I once tweeted about how, being a parent, I have no need for alarms any more. There was a time, before children, when I relied on the bleeping of my phone to wake me up in the morning; nowadays, I’m awoken by my wife kicking me to tell me to see to the kids, who are yelling at me from their beds.
This morning was different. There were no kicks to wake me up, and as such my eyelids blearily opened of their own accord, ears met with the chatter of my children. I roll over and look at my phone to see what time it is.
7.33am. Considering I was meant to drop my children off at various places at 7.30am , this is bad news.
Panic ensues. My eldest, bless him, gets dressed without a fuss, whilst I frantically wrap a nappy around the loins of the two year-old. I try to put my contact lenses in in a hurry, which basically consists of jabbing my eyes repeatedly with my index fingers. I’m trying to multi-task but failing: as I brush my teeth with one hand I’m carrying Noah downstairs with another. For some reason, reflex action kicks in on my way back upstairs and, without thinking, I spit foamy toothpaste over the top three steps and most of the landing. I wildly dab at the bubbly mess with a towel, whilst spraying deodorant in the general direction of my armpits, all the while sobbing gently to myself.
The front door flings open and we’re out of the house. I have to take Isaac, my eldest, to my sister-in-law’s. She lives just down the road, and so I toy with the idea of lobbing him down the street, American Football-style, but dismiss it as impractical as my weedy arms are barely able to pick him up. The kids are thrown in the car instead, and we screech to a halt outside my sister-in-law’s driveway. She answers the door, I garble something unintelligible about toothpaste and oversleeping and can-you-give-him-a-slice-of-toast-please, kiss Isaac on the top of the head and hustle him inside.
I drive Noah to my mother-in-law’s house. He wants to listen to dubstep (don’t ask), so we race through the streets like a couple of youths on a night out. Again, I toy with the time-saving idea of feeding Noah through the letterbox, but abandon it as it’s unlikely he’ll fit through and it might trigger some Vietnam-style flashbacks of his birth. Again, door opens, garble, kiss, toast request, and I’m back in my car. Incredibly, I get to work on time, but only just. Cue a minor amount of celebration as I pour a much-needed coffee.
I’d love to tell you that, at this point, I looked down and realised I wasn’t wearing any trousers. But I was, fortunately. This morning wasn’t that tragic.