Morning face

[Disclaimer: Everyone is actually very nice, and I love them and it’s ok, no one is actually in real danger and I think my husband is a good man and the children will turn out fine, most probably. It’s just the heat and the painful limping towards the end of the school year. Really.]

My morning face is very often angry. And this is why.

This morning, there was no hot water, and so I had to boil jugs to have a bath to wash my bits although my hair was lanky and stinky like a teenage boy geek in an anorak with a thing for gaming. And when I had boiled up the jug and four pans, I discovered that Mark was in the bathroom reading the autobiography of Ritchie McGraw. And anyone who knows Mark knows that you aren’t allowed to tap on the bathroom door when he is in there because it makes him feel pressured and mad. But I was carrying lots of boiling pans and I was running out of time to perform my morning drill of military precision so I don’t have to sign the The Red Book Of Tardiness and so I had to knock softly to ask him to get out. He did a LOT of sighing, and I had to just wait. That was the first bit of annoyingness.

Then the children could not find their school trousers because they had all disappeared. An entire drawerful, maybe 15 pairs – vanished! Gone! Like Amelia Earhart and Lord Lucan! So we had to find dirty ones from the towering pile of pissy clothes, and there were some squeezing on of tight pants and quite a few tears. I said they needed to get a grip, and pull those buggers on and do them up and be grateful that they even had pants. Because some kids in the world probably don’t have grey polyester very short tight really old pants AT ALL, etc, etc to infinite rolling of eyes and still more amateur dramatics.

Then suspiciously absentee Mark swooshes in and mumbled something darkly about the homemade bread because it was cut wonky, and he shaved a tiny bit from the loaf in an effort to restore the straight lines, heaping shame upon my bread-cutting-rubbishness.

Ned, dressed in his swimming shorts, a ribbon and a pyjama top, demanded a pink smoothie – made by mashing up the frozen rotten little bits of bananas that I find lurking under couches and between school bags and in the dog crate, adding bits of frozen strawberry and milk and some oats and whatever other half-eaten bits of fruit that I find behind the jars of very old National Trust chutney in the fridge.  So I made one, using all the milk because if I don’t make enough there is usually wailing and Mark has a crossface, not wanting to miss out. But then there was no milk for tea and so Mark was sighing again, sad and tea-less, and I said YOU CANT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS, DUDE. Just like my filing. I can’t be a good filer, who deals promptly and schematically with bank statements, AND be a good cook. You must choose.

Then Noah cried because someone ate his toast. Likely the dog, who vomited up an alarming assortment of things on the way to school. Chicken bones, a reddish sausage, stones, leaves and M&Ms.

Ned asked for the leftover croissants, I said there were two so we would have to cut them up and share, although they were almond and he mightn’t like them, and he said

I hate you because of the arms on the croissants.

Then one of them opened the giant jar of catering gherkins and they munched through about seven each, and Casper finished it off by flicking his vinegar fingers into Barnaby’s eye, which left him doubled over, screeching about how he was going blind. While I was putting on my makeup, far, far away down the hallway where the Barnaby’s wails were pleasingly faint, in an effort to distract the eye from the greasy hairline and back onto the face which was at least clean, they started going through the drawers and picking out the knives to chase each other around with.

I came back down the hall, calmly told them to put back the knives, and Mark looks up from Ritchie McGraw to ask me if I have changed the baby’s nappy, in that way which actually means

The baby needs a new nappy, but I’m not doing it.

Then I strap the dog to my torso, pull the buggy up the stairs, drag them all out of the flat, and march onwards to school with an immobile, cranky morning face, and it was still only 8:05am. Ned later lets on that actually he has all of the school pants in his bed. Like a hoarding hamster, sleeping in a grey sea of unbreathable boy shorts, because he is very excited about getting a school uniform in September, and he just couldn’t wait. I check, and there are socks, shirts, jumpers and PE gear all wrapped up and shoved down the side of his cot. Annoying.

But then, it is all ok because I went to Honey & Co for frittata and cake, and then, there is always this little fella:


Last weeks’ new hair, straight and sleek and blow-dried. It lasted about four hours:


Ned. He steals trousers:


Casper pushing Otis on a swing for the first time ever:


Meanwhile, Noah turned eight on Friday, and Mark iced him this cake of spewy volcanic proportions. We saw The Lego Movie and I guffawed like a man.

IMG_1665 IMG_1667

So it was painful, this morning, loud and shouty and traumatic, but we’re ok.

It will all happen again tomorrow.


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8 Responses to Morning face

  1. Leanne says:

    I like how you shuffle without fanfare onto the stage holding a brown paper bag and the audience is waiting all expectantly and then you reach into that bag and pull out a white rabbit. You’re like a story-telling magician, that’s what you are. Nice hair-do too. Keep that in mind when you have to deal with your trouser marauder and nappy-reticent husband. Happy 8th birthday, Noah!

    • theharridan says:

      Thank you! It was one of those posts that had to be written. Those buggers were just KILLING me. I just checked out your blog and you are very good! Excellent stuff. LOVE that toy you made from the drawing – clever!

  2. Jo says:

    Only 2 days left of school! For us anyway, everyone else seems to have finished and is doing nice holiday things already. I can’t wait for the school runs to be over and I only have one at school and one in the buggy, you are amazing to do it with 5! In awe as always xx

    • theharridan says:

      We have finished! We just finished this afternoon and now I am overcome with tiredness. Good luck to you on the holidays. It’s marvellous and terrible at the same time, isn’t it?

  3. This has me guffawing (like a man) and weeping (like an old lady). Esp the description of Ned’s trouser pilfering. Brilliant (tho I recognise the jaw-clenching-ness of it all). We are just at the end of week SIX of summer hols and I have not so much been pushed over the edge as have thrown self off it, hollering and foaming at the mouth. Today I was told, on separTe occasions, by separate children, that they would MUCH prefer queen Elsa as a mother. Which bothers me somewhat, not only because of the whole I’ve-ruined-my-life-for-you thing, but also – isn’t queen Elsa a bit of a bitch? Anyway. Good luck with the holidays.

    • sarah says:

      Queen Elsa would just freeze their butts (or hearts) if they made her mad…… !
      They didn’t think that through huh..

  4. jacks says:

    love your account of family life. so funny!

  5. ladolcevita2004 says:

    Brilliant! As always I can relate, especially to the ignoring the wails. Sometimes I even do that when I am out with them. The other day, youngest son was in the supermarket with his dad and I could hear him shouting about biscuits two aisles over. I just tutted and rolled my eyes….

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