**This is a chapter from series of running chapters of how newly arrived mum Megan tries to survive the most dangerous place of earth – the school playground ** Well, she ‘tries’, with her Overactive imaginative style!
Darn, the sky was already light and I could hear the morning chirpings, which only meant one thing – I was bloody late for the morning school run. The nippy cold wind was not as cold as the panic, which seized me as I realized that I had left Sean, my partner, in charge of the morning school run for the first time.
The rumpelstiltskinian meeting with the Dawn, Godmother of the school took longer than expected. What have I done? What did I pledge in exchange for taking down Tabitha, QueenBee Mean Mum McJudgyPants, President of the Uber Cool Mums who Made Yoga Pants Look Good, Duchess of All Things Perfect, Lady of Thou Shalt Not Be Speak in My Presence?
The Godmother had waved the fruit knife at me, as she expertly tossed the pips of the lemon into the bin, she smiled as innocently as a Double chocolate milkshake masquerading as Kale Chia Spinach Super Food Protein Powder Shake as she announced regally, “Aye, ‘ove, the cheesie toasts are done.”
There was no time to ruminate about burgeoning lump of fear in my chest as I stood there, like a five year old, wondering where the good toys were hidden in my best friend Amelia’s bedroom, with my mouth hanging open, like a total idiot which I was. I was such a virgin to all these mothering ploys shenanigans. Who knew being a Primary School Mom could be so hard?
What did she mean by cheesie toasts? Then a sick thought flashed through my mind – Was that a euphemism for manning the BBQ for the school fundraising? Was that what I had pledged?
“…Your ‘hicken will be roasted and ‘eady for collection,” she said again, this time a bit louder and more meaningfully as she plunged the fruit knife straight into the heart of the watermelon.
AHA! It was time for me to leave the royal kitchen abode.
I curtsied and kissed her fruit peeler which she held in her right hand, with much deference.
I then hurried to my car, and I was still semi-drenched but my mind was so focused on leaving. I could feel the squish squish of the wet gummy socks which hissed with every step, making you feel like you were wading in wet watery cement but I had no time for personal discomfort. I had to get home FAST. How I wished I could click my heels back to my perfectly parallel-parked car.
I had snuck out early before the children had awoken with FOMOMO (Fear Of Missing Out Mother’s Outings). Hell hath no fury like a child who had discovered that Mum had been up and gone “having fun” while he/she had been asleep. We all know children between the ages of 2-7 thinks that Mum had been at the park, playing on the swings, digging sand and kicking a ball, while he slumbered on. That same child writhes and spits in fury as he imagines that worse, Mum had been out shopping and had bought that latest Spiderman toy for herself. That same child then collapses into a writhing mass of squirmy screams, decibels higher than Keith Richard’s drumming because Mom had been out at the MacDonald’s and having Hotcakes without him. All these childish fantasies of what we, Mothers do while they are sleeping are almost as ludicrous as black tights masquerading as formal pants because all of our good clothes are still waiting to be washed.
There at my front door, I could hear the frantic screams and cries of “Where’s mom? Where’s mom?”
I flung the door open wide and a burst of light must have descended upon me, making me look like an angel framed by a silhouette of light and a halo which I was sure was crowned immediately upon me.
My two children, looked up at me, a little too guiltily as they were squishing the sodden mess, like playdoh, which was probably some sick joke of breakfast that Sean was trying to cook up.
“Where’s MOM???” I heard another loud cry from Sean as my two children giggled even more. Then Sean appeared, looking as if he had walked through hot coals with a crazed panicked look, as if he was preparing his last breakfast before his very public execution, “Thank god, you’re home!”
He hurtled into my arms and gripped me in a tight bear hug as he hissedd, “Never ever leave me ALONE in the morning!”
I looked at the kitchen which looked like a bomb had exploded, with children’s breakfast plates full of stodgy grayish lumps of porridge, some unceremoniously dumped unto the parquet floor, looking very much like that it was intended.
“What went wrong?” I asked.
