Small child awake and bouncy at 4, fast asleep again by the time I needed to start the day.
By 7 AM one child awake, changed, dressed, and ready for feed and meds.
6.50AM I empty one litter tray from overnight poo
7AM I empty the next.
7.02AM a nameless kitten soils the clean litter tray. I empty this.
A smell of poo still clinging to the air, I search until I locate a furtive turd hiding under the settee, cunningly buried under an appointments letter. I extract the phone number from the letter, and scrape and scrub and remove the evidence.
7.08AM, a different nameless kitten soils the clean litter tray. I empty again.
7.15AM an older cat comes back inside and makes use of the nice clean litter tray.
7.30AM, the child who is dressed and changed, and by now fed and medded decides to produce another fragrant offering. I clean this.
7.45AM, the delicate scent of cat poo still hangs around the house, but sees to be everywhere, no longer concentrated in one spot. I attempt to coral the kittens in the sunroom in order to open windows and doors to air the place out. This whilst simultaneously waking, dressing, feeding and supervising forgotten homework for another child, and very thankful for the carer who is doing the same (minus the homework) for the 3rd.
Herding kittens is about as easy as catching jelly in a sieve. One cat in my arms, the other invisible. One cat in the sunroom I locate the second. Open door to insert second cat, the first flows through the three inch gap and disappears.
Giving up on this, I retreat to the bathroom so sort myself out for the day. And notice a brown smear under my chin, which, once wiped off, proves to have been the source of the all-pervasive arôme du chat. Cos life's just that good to me.
Finally we catch a break, and Mog's bus is a nice five minutes early, giving me time to round up the other two children and saunter down to school where, in a very sweet moment, I get to witness Little Fish finding her friends - or rather, I get to see Little Fish's friends finding her - a small queue of boys crowd around her, waiting their turn to rub her arm, kiss her cheek, envelop her in cuddles as she preens herself.
And then the school teacher comes out and informs me that LF's 1:1 classroom assistant is off sick, as is the SENCo, and many of the potential replacement staff. They have people who can feed her and cath her but no one to be in the classroom with her, do I want to leave her anyway or will I take her home? Deciding that she's school's responsibility really, and recalling that the SENCo did promise I'd never be asked to take her away simply because the staff aren't present, I opt to leave her, at which point the problem of getting her home at the end of the day arises. No 1:1 means no one to walk her back, which means I'll have to pick her up early anyway.
So now the TA kid and myself are watching the kittens chase a straw around the sitting room floor, waiting for a phonecall from school about some unexpected disaster. Only on a Monday...