I looked down at my unclad self. "Now? This minute?"
FB rolled his eyes. "No, but you could go out in your lunch hour and get them."
Second Born sensed his opening and launched his bid. "I've got a school trip today and I need a hat, scarf and gloves."
I looked at the clock. It was 7.12am. "Where do you expect me to get you a hat and gloves at 7.12am, when I am not even dressed yet and you have to be in school in about an hour?"
Second Born was not disheartened. "Oh and yesterday when I was out, I needed my cagoule and it wasn't in my schoolbag."
Red rag to semi-naked bull. The packing of schoolbags (other than the daily lunches) is a boy task. It is their responsibility, not mine. They know this.
I rallied a bit. "Well, you are supposed to pack your own bag, aren't you?"
"Right then. So where have you looked for your cagoule?"
Puzzled stare. What is this "looked" of which you speak?
I sigh. "You mean you haven't looked for it. You discovered yesterday that you did not have your cagoule. You spent a couple of hours last night watching TV, playing with Lego and fighting with your brother. You sat with me for half an hour while I read to you. And yet you never once mentioned the missing cagoule. Or the hat, scarf and gloves for that matter. You decided to keep that information for this morning?"
Second Born is starting to back away now. But I am on a roll: "Go and look for your cagoule. You can whistle for the hat and gloves because you have lost every hat and pair of gloves I have ever bought. You have a scarf somewhere. Look for it while you are looking for your cagoule." I am quite loud and emphatic by this point. Second Born is halfway down the stairs wishing he'd never mentioned it.
I turn to First Born who is already reversing out the door saying "You don't have to get the pumpkin just now, Mum!" Well gee, thanks. And here was me about to hit Sainsbury's in my mis-matched and well worn undies to hunt for a pumpkin and half a ton of chocolate. I suppose I can get dressed now instead.
If I was more
EDITED TO ADD: For the benefit of transatlantic readers (Hi Daysgoby!), a cagoule is one of those thin waterproof jackets that you can squash up into a bundle about the size of a tennis ball.