When? When will it end? These hideous early mornings. Four and a half years now and still our children rise well before 6am. Everyone said it was a phase. They'll grow out of it. Just wait till they're teenagers. Well bring on the bloody teens is what I say.
The problem, I've realised, is my husband. He has defective genes that means he naturally wakes at about 4am. He appears to have passed those genes onto our children. And I know I've ranted about this before and the solution is obvious -if he's up, he can deal with the children.
BUT, during the week, husband gets up early and hops on a train to London, going to a gym before starting his working day. Well done him. However, that leaves me to deal with the beastie boys.
I'll be fast asleep and hear the plodding of small feet. They always go to their father's side of the bed first because they know they're less likely to lose a limb that way. On seeing their father's empty bed, they immediately say: 'Is it morning? Can we go downstairs? Is daddy here?' On the mornings that husband hasn't gone into work early, I happily mumble: 'Daddy down, go.' And off they trot, ready to share the dawn with their dad. (I realise that this causes inconsistency and lets the children believe that it's ok to get up that early, but as a parent, you take the path of least resistance particularly if it means additional sleep.)
But should daddy already be hurtling towards the big city on First Great Western, the situation doesn't work out quite as well. In reply to the 'Can we go downstairs?' question, I mumble: 'No, snotmorningyet, getinmybedkeepquietandstill.' They crawl in and for about 5 seconds we have a lovely cuddle. And then the wriggling/inane questions/verbal diarrhea starts. 'Mummy, why don't dogs have wings?' 'Mummy, I'm not going to pre-school because I don't like my friends.' 'Mummy, when can we get a pet?' 'Mummy, when can we go to Disneyland?' 'Where's daddy?' 'My pillow isn't comfy.' 'I need more room.'
(On the subject of needing more room, we have the world's biggest bed which we bought in the USA. And let's face it, most Americans need big beds. Well ours is called a Californian Super King. It is roughly the size of a small football field. We bought it because my husband is six foot five and I like personal space when sleeping. Yet despite the vast dimensions of our bed, our children are still able to force me onto a postage stamp size space while they starfish their way around the rest of it.)
Anyway, so the child is wriggling and talking and elbow jabbing and toenail raking itself into my bad books. And just when I think it can't get worse, plod plod plod plod plod, and in comes the next one.
So once again we have: 'Is it morning yet? Can we go downstairs? Where's daddy?' I then growl: 'Snotmorningyet.Getinliestilldon'ttalk.' So obviously that works because then their are two bored boys who think it's much more fun to burrow down to the bottom of the bed to make a tent with the duvet than actually sleep. No tent is complete without pillows so gradually all the pillows make their way down towards my feet, including the last square of the one I'm attempting to use and I have my head unceremoniously yanked upwards as they attempt to free it.
Then the fighting starts about who owns which pillow and who's got more space. Elbows fly. Toenails dig deeper. The rolling and yanking of covers reaches its zenith. I snap.
'GET OUT OF MY BED NOW! GET OUT! GET OUT! OUT! OUT! OUT!' At which point they both start to wail as I obviously look like some kind of insane she-devil with hair standing on end, yesterday's mascara not quite removed and a look of death lurking in my eyes. 'But we want to sleep,' they wail. 'WELL THEN BLOODYWELL SLEEP. THE NEXT PERSON WHO SO MUCH AS BREATHES TOO LOUDLY WILL BE LOCKED IN THEIR ROOM.'
Silence and stillness descends for about 3 seconds. Then the giggling starts. Then 'Mummy, the clock says six one five. Does that mean it's morning yet?' 'No. It's only morning when it says six three zero.' And so they start the count down. 'Mummy, the clock says six one six.' 'Mummy, the clock says six one seven.......' etc.
My day would be infinitely better if I just resigned myself to the fact that I am by this stage well and truly awake and got out of bed. But I fight on, determined to win this battle. Each minute by minute announcement ratchets up my bad mood by several notches until we finally reach the magical 6.30am and I huffily get out of bed. They tear off down the stairs all excited to finally be freed from the confines of bed before starting the fight about who's going to have the orange milk cup. I pee. Make coffee. And curse my husband and vow that from now on we will enforce the no milk or tv before 6.30am rule and that they will be trained to sleep/read books in their room until the alloted hour.
But I know it'll never happen. Not until they turn 16 anyway.