BRRRRRNT…. BRRRRRNT….BRRRRRNT…the buzzing sound of the alarm clock wakes me up. Startled and somewhat disoriented, I stagger across the room to turn it off. I learned a long time ago that my alarm has to be across the room, otherwise in a
half-awakened basically non-awakened state, I turn it off and go back to sleep.
I have 4 kids, so I consider it a win if my alarm clock wakes me up. Worst case scenario is when I wake up with someone 2 inches from my face, just standing there. Watching. It startles me so much, I yelp and pop out of bed every time. So, if I can wake up without a heart attack, my day is on track.
Like most people I head to the bathroom when I wake. But unlike most people, there’s usually someone already in it, pants around their ankles, needing help. Usually, that tiny person is full of chatter. I am not. I usually mumble something like, “I just woke up, I can’t talk right now.”
You see there’s two kinds of people. Morning people who flit around talking to others in the morning about rainbows and unicorns and new cars and plans for later in the day….all topics that could be talked about at ANY other time of the day. And then there’s my people, the non-early birds, who will never catch that first worm, who need a bit of time to adjust to this cruel time of the day, who need some kindly solitude and a cone of protection from “morning people.”
When you are a parent, that cone of protection does not exist. In its place is the crash of thousands of blocks hitting the floor, someone yelling for you to wipe their bottom, an altercation between kids over the rights to a diminutive train engine, and the wail of a toy fire truck. I make a mental note to make sure that the fire truck somehow gets “lost” today.
Our morning routine consists of getting our 3 year old dressed, hair fixed and out the door before her 7:25am bus comes. That sounds simple, but the challenge is to avoid the minefields of blocks, train tracks, and every other toy my 4 year old son owns and has meticulously set up in the hallway and living room. As usual, he’s been up since dawn. If you cause the accidental collapse of his empire, there is really no reparation for those damages.
After I put the 3 year old on the bus, I turn my attention to our 9 year old. Most of the time she is able to fully get herself ready, but I am the resident hair stylist. I also pack her lunch, as school lunches are apparently unfathomably abysmal in her eyes.
During this 30 minute period of helping kids get ready and out the door, our 2 year old persistently asks for breakfast, lunch, dinner, 20 snacks, Halloween candy, a few more snacks, brunch, Thanksgiving dinner, and high tea. We have a “house rule” that the little ones don’t eat breakfast until the school-going kids are out the door. So, when the last kid is out the door, the vultures descend upon the kitchen. At this point, I pour heaping bowls of cereal, bib up the little ones, and try not to get pecked.
At this juncture, I reward myself with a caffeinated beverage for an outstanding rendition of “morning routine.” If I was more awake, I would congratulate the children on the synergy that led to this particularly spectacular performance. However, instead, I’m going to concentrate on my caffeine intake. Because seriously, little ones need to be taught that no real conversation should happen until 8am.
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