Thursday, 8 May 2014

Morning Stories


"Mum, I think I'm going to wear this dress to the party on Saturday.  OK?"

I groan an inaudible response.

"Mum.  Mum.  What do you think?  Is it ok?  Does it look pretty?"

I groan another, what I believe to be affirmative reply.

"MUM.  You're not looking.  OPEN YOUR EYES".  She tries to pry them open with her cold little fingers.  The morning sunlight pierces through and I scrunch them tighter.

"What time is it?" I ask.

She trundles off to the landing and hurtles back. "The little hand is on the 7 and the big hand is on the 9".

Urgh.  "It's not getting up time for another 45 minutes, go and play or read a book and let mummy sleep" I plead.  She potters back to her room for another 20 minutes, before returning.

"Is it time to get up now?" she wheedles.  She continues to chatter incessantly.  Sometimes I think sleep is just an interruption to her conversation, she often wakes and carries on with where we've left off the previous night.

I peel back a corner of the duvet and she hops in, her icy cold feet making me wince.  She knows the rules. I don't get up before we've had a snuggle.  It's the best 5 minutes of the day, her wispy little arms reaching around me, burying her head in my chest.  For a moment she's tiny again and there's no chores to do, nothing except cuddle and snooze just like we used to.  She lays still for a brief moment, telling me she loves me, that I give the best snuggles in all the world and I breathe in deeply the smell of her hair.

Just as I'm drifting off again, the spell is abruptly broken. She's tugging on my top, demanding I get up for breakfast.  Slowly and cautiously I finally open my eyes and haul myself out of bed.  I hobble across the landing creaking and cracking for Arthur Ritis has visited me again in the night.  I stumble down the step to the bathroom, my ankles giving way, and perch on the toilet while she bubbles on about Princess Elsa. Is there no privacy anymore?  Can't I empty my bladder without a blow-by-blow synopsis of the latest Disney movie?

I wash and shoo her out of the bathroom and she hurtles downstairs and opens the door so I'm greeted halfway by an overexcited and hungry hound bounding the other way.  They only want me to get up so I can feed them.

In the kitchen she starts her ritual contemplation of the breakfast selection. I flick the switch to make tea and grip hold of the counter for balance, staring at the distorted reflection of myself in the kettle.


I'm suddenly back in the real world and being presented with her breakfast choice - the same as almost every day, so really, is there any need for the 5 minute umming and ahhing over what to choose?

I fix her breakfast and pour restorative tea down my throat, scalding myself to life.  Of course, it's not really restorative, I gave up caffeine as a mis-guided New Year's resolution, but I kid myself that it's helping.

She takes her breakfast and wonders off to the living room, idly flicking through the TV channels until she stumbles on something that holds her interest.  I haul myself back up the stairs and shower and dress.

Then begins the daily hollering of orders - come and get dressed. We're going to be late. Wash your face. Find your socks.  Brush your teeth. Stop talking for 2 minutes and brush your teeth. We're going to be late.  Brush your hair. Put your shoes on...

I fly around the house scooping up the book bag; lunchbox; water bottle; coat. Is your reading book in your bag?  Have you put that party RSVP in?  Have I remembered random cereal box for junk modelling/jar of jam for the PTA collection/permission slip for the school trip?  Where are my keys?  Where is the dog?  Is my jumper on the right way round?

School is literally across the road, and even though we don't need to leave until 8:45 there's still the predictable scrabble every morning.  Finally, we have everything, we pile out of the door and I breathe.

Now I'm ready to engage.  To chat.  To talk about what's happening at school today, to share the funny story I read about her cousin on Facebook last night, to pass on a message from Daddy, to tell her about the text from Granny.  Now I'm ready.

But she has her scooter and she's off.  100 yards ahead of me, whipping up the pink blossom on the path and leaving a trail of petals and laughter in her wake.

In precisely 4 minutes she's in her classroom and immediately enveloped by a gaggle of excited friends. Chattering away about hair bands and One Direction. And she's gone.

I am alone now until 3.30.  I'll have to save my chat 'til then.

This post is an entry for #MorningStories Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at 

As you can see I don't have time for breakfast before the school run, also I'm barely conscious, but I do enjoy a BelVita Cocoa and Yoghurt Crunch come about 11 o'clock when I'm finally with it.

BelVita breakfast is the only breakfast biscuit proven to slowly release carbohydrates over four hours* as part of a balanced breakfast for example, a serving of belVita breakfast biscuits, a portion of fruit, a serving of dairy and a drink! (*proven in several clinical studies).


  1. oh bless you. Honestly, don't sweat it. That is the reality for millions of us. And yet if you asked our little ones how their morning was they would not see it in the same way at all.

  2. I totally identify with this. Conversation should be banned before 10am. Luckily my girls are grumpy and tired in the morning too They still get up at stupid-o-clock though - just so they can laze around and watch telly.

  3. Sounds like every morning I had for many years, now Miss Mac is 15 I miss them - she organizes herself and meets with friends to walk to school. The only thing I still do is make her breakfast - neither of us are morning people so we save the chat for after school too.

  4. It's sooooo hard, I know and taking myself off to bed really early for a couple of nights a week has really helped me, if that helps you at all, because then I wake up naturally and breathe, actually missing the children before they come in! You're a lovely mum xx

  5. Ahrgh, could not cope with this!!?!?!?!!? I hate being woken up even though she sounds a treasure (I did laugh at the Disney comment though!)X

  6. Oh I loved reading you write like this, more! it was eerily familiar too. Love writing in the present tense :)

  7. I'm an not a morning person in the slightest, although I have found that trying to get in a cup of tea before the kids wake is doing me wonders!

  8. I loved reading that Liz, really engaging and a morning snuggle, you lucky lady. Mich x

  9. Bless you love I get up at 5 30 every morning as I wake up then every flipping day even on a sunday! I sit waiting for the kids to get up! in bed by 9 most nights though!

  10. Love this Liz. Great writing.

  11. Ahhh lovely, even though it's writing about something a bit tough, this is a lovely post - your writing is so good, so honest and evocative. You are a brilliant Mum, don't beat yourself up. Just wait until she's a teenager and you can turn the tables, hopping into bed for a chat with her when all she wants is a lie-in ;-) xx

  12. Love this and I agree, why are there fingers so frickin' cold? Haven't they heard about snuggling up under their covers?

  13. This is a fab post, beautiful writing, and so familiar from my own mornings. I miss having a coffee by myself in the mornings, a quiet ten minutes before the day begins, but rarely manage to get up early enough to start the day peacefully!

  14. Oh I get this! I'm always feeling wide awake and ready to natter post-school run too!

  15. Your morning is very similar to mine. The only difference is that I stay home with my 17 months old after the youngest go to her nursery school. And until lunch time I have no break....The only moments when I am truly by myself with my own thoughts is between 12 and 2 pm. Most of the time I am knackered and have no idea what to do with myself too.

  16. Bet you wouldn't change that routine for all the caffeinated tea in china!!

  17. Lots of familiar things in this post and snuggles are the best. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part