4am: Son stamps through to the bedroom to wheedle himself between husband and myself. It's before the 5.30am "cut-off" when he is allowed to come into our room and stay, so he gets marched back, whining all the way, to his own bedroom. Once there, he insists on having all his regular bedtime toys in his arms, no matter where they've landed in the course of half a night's sleep. Much muttering and cursing on my part follows. After taking about 20 minutes to locate them all, I then leave him buried under Simmsie, Cath the bear, Care Bear, Ernie, Bert, Bunnies 1 & 2, Ticklies, Huggles, Cattie the Cat, High monkey, Little monkey, and Doggie.
5.31am: Son successfully into the master bed. Heel in the face of one parent, sweaty head and/or elbow in the face of the other.
6.30am: Mummy. Shall we get up? Mummy. Shall we get up? Daddy, let's get up. Ad infinitum.
7am: 14-month-old gives a sharp cry to signal the fact she's awake. A dirty nappy that could wake the dead also greets me. Huzzah!
7.30am: Fending off son's request for his third banana of the day. Honey toast all round. Fending off son's request for coffee. Fending off son's request for lollipops. Fending off son's desire to poke chopsticks into his sister's eyes.
8.15am: Toilet training has started - such as it is. Son manages a dirty nappy in the 10 seconds of time we weren't watching, but still wants to sit on the toilet. Asks his father for a newspaper while doing so.
8.30am: Husband leaves for work. Resist the urge to chain myself to his ankles.
9am: To the park. Son rejects his big-boy bike to ride the toddler's plastic trike. He finds an incline to ride it down and does it about 50 times while daughter crawls through bird excrement and wet grass. A young girl, coming past with her mother, throws a wobbly because she can't throw herself down a concrete incline as well. I apologise for causing that scene, but get my karmic payback when son refuses to leave his new game.
11am: TV time (after hosing the kids down with warm water and soap). Praise Be on High for Playhouse Disney. I try and make a phone call to drown out Imagination Movers. Daughter sleeps, bless her.
12pm: To the dairy to get supplies for lunch. "Uncle" at the dairy insists on giving my son a free lollipop every time he goes in. He refuses to take it back when I try to return it. He laughs when I ask if he's going to stumps up costs towards son's future dental bills.
1pm: I ask son to go and have a sleep. He refuses. Repeat about 30 times.
3pm: Son is running around his room saying "Vodafone. Make the Most of Now." "Subway. Eat Fresh." And asking if any of his toy cars are "Jeep Cherokees". Too much TV? No, Mama says, nervously.
3.30pm: To the Mall. Son tells everyone in the checkout line he wants a lollipop, and a few of the more generous ones throw one in their baskets to appease him. He asks the checkout lady to buy him some chocolate coins. Tells everyone in earshot that he has the new "Wiggles Mooovie".
5pm: Daddy home and playing "baby haystacks" with the kids. Daughter loves getting dragged up by her ankles and dumped, so possible career as WWF wrestler in the offing. Son's wrestling name is "Johann Potshitter." Were that he were!
6pm: Dinner. Daughter only eats meat and potatoes. Son only eats veg. Both eat jelly with their hands. Clean up takes about an hour. Kids are bathed, though process shortened when pushing, shoving and screaming starts. Kids look on with amusement (just kidding. About the pushing and shoving anyhow).
7.30pm: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is over and Coro's about to start. Time for bed. Five stories later, son needs to be shown how dark it is, piled under the aforementioned pile of toys, and said "goodbye" to in the proper manner. When this is done, he sleeps. Daughter requires to be sung Humpty Dumpty five times, after which she's usually down.
7.45pm: Parents collapse in a heap until the sweaty-headed wake-up call sometime the following morning!
- Dita De Boni