When I teach my childbirth and parenting preparation classes, sometimes I do an exercise called Mum and Dad's day, highlighting the importance of communication in the early days of parenting and how easy it is to misinterpret something that you don't see in reality.
So, I think I need to re-introduce this exercise into my own life:
6.15 Get up check state of hair and make decision not to wash it as there won't be time, have quick shower. Turn on computer to check e-mails later in day. Throw on clothes, fling hair into ponytail. 6.25 Go downstairs to breakfast chaos to find no Mr Beehive, LMB has poured milk into the apple sauce, Master Beehive the elder and younger are both gnawing on chocolate chip granola bars for breakfast and the dog is howling in the yard. Start by clearing up and reprimanding the boys for poor choices. Re-set the table and put on wellies to go and get the dog in before he wakes the neighbours. Toast bagels for the boys' lunch boxes and intercept argument about who stands on the stool to get in the way and then following fight with Mr Beehive the younger pulling the Little Miss off the stool by her feet! Get milk for Master Beehive the elder who has suddenly developed an accute inability to walk, remove empty orange carton from fridge and replace with fresh open one. Make bagels to discover no lunchboxes. Send boys to retrieve lunchboxes from school bags. Wash both boxes hastily and dry them manically, debating the second most important use for my hairdryer in a crazy household. Remind boys to choose their fruit, close their boxes and put them back in their bags. Load dishwasher. Clean table, clean children, supervise teethbrushing (a little too late)...........clean bathroom (!) Open curtains in various rooms, remove Mr Beehive's snack plate/wine glass from previous night. Open bathroom window as it smells like a duck's crack. Find Master Beehive the elder's school book behind the toilet. Pick up Master beehive the younger's glasses and hat strewn on the dining room floor. Continue up the stairs, meet Mr Beehive looking clean and dressed and unstressed coming out to pretend to be interested in the dressing process. Snarl at him, he retreats back into the bedroom and half heartedly tries to help me make the bed which I deliberately re-do around him to prove that it is too late trying to help when I AM ACTUALLY DOING IT! Put two baskets of clean washing on the bed to remind me to sort it into piles later for putting away. Make children's beds, open curtains, help LMB choose something to wear, chivvy along Master Beehive the younger. Retreive another library of books from down the side of Master Beehive the elder's bed. Wave off Mr Beehive, clean my teeth, put on slap, help LMB re-dress as she got to the loo too late. Print off important stuff for meeting this morning, remember I still haven't done the preparation for work on Thursday and write myself a list. Get sidetracked by the need to change as the Little Miss gives me a hug holding a purple crayon and draws on my jeans and then sidetracked further trying to trace the cause of a disgusting smell, finally realising that it is a dirty diaper that LMB did for me this morning at 5.30am which has been left in the bathroom. Give kids a 10 minute warning to get on socks, sweaters. Give 5 minute warning.
Go downstairs make sure lights are off, put on coat, collect together lunchboxes and bags and leave them on the stairs for boys, lay out coats. Notice that the laundry basket has been put in the kitchen and immediately get my hackles up feeling irritated that Mr Beehive thinks I need to know the washing needs to be done (*insert eye rolling emoticon!) Kick the basket!
Spend the next 15 minutes chasing Mr Beehive the younger into actually getting his stuff on and getting out of the door into the car. Little Miss in the meantime is down the garden, playing in the mud! Re-dress LMB for the second time this morning, check my watch, panic as we will be late and Master Beehive the elder will get a tardy mark and then blame me!!
Finally get all children into the car at 8.15 ready for school.
Get to school and realise I have left the photocopies on top of the pile of washing to be sorted in the bedroom!
6.10 Get up and go downstairs, pick up newspaper on way to bathroom. 6.20 Emerge sometime later. Put radio on loudly. Check blackberry. Empty dishwasher, wash up few items with back to children. Presume they are making breakfast, but can't hear or see them, still, think what a nice surprise that will be for Mrs Beehive! Check blackberry again. Take dog out to yard. 6.25 Come in and go upstairs. See Mrs Beehive has put on computer, go on few websites and download stuff to ipod. Shave, Clean teeth, take a nice long warm shower, style hair, cut toenails, dress. Notice Mrs Beehive isn't happy when she comes up, feel confused, help to make bed, pick up laundry basket on way downstairs to leave by machine to help Mrs Beehive. Get coat, briefcase together, check blackberry one more time before arriving at the office. 7.10 Say good bye to children and the wife, leave. Arrive at work, have coffee, settle into day!
Perhaps I should devise the "nine years later" game for my classes??!!