He is there when they come down in the morning, a grumpy hairy beast in a scuzzy pair of pants and an old Ninja Turtles T-shirt. His feet are bare and his hair is a mess. He thinks of himself with a certain grim masochism as ‘The Slave in the Kitchen’.
‘What do you want to drink?’ he snaps.
‘That’s mine!’ says number 1, snatching at an old fairy tiara.
‘I had it first!’ shouts number 2.
Number 3 is chasing the cat on all fours. The cat is terrified and escapes into the garden.
‘What you all wanna drink?’ he snaps again.
They say nothing, so Slave brings over drinks for numbers 1 and 2 anyway. The baby is now trying to put its head through the cat flap.
‘What about cereal?’ he snaps. The cat sneaks back in past the baby, and jumps onto the table.
‘I don’t want cereal. Just toast,’ says number 1.
Slave shakes some cat treats to get the cat off the table. This works, briefly.
‘Let me think…’ says number 1, who is now playing Candy Crush on the iPad.
‘YOU DON’T USE THE IPAD WITHOUT ASKING!’ snaps the slave.
‘What if I could just have…’ says number 1. He knows she is about to ask for something off-menu he has neither the time nor the energy to make.
‘…Chocolate eggy volcano bread!’
‘Right that’s it!’ he snaps.
‘Beans and a wrap, no cereal,’ says number 1 hurriedly.
‘I want a wrap!!’ shouts number 2, as he tries to push the baby through the cat flap.
‘YOU’RE ALL HAVING CEREAL!’ he snarls. The cat is back on the table, and with good reason. Every time it jumps up, it gets more treats.
‘But the milk gives me phlegm in my throat!’ complains number 1.
‘I want a wrap!’ shouts number 2. The baby starts crying.
Slave makes three bowls of Weetabix, with microwaved milk, and slams them down on the table. Brutally he shoves the cat off the table.
‘Don’t want cereal!’ snaps number 1, spooning her Weetabix with disgust. She is now downloading a new app onto Slave’s iPad.
‘My milk’s too hot,’ says number 2, and starts to cry. The cat has jumped up onto the table again and is now sniffing at someone’s Weetabix.
He stands on a chair and pretends to cry hysterically, till at last they all stop and look up at him.
‘I’ve got to put some slides together for Phaedra’s keynote by 11,’ he sobs to the cat. ‘Do you know anything about innovative cloud-based supply chain planning solutions?’
Image via Pixabay