"Mum, I've missed the bus from town. Can you collect me from Littledean at 3.35 p.m.?"
The phone rings again.
"Where's ESOS? He's not on the bus." Says Sensible.
"He missed it. He's catching the one to Littledean."
I am in the garden, trying to do theatre school admin. Beautiful summer's day but enough breeze to catch a few cheques from time to time. Run round the garden to pick up the cheques. Exercise, admin and fresh air in one. There's a bonus. Haven't quite finished by the time Sensible gets home and it's now time to collect Gymnast and Tinkerbell Mushroom.
Sensible arrives home and sensibly sees that I am busy, so offers to go across the road for the girls, leaving me just enough time to scoop up the last of the cheques from the garden and get in the car to collect ESOS.
ED is home already as she is still on study leave.
Back home again. I get everyone into the car. Gymnast hasn't cleaned her teeth. Out of car. Upstairs again. Downstairs to find to my horror one or two older children cleaning their teeth in the car and disposing of the toothpaste onto the path.
Just have time to get cross. Then leave.
Get stuck behind slow thing going up the hill.
Manage to take a couple of back doubles and slip into the dentist just a whisker earlier than hubby who drives from work.
We are called in en masse.
"They become more like a gang as they get older don't they?" says the dentist. "I notice that with mine, and I've only three".
Gang is a good description. Bigger, together and very much of a pack, they don't look like that angelic set of five tinies I had not so long ago. In the last few weeks ESOS, Sensible and ED all seem to have overtaken me in height and even Gymnast and Tinkerbell Mushroom seem to have grown.
We have the usual shuffling around of who is going to sit where on the increasingly small window seat. The dentist looks on with a mixture of amusement and resignation.
"Who's first he says?" Hubby opts for the chair first and as he lies down there is more kerfuffle from the gang, causing a very nice pot plant to topple over and crash on the floor. The pot is in one piece thankfully, but the surgery isn't enhanced by the ornamental pebbles all over the floor.
"Oh I'm so sorry" I say. "Have you got a dustpan? I'll clean it up." "Don't worry." says the amazingly cheery dentist. "We'll do it after you have gone." Along with whatever other mess we might leave, I think to myself.
ESOS hasn't been wearing his brace for the last few nights. No, correction, ESOS wears his brace only on very special occasions. The excuses vary as to why he is wearing it that day. Currently one of the clips on his teeth that holds the brace in place is a bit wobbly. Dentist look at the problem. "No, that's fine he says. You can carry on wearing that until you next see the orthodontist. Have you not been wearing it long?" "Well," I say. "He's worn it once or twice since he received it at Christmas." ESOS then gets much deserved lecture about how he will have to wear it forever if he doesn't wear it regularly. It's the same speech he has heard from the orthodontist and our friend who is a dentist. Is he listening I wonder, or is he thinking about anything else that teenage boys might think about. I suspect the latter.
As ESOS gets off the chair the noise increases and I need to talk about Sensible's appointment with an orthodontist for her teeth, which it has to be said, thirty years ago would have been considered absolutely perfect. Modern teenagers are less happy with that decision though.
I can't hear myself think.
I dispatch ESOS and Tinkerbell Mushroom to the waiting room.
Next minute ESOS is lifting up Tinkerbell Mushroom to the surgery window from outside. ED tells him in no uncertain terms that that is not acceptable behaviour, in a way that Hermione Granger would tell Dennis the Menace.
All the ones inside are now helping themselves to the water from the water machine.
"Right. That's it then says hubby. I think we are done." I see relief spreading over his face.
"Not quite" I say. It's my turn."
As we leave I thank the dentist. As we apparently have a clean bill of health there are no follow up appointments needed.
"So, hopefully you haven't got to see us for another six months then. I bet that's a relief."
Sally's writing is about being a mother of five, now all too grown up, children, (four girls, one boy) a husband, a dog, and a serious ambition to be a mortgage free and famous actress, voice over artist, broadcaster, writer and teacher.
The "Cast" List for the blog includes:
Hubby - Her husband,
ED - Eldest Daughter,
ESOS - Eldest son only son,
Sensible - Second daughter,
Gymnast - Third daughter,
Tinkerbell Mushroom - Youngest daughter and youngest child,
Mad Dog - AKA Lucy - the border collie.
Guest appearances by MIL (mother in law), parents, two brothers, inlaws, nephews, nieces and great nephew.