MORNINGS in the Bentley household follow a pretty similar routine. Now that Bea is a little over two, we get our regular wake-up call just after 6am.
Much like an expensive alarm clock, she starts with the muted noise of "mummy, daddy" and over the course of the next 20 minutes builds up to the foghorn "MUMMMMMMMYYYYY, DAAAAAADDDDYYYY".
Being the first to blink out of Hayley and I, the job of fetching the tyke invariably falls on yours truly.
Within about a minute of getting into bed for the morning cuddle she shows evidence of how children have moved on from when we were young. Instead of asking for a favourite teddy, Bea is asking for the "pad" as she calls it – still learning her vocabulary, Bea neglects the i at the beginning!
After a little watch of Sooty and the gang – fortunately some things are timeless – Bea and I while away another 20 minutes or so feeding my current addiction 'Temple Run 2'! With the covers now over our heads in a makeshift den, Bea chuckles along as we help Guy Dangerous navigate the Mayan Temple of doom.
Needless to say Mrs Bentley isn't as keen on the exploits of the two kids in the Bentley home and gets a crack on with the house. By the time the little one is ready to get up, my better half has invariably got herself washed, dressed, cooked us all a decent breakfast, got the wash on, hung out last night's load and basically shown how to use the morning hour in a much more constructive way than I could.
When I question her laudable early-morning work ethic, she usually responds with "well, nobody else was going to do it", the nobody being a jab at yours truly and my little assistant! I'm not afraid to say that Hayley is 'on point' and when things need doing on the home front she's the one who gets it done.
Now you're going to have to bear with me, but using my own fuzzy logic I reckon that something similar to the Bentleys' morning routine happened at Sandy Park on Saturday.
The Chiefs needed to get a result to steady a shaky ship and there was nobody else going to do it but the guys in the team. Much like Mrs B in my house, the senior members of the squad didn't mess about looking for help but simply took the game by the scruff of the neck themselves and ensured that there was only ever going to be one result.
Without the old Goat Rich Baxter to complete the club's most successful back-row trio, Scaysbrook and Johnson both had mammoth games and were ably supported by a few more of the senior players as the worry from the week before was dissipated with a very convincing 60 minutes. The endeavour shown by the guys was second to none and the 30-12 scoreline was fully merited
The only bone of contention will have been the final 20 when, with the contest won, we failed to drive home the initiative and secure the bonus point, instead allowing Wasps back into the game and to snatch a losing bonus. The sombre mood post-match was testament to how the squad felt the lost point was perhaps more relevant than the win.
From a broader perspective, this was a very important result for the team. With this week's opponent London Irish looking like being in the mix at the bottom of the table, a loss would have put a huge amount of pressure on. Three losses on the bounce would have changed perceptions of where we were heading this season, for the team, supporters and officials.
Instead, with the confidence of a win behind them, the guys can now head to the Madejski in high spirits and look for a result that will get us moving up the table.
Over my last few columns I've been an advocate of the remarkable academy the club has and probably neglected the input the senior pros have. In a similar way to how I indulge my child on a morning, there is an expectation of leaders, like the super Mrs Bentley, getting things done. Without doubt last weekend they made sure that I was aware of just how important those that are 'on point' truly are!
On the subject of good performance, a very special mention has to be given to Adrian and Max who look after the Sandy Park pitch. With the hallowed turf undertaking four games in three days, for it to emerge looking as fantastic as it does is a real testament to the work they do. Sandy Park is indeed one of the best playing surfaces in rugby and the effort the boys put in ensuring it stays that way is second to none.
And finally, the Exmouth boys took something of a hiding up at Taunton on Saturday, shipping just over 60 points in what was a rather one-sided affair.
I followed the game online and have to admit to some mixed emotions as I saw the Titans racking up a very impressive score. I was pleased for my former teammates Tony Yapp and Keith Brooking up in Somerset as they finally look like getting the club into a very healthy standing after a torrid time last season. On the other hand, I was concerned for the team I play for as the harsh realities of National League rugby begin to settle in.
Following the narrow loss against Chinnor a fortnight ago, this week's home fixture will see no respite for the Cockles as league leaders Bournemouth visit the Imperial ground.
As the Chiefs are up in Reading, I will be in the mix for selection and would be keen to hear a few of the non-travelling tribe in full voice as region's second team battles to get a foothold in their maiden National League campaign.
Even if the rugby isn't to your liking, there is the opportunity to get some first-hand experience of the man that is George Savage. This week the greatest prop to hail from Crediton surpassed himself with a nugget that tickled even the least humorous in the squad.
Without any prompting, the big man explained how he loves nothing more than to snuggle with his favourite blanket, a warm cup of Bovril and listen to Elton John singing Candle in the Wind to help him get focus for the game!
Until the next time, stay safe and enjoy your rugby.