Actually what happens is the alarm goes off at 6.45am and I swear about the fact that it can't actually be morning yet. That's on a good day. Often before my alarm goes off one of my youngest children has already come into my room with his most malevolent Donnie Darko eyes and jabbed at me until I can feel the burn, before pressing all the buttons on my phone until it lights up and informing me "see, it says it's morning time".
I use the bathroom and go downstairs. Kettle on, uniforms for the youngest laid on the sofa - because if I let them get changed in their room on a school day I don't see them until 8.25am, when they come downstairs wearing only a pyjama top and ask if I can 'put together this track' or something equally ridiculous.
I make a brew for myself and my partner, and a packed lunch for my 5 year old. I contemplate a beautiful Bento - ahhh - and make the usual ham or cheese and pickle sarnies. Upstairs my partner showers and wakes up the teenagers.
When he gets downstairs he shouts at the youngest 2 to 'get dressed' for the first time of around 12. Our 5 year old every day without fail states he can't get dressed until he's had breakfast and comes into the kitchen to collect cereal or toast, or if he's lucky a breakfast bar and a glass of orange before staring at it for approx. 12 minutes without eating anything. Sometimes his brother joins him, but usually they operate as a tag team, taking it in turns to stare at their breakfast in an effort to cause as much frustration and delay as possible.
By 7.45am hopefully we've already seen at least 2 teenagers, and another returns from their paper round and joins in the competitive bathroom hogging contest. Occasionally this ends in all-out war, but usually someone cries before then and my partner gets to practice his loudest 'because I say so' voice.
I make sure I've at least heard everyone 'be awake' before allowing my partner to escape to work, where he spends 9 hours sleeping in a comfy chair, and occasionally browsing the internet.
I spend the next half hour trying to remain calm, whilst alternating cries of "have you got dressed yet?" and "come on, it's getting late?", whilst trying to find non-existent clean shirts and tights which should have been washed but instead have spent the last few days languishing on a bedroom floor. I pull magic black pens and protractors out of thin air and hopefully know the location of every last bit of homework down the side of a sofa or under the kitchen table.
Most of the teenagers leave somewhere between 8am and 8.35am. I have given up trying to work out exactly when they should leave, how fast they can walk to school, or whether they take lunch or eat it when they get home. They're 16, it's an important lesson for them to be hungry all day while their lunch sweats on the kitchen table.
At 8.33am I tell the 2 little boys they need to put their coats on and discover who hasn't put their socks on. Then we play 'hunt the shoe' for the next 7 minutes maximum. If we exceed this limit then I fetch the wellies.
At 8.40am I leave one teenager still in the house and, whilst ignoring the cries of "my socks aren't right" we walk to school. I carry the coats.
I get home at around 9.15am and have my 20 minutes of peace. I can't actually manage without breakfast, I always eat it, but I choose to wait. I put the kettle on and the first load of washing, tidy the table and sit down with a brew, something to eat and a sense of contentment that another morning is ticked off and we're nearer the weekend.....
I do actually eat breakfast bars, and in fact belVita are my favourite. They are really tasty and don't need a pint of water to wash them down! They're incredibly handy in your bag if you're going straight out, and a bit of a lazy treat at home. I like the Fruit And Fibre ones best, but most of the kids go for the yoghurt crunch.
This post is an entry for #MorningStories Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at www.facebook.com/belVitaUK. I was sent the breakfast bars above to try.