When Plan A fails

I awoke this morning with my day pretty well planned in my head.

Grumpy was going to take the big kids to school, head off to a job, come home, pick Chippie up and head to kinder.

I, on the other hand, was going to be at home in the morning with Chippie, go for my late morning walk with a friend and get a LOT of work done.

This ‘plan’ lasted exactly 13 minutes before it fluttered out the front door in the wake of my husband who had uttered an “oh, shit” before racing out.


I’m grateful for this being the ‘Routine’ I am used to. I’m not sure how well I’d cope if things actually went according to the plan I awoke with.

It takes mere seconds before I get my head around the new arrangements, leave my desk, tell Chippie to get dressed, make school lunches, tell Chippie to get dressed, get dressed, tell Chippie to get dressed, realise I’m probably not going to get a shower any time today, tell Chippie to get dressed or he’s going in his pyjamas, eat breakfast, make exasperated noise at Chippie, grab car keys, ask Godzilla to open the gates, tell Chippie to get in the car as he is and find Monkey Boy, on his knees in front of Chippie, pleading with him to get dressed and saying things like “Just get dressed! She’ll do it, she really will!” in a distressed voice.

Bundle everyone into the car, get half way down the driveway and Grumpy Pants pulls in at the other end.

“Don’t worry,” he says. “I’ll take them. I’ve been trying to ring you.”

And I’ve been tearing my hair out and trying to get everyone out the door, so didn’t hear the phone.

The two big kids bail out and I drive back into the garage, accompanied by a series of questions along the lines of “Why you go there? Why you go back in the garage? Why you not go to school? Why you do this? What you doin’?”

Reconfigure brain to new arrangements, as we are now back roughly to Plan A. That is, the one I woke with.

I set about some mundane tasks, like tidying the kitchen and putting a load of washing on. I catch sight of Chippie’s hair. I think we are due for a cut again, soon. It’s also looking like he had one hell of a night’s sleep.

Bad Hair DayOf course, given my attention to detail of late, it’s possible he’s been wandering around like that for a few days.

I only noticed this morning that Godzilla has been wearing the same t-shirt (and possibly pants and jacket) for the last three days. Possibly seven. I really can’t be sure. So I sent him off for a shower before school as I couldn’t actually recall when he’d last had one.

Meanwhile, Monkey Boy is still wearing his wrist band from our jaunt to Luna Park quite some time back.

So, really, I can’t be trusted for any sort of recall at the moment.

I made Chippie breakfast as he informed me he “wants to wear a hat, every day, for ever and ever.”

I thought it may have had to do with the hair thing. But I was wrong.

“I want one so people don’t eat my head,” he says, clearing things up for me considerably.

A hat to prevent your head being eaten


He comes out with me to hang the now finished washing. Well, he comes outside as I hang the washing and repeatedly tells me I need to build him a playground, with the three bits of wood and some milk crates we have lying around.

He tells me how I’m going to do it.

He tells me “We need to find Daddy’s toolbox. Not the one full of knives.”

The neighbours suddenly go very quiet. I want to explain. I want to say “He’s a chef!” but then figure “He’s a psychopath!” may be more fun.

I do neither.

Grumpy arrives home and, just to change things up a bit, I text my friend to see if she is available earlier for our walk. She is, I go. I’m glad I do. I feel much better afterwards and return home to a quiet house, where I can eat lunch, shower and walk out naked just as the postie arrives with a parcel for me.

Grumpy Pants, meanwhile, is having his own fun, having agreed to cook pancakes with the kinder kids today. It seems he was having a rough day, too, as one child removed the bowl of cracked eggs as another child was cracking eggs into it.


I manage to sort out some of my chaos, reply to a multitude of emails left ignored this morning and to get some writing done.

The school rings me at ten minutes to four. It is the Principal. I no longer get anxious or stressed. Most times they ring it is to discuss something I’ve put my hand up to help out with. This year, with only one child at the school, I offered to help with the grade 6 graduation speeches again, even though I have no child in grade 6.

Yesterday, I also got a call from school, from the office manager. Last time she called, it was about a cheque or wrong address or something, so I didn’t panic then, either. Godzilla was sick and could I come and get him.

That was yesterday, and it was a different person today, so there was no need that I could see to be concerned about anything.

The Principal is also very nice. She said “Just wondering if you are coming to pick Godzilla up or were there supposed to be different arrangements made?”

I let her know I’ll call Grumpy to find out what he’s doing. Last I heard, he had nothing on for the afternoon, so all was well.

I ring, he answers and says “I’ll call you back in a minute.”

“NOOOOO!” I yell. “Are you going to get your son from school?”

“Oh,” comes the reply and I figure I’m required to do it. By the time I get there, he’ll have been waiting over half an hour for his neglectful parents.

He’s a bit sad. Understandably, so I grant his request of going to the local library.

To make it easier, I park at the end of the street the kindergarten is in, so it’s exactly halfway between the library and kinder.

The books he wants aren’t there, so we just head off to collect Chippie. Grumpy rings as we’re wandering down.

“Can you grab my chef’s uniform and my toolbox from the kinder kitchen, please?”


It is a big, red, tradies toolbox. It is heavy. A dad asks me what’s in it.

“Knives,” I pant as I haul it off a table.

He gives me a funny look.

I can’t reply as I can’t breathe.

I realise I have to walk the length of the street, to the car, carrying this thing with me. I also have my bag, and two additional bags containing his uniform and a pair of shoes.

Chippie chooses today to not want to carry his own kinder back, open at the zip, and has a screaming tantrum about it, mid-street.

We eventually make it home where Grumpy informs me he has to collect a brother (he has many) from the airport, so will take Godzilla to basketball, do the airport thing and collect Godzilla.

Funnily enough, I’m not entirely confident that our poor, neglected once today already child won’t be left at basketball due to some traffic holdup or delayed flight. I agree to come along too.

As it turns out, Grumpy Pants, with brother in tow, is back at basketball before training has even finished.

Arrive home, knock my wine glass off the bench where it not only shatters but sprays its shards across the entire length of the kitchen.

There was no wine in it at the time, so things weren’t all bad.

I sit down to eat dinner and remember it is book week and I have a vague recollection that I noticed a poster on the classroom door when I belatedly collected my ten year old, advising that tomorrow is a Book Week Dress Up day at school.

I sigh.


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