Thursday, May 01, 2008

I Miss The Good Old Days

In the Good Old Days, I began every weekday being woken at around 7.30 by Fixit bringing me a cup of tea. In bed. The boys would be eating their breakfast in the family room, and chances were that Fixit would have been doing the dishes before he left for work. This meant that I could have a glorious 15+ minutes 'coming to' time where I stared out the window, sipping tea and arranging my thoughts. This also meant that I was nice to my family when I arose, graceful and refreshed, from my slumbers. I still had to organise getting the boys dressed and make the school lunches, but this was not too arduous and I was generally pleasant about it.

In the Good Old Days, I knew I was blessed. I knew other Mums with non-tea-bringing husbands were deeply envious. But everyone has their saving grace, don't they? Maybe they earn more money for lovely holidays, or have a cleaning lady, maybe their partner cooks or maybe they have a child-free weekend every so often. This was my saving grace, and I appreciated it from the bottom of my heart.

In the Bad New Days, Fixit has to start work much earlier. He still brings a cup of tea but it is so early that some days I prefer to ignore it and take the extra sleep. If I do stay awake and drink it, I can't really relax because I know I'm In Charge; so instead of arranging my thoughts, I am listening for what the little people are doing. And in the Bad New Days I have to stagger disgracefully out of bed to plonk the breakfasts on the table, switch on ABC Kids television, make a fresh cup of tea and womble back to bed. Well. I could stay up and read the paper but I am clinging to past glories, don't you know. Despite the fact that the restorative staring out of the windows is not really working because I'm already up and grumpy. So when I do re-emerge for the shower/dressing/lunch-making, I am not that refreshed. This means the poor boys are currently dressing themselves to the accompaniment of the Grumpy Mother Soundtrack, featuring such classics as I said stand UP and I'm turning the telly OFF and Come ON!!! And I am not kind or understanding about accidents (avoidable or otherwise) such as tossing pyjamas onto the kitchen table (why??) which knocks over the glass of water. So the groggy 7-year old has to clean it up himself whilst the morning harridan spits recriminations and conflicting instructions at him. Weirdly, the boys seem not too fazed by the Morning Growl-Meister and still attempt endearing bum-dances and little chats about Harry Potter.

In the Bad New Days, two extra household responsibilities have crept onto my side of the job page; the breakfast shift and the dishes (although I am trying -quite hard- to reject the dishes), and my page was already pretty full. The kickback is that sometimes Fixit is home early enough to peel potatoes for me, and Lord knows, I really don't like peeling potatoes.


And this is how a sign of how I feel about this.

I would rather peel potatoes than have the Breakfast Shift. For a start we don't have them every night.


In the Good Old Days I were 'appy. Tell that to the kids today etc


  1. I too would be less of a grump-meister if I got a cup of tea in the morning and was able to rise slowly.

    I encourage the kids to be downstairs in time for Firegazer to give them breakfast before he leaves for work, however given that they need to be down by around 6.30am it's often a no-go.

    When it happens, it's bliss, and yes the house just seems to work so much better.

  2. Oh yes, I definitely operate much better with lots of coming to time. I also like to eat a slow breakfast with my thoughts to myself. Which is why I no longer eat breakfast.

    In the good old days, my husband used to give the kids breakfast every morning, he stopped. Only he doesn't have a reason. He still gets up, but mainly just sits on the computer drawing plans for the extension that is never going to happen.

  3. In the really olden days (when I lived at home) my Dad would wake up early, put the kettle on and make two cups of tea. One for him and one for Mum to drink in bed. Then she would get up and put the kettle on again while she made her breakfast. She'd then bring me a cuppa and drink her second. We had a 'no unnecessary talking' understanding at our place so it was generally pretty quiet too.

    Now sometimes the Bloke gets the kid breakfast when he's getting his own and brings me a coffee so I can do the collecting thoughts thing. But if the kid sleeps in (which he does if he's woken up at 5am for a drink and gone back to sleep, it's not as good as it sounds) then I have to get breakfast for both of us. Lately I've been eating and drinking standing up, which is appalling and uncivilised.

  4. If you can hang out, just a few years, one of the boys will be able to wash up (maybe even bring the tea). That's when they payback all the kindness they receive now... ohhh, well you could just make them do it.

  5. And at the other end of the spectrum is me - who lives alone during the week without J and has her own routine and can't stand it when he is around and interfering.


    We all have our crosses to bear.

    Although when we are all living together again I will be adopting Innercitygarden's parents way of doing it.

  6. I'm glad I'm not the only grumpy-in-th-morning person. Sometimes I catch myself mid rant and realise that even I have tuned myself out so why on earth should the girls listen to me?!

    My husband is usually gone by the time they get up so it's my job. Still, at least he generally does bathtime so not all bad!

