From before I even woke up there was uproar! John gets up earlier and enjoys some quiet time downstairs with a cup of coffee and the BBC news on his iPad for a while. It’s the norm at the weekend. I usually follow and have a sneaky cigarette before making a cup of coffee for myself and usually a second cup for John. This morning the children had ventured downstairs before even I had the energy to get up. I was on my feet all day yesterday and my right ankle always hurts the next day if this is the case. Don’t know what it is exactly, just one of those things I guess. If I had a regular day job, it would have to be a desk job at this point. Amritsar had prompted my actual getting out of bed. She was screaming that Caleb had broken her pencil and she was inconsolable. You know what it’s like, no matter what you say, it’s never going to resolve the situation. The screaming, moaning and shoutings all for show. I told her to ‘move on’ and I painstakingly put pressure on my foot and forced myself to get to the bathroom for my daily ablutions. Even at this distance, the whine coming from downstairs was audible. Amritsar had vanished and went back downstairs, adding her vocal tone to the whine that was wafting up from below. Anyhow, I hobbled down the stairs with care, to the mayhem that awaited. Each and every one of them had an issue or two that was being loudly exulted. John had distributed barn brack (fruit bread) and given the commotions and volatility, they had their drinks in their old tippy cups to avoid spillages. I tidied the kitchen table that was a scattering of the breakfast plates and tippy cups, pencils, paper, crumbs and spillages (so much for the tippy cups). The noise was continuing in the living room. I saw my chance and made a ‘B’ line to the back door and had my said cigarette. The shouting had subsided a bit and only the coughing broke the silence. All five coughing in sequential harmony. Myself laden with heavy cold, I then joined in this bizarre soundtrack as backing vocals. And there I stood on the terrace looking at the cigarette. It’s days have to be numbered, my throat feels that sore and just look at me, snivelling and coughing away. I returned indoors and ‘all eyes turned’ and the whine of this and that and she said and I want, all returned to the room. John had disappeared upstairs to gather clean nappies and today’s clothes selection and I grappled my way to the kitchen. It’s funny how, without a grown up in the room, they can all coexist in a neutral fashion – but as soon as a parent enters, they explode into all manner of moany, misgivings. The racket has to be contained, so ‘divide and conquer’ was the only solution. Thor who had been the screamiest was told so sit on the thinking chair for ten minutes and to keep quiet or the other option was bed. He complied. Next, Amritsar asked politely for her iPad (kindle fire five), so another one down. I then just handed Tara hers. She took it, just leaving the two little ones besides the tv. The only thing remaining was three streaming noses to be wiped in sequence and lots of snorting and coughs from the older two, not to mention John and myself. A truce of sorts with the always so slight volatility of the weekends, but all ‘Finally Settled’. And the day has only just begun.