Parents, have you ever felt that by 9.00am it should already be bedtime? That so much has happened since you were pulled from your sleep that your body clock is way out of sync with the rest of the world? How much would you welcome a moments silence. Well this has been my day so far…
Today started around 5am. (It might have been a little bit earlier, as I do remember there being a 4 somewhere in the digital display on my alarm, but I couldn’t confirm exactly where). MM came into the bedroom to declare that he needed a poo. Not a problem he can do this himself. 15 minutes later he is calling from the bathroom; “I need some help, I need some help”.
Already awake, I hurry to his aid, mostly to stop him waking up the rest of the house. Offensive smells, bum wiping and blinding dawn sunshine are not an ideal at 5.15(ish)am. I tell him to go back to bed, after I help him get back into his pyjama shorts which are now “confused” (wtf!!!). He goes back to bed, or so I think.
Back in bed, wondering if I should just go for my run now, I am jolted back from my thoughts by a series of loud crashes. All goes quiet. No one else seems to be stirring. Ok. Just stay still, maybe all will be well. Nope, further crashes, some rattling and a reappearance of MM.
He gets into the bed now. He tells me the [stupid] lion and elephant bookends/thingies have fallen down and they wouldn’t go back up and now the elephant is broken. (Note to self: put these lovely looking but useless items in the bin later).
MM decides to stay in our bed, with his hand on my face, to discuss the intricacies of what he wants to wear for healthy living day at school today. Apparently you can wear trainers or school shoes!!! There is rustling outside on the landing as TM gets up too. Mr LMR decides staying in bed is futile and gets up. TM gets into his place. I decide to go for a run.
In the park, I take a breath and decide to run in a different direction. Hillier at the beginning but a different perspective for my daily mile. I cross my fingers and toes (difficult to do whilst running) and hope that everyone is still friends when I get home.
Run done, home again. A conference is underway about boiled eggs, the location of the car egg cup and crumpets. No one is dressed but it seems calm. Quick shower and collect BM, who is now also awake. It is not yet 7.00am. Something is going on in the bigger monkeys bedroom. I decide I don’t want to know.
Breakfast eaten by everyone, except MM by 7.28. The start of a 2 minute silence to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle of the Somme. A battle that saw over 1 million British, French and German deaths. In light of current UK political turmoil, a stark reminder of the importance of striving for a world of peace, tolerance and unity.
…and then the whistle blew
Seconds into the silence, MM pipes up about how his crumpet was once hot but now it is cold. TM began calling “mummy; mummy”. From upstairs. Approximately one minute in BM shuffles up, sits back and begins work on a big and grunting poo. I take a deep breath and return to pausing my life, in absence of silence, to consider the magnitude of a pivotal moment in our British history.
Seconds before the two minutes silence ended, the Monkey house fell silent. I looked at MM and BM, who were in the kitchen with me. I took those seconds to appreciate how lucky I am. Then the whistle blew…
I could not fail to be overwhelmed by the poignancy of that moment. The sacrifice made 100 years ago so that my children could witter care free about crumpets, make unimaginable mess in their bedroom before 7.00am (see above) and leave the house at 7.30am for a day of lessons on Healthy Living.
A two minutes silence and it’s meaning reinforced not reduced by the chaos and the innocence.