An alarming morning

Thursday is the morning I do the preschool run. It's rarely straight-forward, but this morning it was especially interesting.

It began about 8.30 just as I was finishing packing the boys lunch. The two year old was so excited to be going that he began emptying his bag and eating his lunch. Mess everywhere.

Then my nine-year old came in in a state of panic. She had a harp lesson at 10am and was looking for her tuning key. "Have you seen it? Where is it mum?"

I suggested she look in the special place where we had decided she should keep it. No tuning key. We walked around the house looking in the obvious places, but still no tuning key. I rang the RSL club on the chance I might have left it there last Sunday (hockey presentations... long story), but no tuning key.

"We'll have to check at church," I said and proceeded to repack the two year old's bag and get him and his sister into the car.

Then it was time to move the five year old. He has autism, and hates transitions. I had to pick him up screaming and calm him down to put him in the car, having already put in his shoes and bag.

We then went on the drop off. Thankfully the younger son was easy. He literally danced in. It was just as well because the five year old was NOT GOING TO PRESCHOOL MUM!
"I'm Going Later Mum. I'm Missing Preschool. It's Locked. I Want To Go Home!!!" All at the top of his voice in full screaming mode as I drove the car down the hill.

I wrenched him out of the car and we sat on the kerb for a while. The preschool teacher finally heard the din and came out to help. Together we got him through the gate and spent ten minutes trying to calm him down to no avail. Meanwhile, there were parents coming in and out asking me kindly, "Are you ok?" "Is it his first time here?" I just couldn't tell them that he's been coming all year and except for maybe four mornings, he's cried every time.

In the middle of this, the new car alarm went off. My daughter was sitting inside and unlocked the door. I wasn't quite sure what to do, but pressing enough remote buttons on the key thankfully shut it down.

Finally I got him inside and left. The next task was to find the tuning key. We turned into the church carpark and I noticed there were no cars parked, which meant probably there was no one there, which meant I would have to negotiate the building alarm. I don't know the password!

I took a punt that there might just be someone inside, or perhaps that the alarm was off, so I unlocked the door, but my punt sank. As soon as we got inside, the siren wailed and whined.

I decided I wouldn't waste an open door, so went to look for the tuning key anyway. My ears are pretty used to high pitched screeches by now! Wouldn't you know it - it wasn't there! (The alarm reset itself when I left and I took a call from security checking I wasn't a robber.)

We prayed before we went home that we would find the tuning key. The harp has 30 strings, and it was sounding pretty bad, so we definitely needed to tune. We walked in and the second place I looked was inside the piano stool.

"Oh yeah," said my daughter. "I remember now. I put it in there!"