  7. Ahhhhhh, Sis..... you are just NOT a morning person.. But we love you all the same. Welcome to the real world! If it is any consolation, I start off the morning bright and early, feeling terrific, up to feed horse at 6am, sometimes manage a ride, which makes me feel dead virtuous, back at house by 7.20am or am in TWOOOBBBBLLLEEE! But it is the 8.30-8.40am timeslot that frequently reduces me to the shouting, criticising, number one bad mummy!!!!! Once in car, am generally ok again. I blame my meltdowns on my inability to be on time, ever, for anything, and the pressure of having to have said 6 yo at school by 8.50am five times a week. Talk about pressure!!!!!!!! Oh, sorry not to phone back, busy few days, back in Sydney, again, and no, I still haven't sent that email yet. Dang!

  8. Rob does the morning thing with J.T. I lay out the clothes the night before so he doesn't end up with clashing colors or shorts and a long-sleeve shirt. Rob gets him up, does all the "go brush your teeth, NOW!" stuff and I just get to give a sleepy: "Have a good day. I love you" at the end. Very nice.

  9. After many years of marriage I managed to train Mr Life to bring me a cup of tea in bed in the morning. Then my dad died and my mum got a bit frail, so now I spend three nights a week in her house and take her a cup of tea in bed. Which is fine. But frankly not as good.

    Fortunately, I'm angelically goodnatured all the time.

  10. I can relate to this, even though in the good old days I was the one bringing me coffee and breakfast in bed. I used to leave for work at 8.30, so there was plenty of time to get ready graciously.

    But since they changed the teachers' car park I have to leave at 8.10. Plays havoc with the whole morning routine of yesteryear...

  11. Oh, the Good 'Ole Days sound so divine! Oh to have a man that had it in him to make those good old days happen! I can hardly fathom it. So I think one very important thing of note here is that Fixit is a man of fine calibre. The Bad New Days may only be a transient thing while life adjusts. Hopefully!!

    Maybe the whole family can shift their bed-time earlier so that the wake-up time can allow you your coming to. Although it may not be so nice to stare out a window if it's pitch black outside. Still... if it makes everyone's life better, it may be worth considering. The boys could use the extra morning time to do some school work or projects or something. (Right, you're probably doubled over laughing at that one, and wondering what naive planet I come from!)

  12. (The planet of good intentions!)

  13. Reading this post yesterday reminded me that my other half used to bring me a cup of tea in bed every morning. I brought this to his attention last night, and Hey Presto!, a cup of tea appeared this morning.
    Thanks for the reminder, sorry you can't share in this joy at the moment, am hoping your season of 'appy ' mornings might return one day.

  14. Firstly, what a guy. Perhaps the kids be encouraged to stay up a wee bit later so as to push back the morning wakie? I'm in the same boat.

  15. Cereal ?

    Do what my g/f did with hers ( they are now teens ). Every night she'd put out bowls of dry cereal, covered in clingwrap.

    She trusted them to pour the milk.

    Another g/f was horrified, but I thought it was a good idea. MC often grabs himself a muesli bar if i'm otherwise indisposed/don't care.

    As for the jammies on the table - relate - we like to kick off all our 'bottoms', so jocks and pants go flying everywhere.
    Drives me INSANE.

  16. In the "good ole days" I used to read (and occasionally, write) a blog. Sorry to be absent for so long. In amongst my jaw clenching/stress woes I do remember to give thanks that Mr J gets the girls up most mornings and gives them breakfast - though the tea has evaporated into the ether somewhere; so I can half commiserate with you. [And the slow accretion of jobs being picked up by the mother is a long, sad and old tale that sadly plays on a loop at my house too - even when I am on the look out for it too!]

  17. I operate so much better on the days that The Poolboy does the breakfast shift. If only he'd take on the lunchbox packing too.

    You have my commiserations.

  18. Would love a tea-bringing husband like Fixit, but as you said, everyone has a saving grace.. Mr Mangroves loves to cook :))
    Cheers, Magda

  19. Oh, I hear ya sister!! Since I began working at home the morning breakfast, dressing, washing-up, lucnhes, off-to-school duties have also fallen upon me. Hubby nicks off even earlier now because he has me at home... and it shits me. He used to cope perfectly well when I had to get up and go to the office early, but now because I am just staggering to the study the mornings (and the evenings!) have fallen onto my plate again.

    AND I never got cups of tea in bed.

  20. I wish I had a witty, fascinating comment about your post, but I just don't. I enjoyed reading it, though. Please consider this comment the equivalent of the friend who listens intently and nods her head while you speak.

  21. Life really is all about the small stuff. You may have been whinging but you made me laugh.....

  22. Oh my, J not only does the breakfast shift but he does all the cooking too.

    We both work full time and I start work at 7am. This means I'm usually out of there before the morning harridan comes out in me (and she does - I did the breakfast shift once last week - did I mention we were slightly late for school? On the first day back after holidays no less...)


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