The big return to normality after a holiday takes a bit of adjustment. Sunday was theoretically meant to involve preparing for the big return and going for a walk. However, daughter two turned the walk through a farm into a secret agent crawl through the mud [she was dressed in black with a backpack containing "essentials" including a first aid kit and a brush and mirror - that girl has not come to terms with country living yet; daughter three brought a bag with a book in it just in case she got bored and the baby carried a pink bag full of fruit flakes, for emergencies]. We were instructed to keep very quiet in the farm and to lie low. The baby took this as a signal to yelp with excitement. He's not perhaps the ideal partner in an undercover operation.
Ideally, I would have liked everyone to go to bed early to be ready for school, but, as usual, we were still, bar the baby, all awake at 9pm and debating how many kisses I had to give to daughter two [she has doubled the number in just two weeks. I could be there all night at this rate] before she would consider herself sufficiently protected from hurricanes, robbers and floods. Daughter two was designing an elaborate sleepover invitation for daughter one's best friend and daughter one was doing her art homework, even though I had told her to do it at the beginning of the holiday, repeatedly.
I blame this slight deviance from my timetabling for our lateness the following morning. That and the fact the baby kept me up half the night. By Tuesday, I was determined to be on time, but it was tipping down and apparently raincoats are not on trend at the moment. Daughter one put on a hideous purple day-glo coat and complained bitterly. I dropped her at the bus stop and saw her watching until I had gone out of sight. I was tempted to do a u-turn and surprise her in flagrante without the coat on.
The baby pulled off his hood, along with his socks and wellies at the last minute. We got a delivery at the last minute which threw the whole timing thing out and then daughter two left her packed lunch behind. Arg. Why does something as simple as getting four children out the door seem to take for ever no matter how many times you do it?
Indeed, it is the fact of doing it every day that wears you down. If I was in the reality show idea I envisaged where a working mum and a senior male executive swap their lives for a week, I would probably do okay for a week because it would all be new and exciting [ok, maybe exciting is not quite the right word].
Plus if I was the senior executive, I wouldn't actually be the mum so I wouldn't face the usual array of delaying tactics commonly used by my children, such as refusing point blank to wear grey tights even though all the blue ones have holes in them or wanting me to reply to a sleepover invitation at the last minute or create an envelope out of paper for said sleepover invitation.