Today’s Santa sack present is pens! Halleluia. Only son has been giving me a present a day for the last week or so. Yesterday it was a Ladybird book on Napoleon from his book shelf, which is sitting by my desk in case I have a quiet moment [unlikely]. All of my pens disappeared around a week ago, which is not good if you happen to be a journalist so today’s present is possibly the best present ever.
Daughter two says she is going to compile a short film about a day in the life of her mother for my Christmas present. “It will begin with mum being very, very lively in the morning. ‘Time to wake up and greet Tuesday, people. Only three days till Friday. Let’s have a song,’ or words to that effect [my children complain that I am way too upbeat in the morning, even though I am in no way a morning person]. She will then spend hours glued to her computer, have cereal for lunch, pick us up and sing One Direction very loudly before going back on her computer where she will shout very loudly at it and say things like ‘don’t talk to me, I’m trying to deal with Pakistan’ and then only son will say very quietly ‘I love you, mum’ and then all the dinner will burn because she forgot she put it in and then she will do her mum dance [cue demonstration]…”
She’s apparently looking for a wig and will begin film production shortly. I’m slightly worried that it might end up on Youtube or, even worse [because I won’t be able to censor it], Snapchat.
The reason I am upbeat in the morning is because my partner thinks children will get themselves up and that alarms are sufficient to shift a teenager from her bed on a dark, cold morning. So far the mornings are not going well because no-one gets up till final warning. “I did hear my alarm,” said daughter one, “but I was just too tired to open my eyes.” And yet she is not too tired to spend 20 minutes in the bathroom or vital minutes deliberating over her wardrobe. In response to a bit of a meltdown on the part of daughter three over no-school-uniform day the other day, daughter one merely stated lugubriously: “Every day is a no school uniform day for me.” In the end both daughter two and three, after much fretting, went to school in jeans and a top, as predicted by their mother.
I compare my own getting dressed process which basically involves finding something that doesn’t require ironing and that fits [this opens the field to all clothes in the house, apart from only son’s], slinging it on in about 30 seconds flat and heading for the door. Although I do sometimes find out three hours later that it is on back to front.
Every morning my partner threatens to stop doing the school run because people are always late. Every morning I try to cajole people to speed up. Daughter one only does one speed. Philosophical speed.
With all the talk about no school uniform, I have been contemplating a wardrobe change. I’m wondering if wearing something a bit more suit-ish might make me feel more dynamic – like all those women finalists on The Apprentice. I’ve only watched a bit of the interviews programme, but the main thing that struck me is that three of the four female finalists have kids. It was not so long ago that this was an oddity. On Facebook a female friend is thinking of running for office in the US. Women are on the move. It’s just some of us who are being slightly delayed by go-slow teenagers.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.