my shoulders are so tense I look like I’m going t an 80s revival party.


I hate the school run. 


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