Monday Morning

Today didn't start off very well. I should say I'm feeling much better now; I dyed my hair pink and green and that always helps. But yes. Most days don't start off very well at the moment.

I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this. I think on some level I just want to put it out there. I want people to know what it's like. Maybe someone who will read this who has a child like mine in their class. Maybe Fairy's teacher will read it. But I need to get it out.

We didn't manage to get Fairy to school until ten past nine this morning, and as we rounded the corner there was a group of people chatting; a couple of parents from school, the lady that lives opposite me and the guy she goes dog walking with. We're a friendly village, so naturally they started teasing me as Fairy and I walked past. "What time do you call this?!" "Didn't fancy getting out of bed this morning?!" It was totally reasonable, friendly banter from people I see and chat to if not every day then multiple times a week.

But this morning it made me cry.

Because mornings are not fun in my house.

This morning, Tickle had woken at 3am. Amazingly, Husband got him back down again, and he slept until 5.30am. But once Tickle is up for the day, certain things have to happen in order for us to even have a hope of sleeping until six. (Six!!! I'm a 10am girl by nature...)

First, we get him a drink and a bowl of grapes, so that he doesn't panic that he's not going to get fed. Without this, we're liable to be screamed at fairly constantly until we give him and get him breakfast - but once breakfast is on the table he will happily go off and play, and "have it in a minute".

If we're lucky, he'll play for a bit in his room, eat his grapes, and we can snooze. This could be anywhere from ten minutes to forty minutes on a good day; about 15 seconds on a bad day.

Next, he gets the iPad, to watch CBeebies. This used to happen at 6am, once CBeebies had actually started for the day, but we rarely get that far now, and usually just watch stuff on iplayer. This does buy us a bit more time, but by now he's eaten his grapes so the food panic sets in again, and he starts asking for breakfast. And then again. And then some more. Then he shouts "I. WANT. BREAKFAST!" Then he hits me, then bangs his head against the bedroom wall, perhaps turns the light on and off a few times. Sometimes he starts throwing things down the stairs.

Having said that, this morning wasn't actually that bad - waking at 5.30 means he'll last reasonably well until Husband gets up anyway, so although it wasn't the best sleep I've ever had, I did manage to doze through most of getting him up and dressed.

No, what woke me up this morning was the screaming from downstairs after Tickle had gone down for breakfast. The screaming, the running up and down, throwing himself on the furniture, laughing like a maniac. Storming up the stairs, banging in to his bedroom, jumping on the bed, bouncing off the wall, and then back downstairs again, screaming.

It was around this time that Fairy crawled in to my bed, looking miserable. I gave her a quick cuddle, but I knew that with Tickle in this state it would have to be me that calmed him, and that he was quite likely to disclose. I suggested to Fairy that she go and get dressed, but she was too upset. It's pretty scary listening to Tickle going on a rampage, and she gets frightened because she doesn't know if he's just going to appear in her room and attack her. So I called Husband to come and sit with Fairy in our room, while I took Tickle in to his bedroom for an attempt at calming down.

To cut a long story short, it didn't really happen. He shouted a lot, laughed, bounced on the bed and off the walls. When I did manage to get hold of him he was covered in sweat, and his heart was racing. His little body was rigid, his tummy and leg muscles so tense and tight he could barely bend enough to sit down. He had very 'dicc-a-fult' feelings, he told me. He disclosed a little, just a brief mention of something we'd talked about last week while we were having a similar morning. Today it was too much though. Too much to let out, and too much to contain. My best efforts weren't doing much more than temporarily holding back the tide.

Eventually he calmed enough that I could take him downstairs to finish his breakfast, but I had to sit him on my lap and feed him. (He is nearly eight...)

At that point he was about settled enough to hand back to Husband to do his teeth, so that I could have a wee - cos I hadn't actually had a chance to do that yet. Fairy and I got dressed, Husband and Tickle watched more CBeebies. Fairy had her breakfast on the understanding that Husband had Tickle contained in the sitting room. She won't come downstairs otherwise, on mornings like this.

Neither of the children would countenance going to school without me, so we decided to hell with it, they are both going to be late anyway, so we would walk Fairy round to the village school and then go and drop Tickle off.

It was just about nine o'clock by this point, and all four of us are exhausted already. Fairy is quiet; stoic. It's upsetting when Tickle is like this, because she feels desperately sorry for him, at the same time as being terrified that he's going to hurt her. And to add to that, the person that she wants to stick close to, to get comfort from, has to go off and comfort the person that is causing all these feelings in her. And bless her, she lets me go. I can't imagine how much strength that takes.

I am holding it together. Soothing her, building her up for school - it's hard to go straight in and learn, when your morning has been like this. Holding myself together. Just.

Until the guys on the corner start to tease me about being late.

Mornings are not fun in my house.


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