Just another morning

Vanessa pulling her hair out!

It all started last night…I had gone to present a prize at an awards ceremony for the art competition I helped to judge last week. We arrived home from that around 8.30pm. My daughter then announced that she needed my help because her Easter project had to be taken into school the following morning. Easter project? What Easter project? It turned out that for the last week she was supposed to have been working on an Easter themed craft project. You tell me this at 8.30pm the night before?! I ask if something edible is acceptable and am told yes. We have a bag of chocolate mini eggs, so based on the available ingredients in the cupboard, we decide to make a tray of fudge – in the morning we will cut it into squares, press a mini egg into each square, put them in a pretty little basket with tissue paper and ribbons. Sorted. So we make the fudge and leave the tray to set overnight…

In the morning we awake and yes, you’ve guessed it, the fudge hasn’t set. No idea what we did wrong, but it is still almost pourable. What now? Think, think, think. Ah ha! I remember that in the freezer we have some plain vanilla cupcakes that we made a couple of weeks ago, I whip them out of the freezer and tell my daughter to use the unset fudge as frosting for the cupcakes and then put mini eggs on top, then place them in the pretty basket with tissue paper and ribbons. Sorted.

My son then wakes up and asks for breakfast. At this point I remember that I was supposed to stop at the shop on the way home from the awards last night to buy milk and bread because we have not a drop or crumb of either in the house. This rather limits the breakfast choices. Scrambled eggs and fruit it is then. My son asks for a glass of milk with his eggs to which I snap unnecessarily harshly “If we didn’t have milk for cereal then we don’t have it to put in a glass do we!”. Oops, there was no need for that. I have to take a few minutes to apologise and sit with him.

Right, time to make packed lunches. Oh yes, no bread. And I have no cash in the house to give them to buy a school lunch instead. Hmmm, what to make? I end up making them both a tomato and mozzarella salad, some cut up melon, and some left over homemade flapjack. I momentarily worry that it might not be enough to fill them up, but conclude that they won’t starve, and at least it’s pretty healthy stuff.

This is the moment when I remember that I was supposed to put in a laundry load last night because my son has no clean school trousers. I empty out the laundry bin, find the least dirty pair and sponge off a couple of mud splatters. That’ll do.

I had actually planned on spending a bit longer than normal getting ready myself this morning because instead of going to the office, I was having a filming day. Remember the welder’s outfit from last week? It was another day on that project; we’re making an educational DVD about different types of courses that can be done at college, and I’m the intrepid reporter who goes around trying different things out with the students. As everything this morning is taking longer than expected, I mentally start abandoning the plans I had for myself:

– No time to wash hair, will have to run the straighteners through it and hope for the best.

– No time to remove chipped nail polish and do it all from scratch, will have to just slap an extra coat on top and hope that there are no closeups of my hands.

– No time to do make-up, will have to take it with me and do it there.

– No time to print off amended shooting schedule and script for today that was emailed through last night, will have to hope that someone else has a spare copy.

Miraculously, we somehow manage to get ourselves together, and fly out of the door with a surprisingly attractive looking Easter project at 8.15am, just 5 minutes later than the ideal leaving time. The kids are dropped off at school on time, in clean(ish) uniforms, and with almost enough lunch. And I arrive for the film shoot on time. Phew.

Yep, just another normal morning around here.


29 responses to “Just another morning

  1. I am simply amazed at how many times and ways you thought of sorting everything. I just panic and things fall apart. This was so much fun to read.


  2. wow. stress. way to pull it off!


    • I think it looks a lot more stressful on paper (or screen!) than it actually was – it really was fairly typical of our household chaos. Obviously I don’t have that much to deal with EVERY morning, just most πŸ˜‰


  3. I remember days like that. Doesn’t motherhood come with a zillion surprises? You arose to the occasion yet again (i’m sure). Good for you. Hope the rest of the day went well too . . . minusschedule and script etc.