“Did they want pancakes?”
“What could be worse than having to cook from scratch in the mornings? Oh Lord, poached eggs?”
“Noooo, it was much worse… I can’t even say it now.” Sean rolled his eyes at them and I immediately snapped at the children, “Ethan and Lizzie! Brush your teeth and change into your uniforms NOW!”
“But Mommy, Daddy, he…”
“Daddy, yucky poww…”
“I don’t want to hear about Daddy! Just GO NOW!” I growled.
As the children walked off still giggling, I could feel Sean slowly relaxing.
“What was it, Sean? How hard can breakfast be?”
“How hard can it be? How hard can it be? They wanted…Poorr…porrr… PORRIDGE!” Sean’s body shuddered at the offending sound of that breakfast item, “And we will never speak of that breakfast that must not be named, ever again.”
Porridge, the bane of Sean’s life, what he calls “sick food”, things his mom made him when he was ill.
“I basically emptied out the pantry, begging them to eat anything that was easy. I even offered M&Ms but all they wanted was that that cannot be named for breakfast and of course, I couldn’t do it the way you did it, I tried so hard not to gag as I cooked it but everything just went to hell after the third try.”
“What? I had a new box there.”
“Yes, with instructions written in Russian, for fricking sake. Too lumpy, too cold, too hot, too runny…felt like we were in the Three Bears house,” Sean continued talking about how basically everything went to hell when our children did not get what they thought they should get.
“What kind of children do we have? What kind of children would want that that must not be named for breakfast?” Sean cried, “I thought it would be so easy. Sugary Cereal, Chocolate toast, cake, biscuit, anything out of a box…. and then they wouldn’t do anything, brush their teeth, get changed…No, no…I don’t know whose children they are but they are NOT MINE!”
As Sean buried his head in my arms, I laughed a little too devilish.
“I am sorry I said you had it easy with the kids…I….” Sean said and I kissed him and put my finger on his lips.
“It’s okay, Sean. I’m here now,” I then told him, “You go get ready now.”
“I don’t know how you do this EVERY morning,” he whispered as I pointed him to where his socks and underwear were and he crawled towards our bedroom utterly defeated, to get ready. “I don’t know how mums do this every morning…cooking unmentionables…”
I could hear him muttering the sweet revelations. I then marched towards my children’s room where of course, they could not find the right side of their sock and the Spiderman underwear my son needed to wear on a Monday.
“Mommy, weren’t we good this morning?” Ethan asked puzzledly as I took out his underwear, “You said last night that we should only have a healthy breakfast.”
“Yes, healtheee breakfast is powwidge. You said Powwidge will give us superpowers this morning…” Lizzie chimed in, “Daddy make yucky Powwwidge …”
Sean, Sean, Sean…I love you so much, with every fibre of my being, the father of my children, the partner in my life but you totally crossed the Mommy line when you said so foolishly to me the day before, “Of course I will be fine in the morning. I mean, if women can do it every morning, then how hard can it be for a man in getting his own children ready for school? It will probably take us half the time you woman take moaning about it anyway.”
“Of course, darlings,” I whispered as I winked at them, “You were both very very good.”
I then laughed wickedly on behalf of every Mother out there, for every patronizing statement of “how hard can it be?”, for every eye rolling of “really, that’s what Moms do?” and every condescending challenge, “It can’t really be that hard?”, there will be a Breakfast Porridge Apocalypse School Run for each and everyone of you and make no mistake, us mothers will spare no one in this onslaught.
Mothers Win Every Single Bloody Time because we know how to win, after all, we’re the ones who made these children in the first place.
Maybe, just maybe I was not quite as virginal in these Mommy Shenanigans after all. There was a little spring in my steps as I shepherded my two children to school this morning.
The air was cold and the sky was light and that only meant one thing – I was getting peckish. I was definitely in the mood for some Roast Chicken today.
When The Mulk tries to be funny, I become Agent Spitback writing life nonsense for my Secret Diary.
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