My child goes into school a perfectly reasonable 5-year-old. He comes out possessed by sugar-lust and rage. Behold the 5 stages of The After-School Apocalypse.
Stage 1: Mutation
Home time. The teacher opens the gate. In the space between the classroom door and my loving arms, my child morphs from an obedient people-pleaser into a explosive sugar-grenade.
‘Hello Darling. How was your day?’
*Child stares through me. Glazed expression. Arms outstretched.* ‘What treat do you have today?’
‘Errr…’ Cue palpitations and cold sweats. (Damn Jamie Oliver and his sugar guilt.) ‘A lovely crunchy apple, darling.’
Child throws himself on the playground; spit, limbs and poo-vocab flying. ‘You’re a poo-head. I want Chupa Chups!’
I fling various fructose-loaded Bear snacks in his direction as the other parents shield their child’s eyes.
Stage 2 Outbreak
The 5-year-old infects the 2-year-old. Both children are now rabid and on the hunt. Their appetite knows no end. How many yogurt raisins can 2 children inhale in one snort? Yup, I lost count too.
Stage 3: Evacuation
Time to make a run for it. This stage is time-sensitive. Yogurt raisins can only propel them so far. And when they crash? I’m facing carseat-plank if I’m driving or spaghetti-legs if I’m on foot – laden down with at least 2 scooters, 2 coats and 5 bags of
crap daily essentials, natch.
Stage 4: Containment
Home at last! Now the race to get the fish fingers on while the kids batten down the hatches with Paw Patrol.
Obvs, I remain alert for random escape attempts: in the final throes of a sugar high the 5-year-old has been known to initiate playdates with innocent neighbourhood children. Duck and cover people, for your own safety.
Stage 5: The Fall of Humanity
We have a breach! The 5-year-old has invited a friend round. It’s only a matter of time before he too mutates and a full-scale apocalypse is unleashed. Call the authorities! Knock me over the head with a bottle of Pinot now. The world knows no fury like a bunch of 5-year-olds who’ve been sitting still during ‘carpet time’ and putting up their hands up before they speak for the last 6 hours.
Stage 6: Eerie silence
The space between kids tea and bedtime is blank. All I know is; Bad. Stuff. Went. Down.
Still, the kids are finally asleep. I’m in the ‘recovery position’ on the sofa, self-medicating with Pinot. Any attempts at conversation from the hubby are met with mute stares and post traumatic stress.
Thank God it’s Friday. No school tomorrow.
Oh shit. No school tomorrow. *Cries into Pinot and the post-apocalyptic wasteland of ‘The Weekend’*.