    • Yes, I think most mothers (and a lot of fathers too of course!), will relate to what I wrote. Yes, the rest of the day went very well thank you, although when I arrived at the shoot I realised I had forgotten to wear the belt that I had worn on the other two days of shooting and I needed it for continuity! The camerman gallantly offered me his belt but it turned out to be too big; then we spotted that I had a black cloth belt on my coat so I used that; another crisis averted! Hopefully nobody will spot that the belt switches from leather to cloth!


  4. Oh, the life of a mother!


  5. That whole morning sounds very familiar! Children bring a whole new level to your organization skills! I have always looked at those crazy mornings as a challenge with huge personal rewards when we make it out on time! Self high five! Yay!


    • A challenge in indeed. I wonder if our parents went through all this? I think they used to let us sort things out for ourselves a lot more; hmmm, I’m not sure I’ve developed enough resourcefulness skills into my children.


  6. I’ve had similar beginnings, usually involving a school project that they had plenty of time to do, but wait until the night before to mention. My daughter had almost the exact thing happen to her last week with her oldest. You can always laugh now, but murder always started to creep into the mental process. I think I even might have said it once or twice, “I’m going to kill you.” But, of course, the apologies and the project followed. Love the photo.


    • The worst one was last year. My daughter’s class were split into groups of 6, and each group had several weeks to produce a little play to perform to the others – they had to write it and do everything for it. My daughter, for some reason, volunteered to be in charge of costumes for her group, and told me the night before that she needed to take 6 costumes in for her group! (Well I’ll just look in my Mary Poppins magic bag of everything shall I?!!!).


  7. Well done for getting all that done and only leaving 5 minutes later than usual. Result! πŸ™‚


  8. I knew when I saw the photo at the top… I must read this post. I was not shortchanged…
    exceptional humor.

    p.s. don’t forget to stop for bread and milk…


  9. Wow! That is really impressively resourceful. I don’t have kids yet, but looks like I’m going to lift my game when I do. Half the time I only have myself to get ready, and I still don’t manage to get out the door on time. πŸ™‚
    I guess I should be savouring the luxury.


    • I’m not very organised, and I mostly just wing it and make it up as I go along, but I seem to get away with it! But yes, do try and savour the luxury you have now – you don’t appreciate it until you don’t have it any more!


  10. I had a panic very similar myself today. My son told me an hour ago he need a speech that he was presenting tomorrow. WHAT? You handled it rather better than I did. I suppose I should be happy he didn’t tell me tomorrow morning.


    • I sometimes wonder if it’s because I’m the type of person who often leaves things till the last minute that my children are like that, so it’s kind of comforting to hear that lots of other parents experience the same thing!


  11. And that’s how moms roll! I don’t know if it’s fair to tell you this since you still have years to go, but it never really gets better. It just gets more expensive, the problems more complicated, and the stress level higher. And then, just when you think they’re gone, they come back! But cheer up, you’re obviously a survivor


    • I am. Don’t worry, I’m not under any delusion that things will get easier. When they’re babies, you imagine that that is the most difficult time and that things will just get easier and easier the older they get – as mine are now 13 and 10, I have had enough years to see that this isn’t the case, the challenges just change, they don’t diminish, so I’m pretty resigned to that continuing to be the case! Ah well, thankfully there are countless joys along the way too!


  12. I am in complete awe of you. I would have crumpled at the first mention of Easter project. And only one momentary loss of temper. Very impressive. I need to take a leaf or two out of your book. Well done. πŸ™‚


  13. A lovely post! Impressed you felt guilty about snapping at your son. Also impressed by your store cupboard. That concept of don’t sweat the small stuff just doesn’t work if you are running a home. Hope the job went well in the end & your fingernails now looking fab! Nicola http://homemadekids.wordpress.com


    • Haha, thanks Nicola – I’m still waiting to see the results of the job. That’s the trouble with a lot of these projects, it can take months to finally see it, and then I usually have to watch myself from behind the sofa whilst I cringe and pull faces!


  14. Pingback: What DO you do about fudge that hasn’t set? | Vanessa-Jane Chapman

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