The husband dutifully prepares the morning cappuccino and thumps it down on the bedside table at precisely 6:37am. I blindly reach for the nearest paperback and place it atop the mug in an attempt to keep it warm until I can actually sit up and partake.
Egg wanders in, shirt untucked, hair an absolute mess and tries to nick one or both of our phones before exiting again, grumbling into his mobile that we haven't started following him on Instagram yet and where the heck is a charger that works?
Squitty will either be snoring in bed between us (he's suddenly taken up middle-of-the-night visitations again after a long hiatus, and sometimes I'll wake with a start at 3am to find a silent, large-eyed child just standing there staring at me) or downstairs with Dumpie building a fort in the front room and staining sofa cushions with soggy Special K.
Egg usually tears off at 7:30 in a mad rush to catch his bus and I'll either slip into running gear and take off into the damp sunny cold for a 30 minute run (a handy substitute for Prozac) or I'll shuffle downstairs and begin preparing the most potent but somewhat vile 'SuperJuice' for the husband and I. Squit will refuse to get dressed, saying he hates school and wants to play on my phone, and Dumpie will refuse to brush his hair and lie calmly watching cartoons in his pjs mere minutes before the school bell goes - completely oblivious to my manic protestations of "You're going to be late! What are you doing?! Have you even had breakfast?!"
Eventually, at 9:15am, I'll head over to Nursery to drop Squit off for two hours and say hi to the giant tortoise 'Lightening' (who after a forced rocky start to friendship I've now decided I love and am hatching plans to kidnap), and settle Squit on his little cushion for circle time. For the first week of Nursery Squit was hesitantly intrigued and all was fine, but by the second week it suddenly dawned on him that school was going to be permanent and not just an amusing side note and drop-offs consisted of him hysterically screaming, "NO! DON'T LEAVE ME MAMA!!!" whilst being prised off me by well-meaning teachers and pulled away thrashing.
I'm pleased to say that this week this behaviour has suddenly ceased - helped in no small part by me reassuring him that he 'doesn't smell of wee' (not entirely true), and that his teachers are fine with him still wearing nappies (they don't know). Also, after pointedly refusing to sit down for circle time and stubbornly standing in the corner holding his elbows and refusing to take part since school began, he has suddenly conceded to join the rest of his classmates on the carpet on the condition that he gets his own special cushion to sit on. I kid you not.
Egg has taken so enthusiastically to Secondary School that in an attempt to avoid FOMO ('fear of missing out') he's joined pretty much every club going - except netball which is for girls only and frustrates him as he loves it and knows all the rules (the sum of which I heard, verbatim, over dinner last night). He's apparently on the water polo team, the football team, the cycling team, the 'fivers' team, and in some sort of maths/chemistry/I.T. club. Having recently been informed that he possesses a uniquely high, beautiful, and as of yet 'unbroken' voice, he has also been persuaded to join the choral club - though the fact that travel plays a big part is no doubt responsible for much of his enthusiasm. Egg's also threatening to try out for hockey too - on the basis that his school remain undefeated champions for ten years running now and despite no previous interest whatsoever in the sport, I suspect the lure is too much to resist.
Dumpie is taking things in stride as is his nature. He's like a little version of me, and as such I'm onto him. More concerned with the social fabric of junior school than the actual work, he is a clever boy who can easily achieve decent grades with very little effort but is not motivated to excel when he'd rather play with lego or run a trading cards racket from the playground (from YoYo Bear Fun Facts cards to Football cards to Pokeman cards in the space of only six months I can barely keep up).
As for the husband and I, we're pretty much managing to hold it together - some days more successfully than others. We've sold our home at long last but with things moving at a snails pace and simultaneously trying to sell our other flat to finance the purchase of the 'Chestnuts- roasting-on-an-open-fire' home (yep, we're back in the running with that one) despite the best efforts of a petulant, resentful and uncooperative freeholder trying to thwart our every move, it's proving to be incredibly nerve-wracking.
Plus, the 'early onset dementia' jokes are becoming less funny with each passing month, and we are seriously reconciling ourselves to the fact that we are getting stupider and stupider as the children get smarter and more canny. If this continues, in a few years time, we fully expect to be ensconced in the loft, a la 'Flowers in the Attic,' being pacified with electronic ciggies, a recurring Wine Club subscription, and only Spotify and our Sonos speakers to amuse, whilst the three boys take over the running of the household (in no doubt superior fashion) and implement novel but illegal ways to finance their addiction to ipads, iphones, Netflix and Pringles.
Bring it on I say...