The Bean wakes up first, almost always (except on those very rare occasions when he has to get up early to be somewhere, and then of course not even the entire King’s Cavalry bounding through the room could wake him) and if he isn't there already, hauls the contents of his little bed over to the big bed: Dummy One, Dummy Two, lovey, at least one blanket. He clambers in and plonks himself between Mama and Daddy. On a good day we get a sloppy kiss and a cuddle. On a lively, you-are-definitely-not-getting-any-more-sleep kind of day we get a bellowed “morning!” and a shove in the ribs. On a bad, you-are-still-not-getting-any-more-sleep kind of day we get the whingiest request for milk known to man. And on a very rare but intensely treasured day, we get a perfectly drowsy Bean and another hour’s sleep.
Daddy hoiks himself out of bed and into the shower, but not before having relinquished his phone to the Bean for an episode of Peppa or Pocoyo. Mama still prefers the squeaky voices and fidgety toes over the idea of Getting Up. Urgh.
Getting Up can no longer be ignored. Breakfast must be made, trains must be choo-chood, Daddy must be harassed into reading a book or finding a Very Particular and Important block RIGHT NOW and never mind you haven’t yet got your underpants on.
Let breakfast commence! There’s fruit and “flornflakes”, yoghurt, crackers and cheese. A nibble of chocolate from Mama’s cereal if you sit nicely. Mostly he doesn’t - the Bean is already as hyper-charged as they come, wobbling and singing and talking thirteen to the dozen as he shovels in yoghurt with a “for-che-tta” not a spoon. He gets the chocolate anyway. Then Daddy does that thing that makes Mama glad she married him, every single morning: he brings her a cup of tea. Thank goodness for tea.
The Bean escapes, a fistful of cornflakes scattering in his wake. More choo-choo train! Like hopeful fools, Mama and Daddy try to lure him into a clean nappy and clothes with the promise of another story and a toothbrush with rabbits on it. We are all about multi-tasking here.
Shoes and bags and cycle helmet and many, many kisses. Promises of I will come and get you when you wake up, and yes you can take ONE dummy, and NO you can’t whack me over the head with an umbrella. And for the love of God, stop yelling in the corridor or YOU’LL WAKE THE NEIGHBOUR’S BABY!
They’re off! To nursery, to work. Mama turns around, goes back inside and finds the remnant of another ordinary, crazy weekday morning: blocks and pyjamas discarded on the floor, a toothbrush on the pillow, a stone-cold cup of tea on the dining table.