Wake up, head pounding. Sinuses are throbbing. Breathing is hard.
Forcing my body out of bed, into motion. Trousers on, t-shirt pulled over aching head. Tramp downstairs to let dog outside. Wellies on, trudging through the mud, hunched up against the driving rain.
Chickens jump squawking from their house. Fill pellet holder, check their water, trudge back to the house, dog jumping up my leg, sloughing muddy paws across trousers.
Mini Monster 2 comes downstairs, shouting as he comes. ‘Milk mummy. Want breakfast. Milk. Milk. Milk.’
Place bowl on table filled with cheerios and milk. More milk in a cup with a straw. MM2 starts to eat, dripping milk and wheat circles across the table and his knees on the journey to his mouth.
Mini Monster 1 wanders in quietly. ‘I’m hungry’.
Weetabix in a bowl with milk, splash of sugar. Drag chair closer to table, MM1 eats.
The cat miaows.
Squeeze lumps of sticky, drippy meat product from a sachet. Shuffle through to the hall, place plastic bowl on the floor, stroke cat from head to tip of tail.
Respond to demand to provide MM1 with yoghurt.
Flick kettle on.
Pour water onto lemsip. Sit down, relax backwards. Acknowledge drumming in head and stuffed ache running across my face.
MM2 requests a yoghurt. With emphasis on requests.
The dog whines.
Mr G enters the kitchen.
Time passes in a dozy haze. Sausage and egg, dosed in ketchup, held between bread. Placed in my lap.
Scoop dry, coloured shapes into the dog’s bowl.
The clock ticks. MM2 slides through the doorway. ‘Want food. Want biscuits. Want food mummy.’
Back to the kitchen, shoulders heavy, head down. Bread, cheese, cucumber, no butter. MM1. Bread, butter, no filling. MM2. Salt and vinegar crisps. MM1. Quavers. MM2. Fizzy water. MM1. Tap water. MM2.
Remove the plastic cat bowl from the dog’s bed before she crunches through the plastic completely.
Waiting for 6pm.
Cottage pie and green peas. Cake and milk for the children.
No more meals to provide. Mummy chores complete. Bed calls.
The cat miaows.