The Kinderbeast comes in during the night claiming he can’t sleep. I check my clock: it’s 6am. It’s touch and go whether he’ll go back to sleep, but I suggest he climbs into my bed; which he does and promptly nods off. I take the opportunity to nip out of bed and flick the heater on as the morning has achieved Utter Bastard levels of cold. My alarm goes off at 6:29am and the Kinderbeast decides it’s time to get up and watch TV. I get up for a slightly earlier than normal morning shift.

At the back of my mind is the knowledge that I have to get three children ready for school this morning instead of the usual two Kinderbesten. For once I’m grateful that it’s late start at school, which gives me an extra 20 minutes to play with. I successfully get the Elderbeast in the shower (he seems oblivious to the arctic chill) while his friend gets himself ready. They decide they want to walk to school, so I boot them out of the house at 8:30am and, feeling overwhelmed with generosity, give them $2.50 to spend at the canteen. A moment later the Elderbeast knocks on the door and asks for another 30c each so they can buy an Up’n’Go in Coles. I oblige and they are gone.

I drive the Kinderbeast to school at 8:50am and, being a responsible, make a point to look out for the Elderbeast and his friend. They are not in their class, and they are not lurking in the vicinity either. This is not altogether surprising, but I don’t want to have to tell the Elderbeast’s friend’s Mum that I mislaid her son so I decide to go looking for them, First, and most obvious port of call is Coles. I don’t see them at first, but then spot them sauntering away from the checkout, each with a bottle of coffee milk in their hand.

Now, the one thing that the Elderbeast is not allowed before school is … coffee milk. And he knows this. So I confiscate the milk, which displeases the Elderbeast greatly. He complains that they had to ‘borrow’ money off someone so they could afford to buy the coffee milk–all of which, to my mind, makes it even funnier that I swoop in at the last minute and steal the fruits of their hard-earned victory. I walk them both to their class, and then stash the coffee milk in my lunch bag so they can have them later.

Shortly before I head home Rachel messages me to let me know that not only does the Elderbeast have his friend over (as expected) but that the Kinderbeast has somehow managed to conjure up two friends to visit too. Fortunately by the time I get home the two additional friends have gone, but the house is a long way from being peaceful. I’ve offered to keep the Elderbeast’s friend for dinner, as his mother still can’t face the thought of cooking, but he decides he’s ready to head home after that.

Peace, more or less, descends on the house again.

Later, I finish volume 5 of Locke & Key. This is the point I reached last time. This is exciting. Tomorrow I get to read all new Locke & Key!