Why did no one tell me how hard it is to get two children up, fed, dressed, out the door and off to their respected places of learning for the day? You would think that I would know this, being the mother of a five-year-old and all. I have been horribly spoiled the last few years with our beloved Meme feeding my children breakfast when they arrived at her house at the break of dawn. That and the fact that my husband and I were leaving so early in the morning the only thing the children had time to do was get up, get dressed, and out they went into the early dawn to the waiting arms of their car seats.
Things have changed quite a bit around here. They awake at their leisure, no rushing around like crazy people trying to get out the door many times with sleep still in their little eyes. Now they happily tumble into bed with Mommy where we snuggle for a bit, then get up and the regimen of the morning begins. It may seem leisurely to them, but I have to keep us on a tight schedule or it can go downhill fast.
It begins with breakfast. We have to remain in our pajamas while consuming the most important meal of the day, otherwise we will undoubtedly have to have a wardrobe change due to a milk spill, yogurt blob, syrup smear; you get the picture. Then on to the brushing of the teeth and washing our hands and face, again all the while in our pajamas due to that pesky toothpaste and its inability to stay on the toothbrush and also my darling son’s quest to spit with such force into the sink that it’s as though a frothy volcano has erupted. All of this usually goes pretty well, unless the boy decides to lecture on the particulars of Betsy Ross and her sewing during breakfast, at which point I then begin to nervously look at the kitchen clock hoping that I can be the good mother and listen attentively but knowing that we must stay on schedule.
Here comes the tricky part: getting dressed. Usually I have already showered and dressed before the children get up. If this has been accomplished it’s going to be a great day. While getting the actual clothes on their little bodies isn’t a problem, the shoes are a whole different story. If we do not get the shoes on immediately after we get dressed we are in for some trouble. There must not be any outside influences to distract the boy from putting on his socks, sitting on the back steps and untying his perfectly double-knotted laces so that he may put on his shoes. If there are, we are in for some major whining and grumpiness, and that definitely can throw a wrench in our perfectly timed morning.
We are in kindergarten, so as many of you know we are still learning to tie our shoes. So, with that being said, putting on our shoes in the morning takes a bit of time and patience. And let me tell you, if there is whining involved, my patience wears thin rather quickly. After the shoes are on both their little feet they have about 27 minutes to play if the morning goes well. If it was a rough morning, with lots of crying and my little one holding onto my legs all morning (which does happen) while I’m trying to put on my make-up and put my shoes on (this is where I feel like whining), we have about two minutes to play. On the two-minute play mornings I then have to hear “I didn’t have any time to play” as we walk out the door and manage to get two lunch boxes, two little book bags, my coffee (which I didn’t spill, hooray), my work bag and the two children and myself in the car. And oh, don’t forget to lock the door to the house, is the coffee pot on, did you turn the flat iron off?
Mornings are hard but I love them just the same. I love that I get to spend the extra two hours that I didn’t have before with my children. I am grateful that I get to put my boy on the bus every day and wave them both off every morning. I am so thankful for this time with them because one day they will know how to tie their shoes, they will want a granola bar for breakfast which they will eat on the way to school, they will be too old to snuggle with Mommy in her bed and they will not care about “play time.” But I bet they will always spit toothpaste everywhere; at least some things I can hope will stay the same.