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This morning for some reason was hectic. I know it is Monday, but I am usually okay on a Monday. I had done my third evening shift in a row last night and I was shattered, so when the alarm went off this morning after my five minute six hour sleep, it was a huge effort to drag myself from the bed.

With my “all day, all night”  contact lenses sticking my eyes nearly shut I felt my way downstairs leaving Jay to get the girls out of bed. (Yep, this was the one morning Bart didn’t come in and wake us up.) I let out the dog who was doing her “pee pee” dance at the back door and headed to the kitchen.

Both Jay and AJ have packed lunches so my first job of the day was to sort those.  I really need to do a grocery shop so I was doing a pretty good Mother Hubbard impression, but I managed to pull together enough for two lunches. (Must remember to replace the emergency tin of tuna.) With “help” from the girls I then fed Sparky and Willow (I did wonder why the dog did not come running as usual, then remembered she was still in the garden). There was only enough milk for three breakfasts, so I sacrificed my Shreddies for granola and yoghurt took a single bite and headed to the back porch to feed Nibbles. (I tend to do the hamsters at night when they are awake.)

Half way through a carrot exchange with the bunny AJ ran to tell me Jay was leaving – it was seven o’clock already?!! I yelled goodbye, gave the rabbit his muesli, swiftly filled his veggie kebab and headed back to the kitchen to finish my breakfast whilst playing musical laundry. (Darks out of the dryer, whites out of the washer, whites into the dryer, brights into the washer.)

In the bathroom I washed the girls and we all brushed our teeth, I then redid Bart’s teeth as she still swallows most of the toothpaste before it gets a chance to touch anything vaguely resembling enamel. With the girls shooed into the living room to watch Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom I took my first proper look in the mirror… oh dear, bad hair day. With no time for the luxury of a long hot shower, I tipped my head over the sink and did a quick “wash and go” job. (It’s times like this I am glad I had my hair chopped off.)

The three of us trooped upstairs to find the girls clothes for the day, AJ in her school uniform and Bart in her… “can I wear my Peppa Pig dress Mummy ‘cos it’s so cute.” It only took me six hangers to find it… which was pretty good. With my track record, I was surprised it was ironed! With the girls back in front of the TV (Fifi and the Flower Tots) it was time for me to get ready.

So I trudged upstairs again for ten minutes of “me time”.  (Really I don’t know why I am not stick thin with the amount of times I go up and down those stairs – oh yeah, chocolate and cake, then there is ice cream, oh and pizza.) A two minute blast with the blow dryer, a session with my beloved GHD straighteners, dressed and I was back downstairs.

AJ’s school bag needed packing so I did this while the girls were putting away the two tubs of Lego they had tipped all over the living room floor. (Ha!) With my beady eye watching every move, the Lego was finally put away as the third episode of Peppa Pig ended… time to go. It was then I noticed Bart’s toe sticking out the foot of her tights… damn. I raced upstairs again to get her another pair (I am sure I deserve an extra scoop of B&J’s Oh My Apple Pie tonight) then back down to change. With shoes on (the right feet) coats zipped and back packs in hand we all got in the car to drive the couple of miles to AJ’s school bus pick up. As we reached the village I could see the bus just pulling up to collect the children… phew, made it. With AJ on the bus I had time to relax.

Now I have a strange system. AJ’s classroom is right next door to Bart’s playgroup room. AJ needs to be at school for 9am and so catches the school bus at 8.45 from our nearest stop which is a couple of miles away from home. Before Bart started playgroup this was fine. We would put AJ on the bus and head home for the day. Now Bart has to be at playgroup for 9.30 four days a week. So we drop AJ off for the bus and if the weather is dry we will take Willow for a walk, if not we sit in a lay-by until its time for playgroup to begin.

When Bart and I were finally waiting in the vestibule for playgroup to start I realised there was one thing I had forgotten to do… brush the girls hair.  My two girls have gorgeous hair. AJ’s is a lovely dark brown with flashes of lighter brown through it and Bart’s is various shades of light to dark blonde. But best of all it is straight, perfectly straight. As a slave to the hair straighteners you can only imagine how I envy them their easy to manage, smooth short bobbed styles. (I have a similar style, only I decided to go for the less easy to manage, frizzy, iron it within an inch of its life option!) So really it didn’t look that bad. I am sure only I could tell it hadn’t been brushed and with everything else I had to do this morning, forgetting this one little thing doesn’t make me a bad mother… does it?