BASKET CASE

I’m in Struggletown. Have you heard of it? I’ve been there ever since entering parenthood and found myself in a chronic state of sleep deprivation. Thought I was a transient visitor but I’ve unwittingly become a local tenant. On occasion, I’ve forced myself outside its’ boundaries but ultimately, I stay entrapped within.

I often wonder what I’d surrender for a good night’s sleep (I’m talking deeper than the Mariana Trench sleep), and I’ve decided that I’d offer just about anything….money (who needs it!), fame (I’ve got none), coffee (*shrug* maybe I’ll become a tea sommelier). That’s how much I value my sleep.

As a mother of a toddler who likes to torture me by being awake during the wee hours of the morning, sleep for me is a wild-goose chase.

So it comes as no surprise that I constantly find myself in unfavourable situations. It’s almost expected of Struggletown residents.

On one unfortunate morning, my synapses must have misfired because it wasn’t until we were all strapped in the car and my hands resting on the steering wheel that I realised something was amiss.

“Where the heck are the car keys?!” I say aloud.

I pat down my pockets, I look in bags, I check that I’m not sitting on them and then the panic sets in. We have fifteen minutes until the school bell rings.

I get out of the car and sigh with relief that I left the garage door unlocked. There are some advantages with being absent-minded. I call forth my inner zen and aimlessly look around the house. They’re not in the usual place on the dining table. A quick glance at the time tells me there is only ten mins left. I do not want to get a late pass. That’s just a slippery slope.

“Mandy! Help me find the keys or we’ll be late!” I yell.

Mandy goes off to her bedroom to look for the keys. Why they’d be there I’m not sure. I don’t question the logic of a six-year-old.

Henry is just running around, hands in the air and making head noises, accurately mimicking my panicked thoughts.

I’ve looked everywhere. In my frenzy, I overturn the washing basket. I cringe at the mess. I spent all last night folding those damn clothes. Such a wasted effort.

I finally find the wretched keys inside my shoes by the door. I blame Henry’s fondness for posting.

We race to school. Mandy and I run for class. I’m struggling with Henry on one arm and Mandy’s school bag on the other. Those darn bags are so heavy they could be used as weights.

“Mum! The bell’s going!!” Mandy exclaims.

“Run faster then! We’re almost there!” I puff out.

Sweat trickles down my back and my face is flushed. I’m a bloody mess. Exercise and I just aren’t friends.

Mandy zips through just as Ms Frean is closing the classroom door.

“Almost too late Mandy,” Ms Frean admonishes.

So what was the life lesson here?

Car keys are never in the washing basket so don’t overturn them.

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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LAME

Mornings. Every day is the same. The children clamber on top of my slumbered body and I fight a losing battle to stay in bed. I don’t need an alarm. They are overrated. I send my bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kids to the TV for a momentary reprieve. I need to get up but every single fibre of my being battles against my willpower. The warmth of the bed is ever so enticing. I’m not perky in the mornings. In fact, it’s like I wake up on the wrong side of the bed every single day. It’s part of the reason why morning school runs are so much harder for me.

I drag my weary self out of bed and trudge to the kitchen. I am grumpy. Being tired has that effect. I need coffee. The morning is getting on and I need to get Mandy ready for school and Henry ready for library time.

“Mandy! Henry! Breakfast!” I yell out. I hear the stomping of little people from the lounge room to the kitchen.

“Good morning,” I say as cheerfully as I can muster, giving each a kiss.

“Mum, I want noodles,” Mandy demands as she sits on the stool.

I shake my head, “Try again love.”

I plop Henry into his highchair and potter about getting his Weetbix and toast ready.

“Scrambled eggs?” Mandy asks.

“That’s a negative Chief,” I say spreading margarine on the toast.

Mandy huffs and crosses her arms, “What can I have then?!”

I spoon Weetbix into Henry’s mouth and look at Mandy, “We’re running late so you can have a toast or Weetbix.”

Mandy groans dramatically and puts her head onto her arms and slouches on the kitchen countertop. She mumbles something.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“Toast!” Mandy grouses.

“I’m sorry I thought I heard toast but I didn’t hear a please!” I reply, frowning at her lack of manners.

“Please!” Mandy retorts, knowing I wouldn’t give up until she relented.

I make her toast and get myself a cup of coffee. Grant left for work early today. It’s a shame he’s not here to help with breakfast. An ally comes in handy with tough negotiations.

We’re ready and out of the door in record time. It’s a miracle given how slow Mandy eats and the time it takes me to catch Henry for a nappy change. I reverse out of the driveway, make it down to the end of the street when Mandy yells for me to stop. I turn to face her, worried by the distress in her voice.

“We forgot my book for book week!” Mandy exclaims.

I silently curse. We have exactly twelve minutes until the bell rings and it takes us five minutes to get a park and five minutes to walk to class. We were cutting it mighty fine.

“Can we not worry about it?” I ask, praying she’ll agree.

“No Mum! We need to go back to get it!” Mandy argues heatedly.

I groan in frustration. I am at the end of the street, facing a busy main street. It would take ages to turn around in this traffic. I decide to reverse and do a three point turn, silently hoping that cars wouldn’t come in either direction and give me the stink eye. We get back to the house without incident. I park, open the door and get Mandy to run in to find the book.

She runs back in a fluster, “Where is it? I left it on the counter.”

“I think it’s on the dining table,” I suggest.

She runs out again, “It’s not there!”

I do a mental head slap. Of course it’s not there. It’s in her school bag. Exactly where I put it this morning. Dammit.

“Sorry I remember now. I put it in your bag this morning,” I tell her, embarrassed by my forgetfulness.

“Mum, seriously! You’re so lame!” Mandy says and gets into the car.

When the heck had she learnt this word? And when did I become a lame? I sigh inwardly. I didn’t even get a chance to drink my coffee. Now that’s lame.

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

https://knj.home.blog/privacy-policy/