Unless, of course, it is a song about oversleeping … and it all going downhill from there. But let’s start at the beginning of this little story.
It is well documented that I am not a morning person. I am not one of those people whose feet hit the ground the instant the alarm begins buzzing (or, heaven forbid, one of those people who awaken without an alarm. For the record, I think those people are all liars. Who wakes up unless it is mandated by a loud screeching noise or a child projectile vomiting? Exactly.)
Anywho, I may not be great at hopping up as the sun rises and declaring “it’s a great day to be alive!” But what I am excellent at is recognizing my weaknesses, and therefore we have a little system at our house: anything that can be done the evening before must be done the evening before. Get all your clothes prepared, all your permission forms signed, your backpacks packed before you go to bed. If I am signing things, fetching matching socks, retrieving those little sticky, bendable stick-toy things from your hair that you fell asleep playing with the night before (and yes, that really happened-though not last night) …. well, let’s just say our day will not get off on the right foot.
And we have not been late to school once this year. NOT ONCE. But that almost changed today. Here’s the series of events:
1. I awaken to hear my husband (who kindly made the girls breakfast while I lolled about in bed wondering how many more days before I can break out the shorts and flip flops) saying “um, if it’s picture day, you better check that outfit with mom.”
2. I arrive downstairs to discover a child in jeans, with a dress on top. Child is sent to retrieve matching leggings to wear in lieu of jeans. Child retrieves leggings, but discovers one half of the pair of flats which will look best with the ensemble is missing. Search and rescue mission ensues, to no avail. Shoes requiring socks are brought in as an acceptable alternative, yet no matching socks are on hand because I am way behind on laundry because my hand is broken (long story, I’ll fill you in later.) After several minutes of searching, socks are located.
3. Two forms requiring input and writing checks are presented at 7:25 a.m. – both are due today. I am now praying for calm and guidance, and wondering if drinking a glass of wine RIGHT NOW would smooth out the current situation. I don’t drink any wine at this time, I almost never actually drink when I threaten to drink, but the idea is intriguing.
4. We arrive at school with five minutes to spare. And by five minutes to spare, I mean they have got five minutes to get their backpacks out of the car, get inside the school and to their classrooms. I should point out it’s a pretty big school, and one of my kids is in a “learning cottage.” “Learning Cottage” is a fancy word for “double-wide-trailer-where-we-funnel-the-kids-we-don’t-have –room-for-in-the-actual-building,” if you’re wondering.
5. I step out of the car into dog poop. I am not kidding. I was momentarily confused by the softness of the concrete, then realization kicked in, along with the realization that hollering the coarse word for dog poop at an elementary school at 7:41 a.m. was not acceptable. So instead I made an “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG” noise, and the man beside me grabbed his child’s hand and rushed her toward the school building.
6. We take something akin to the walk of shame toward the school. I say this because there are lots of adults still in their pajamas, though, thankfully few in their clothing from the night before. There are two groups of people rushing into the elementary school in the mornings: parents who are showered, dressed for their work day, and speeding junior into school so they can bounce into Starbucks on the way to their 8:30 meeting. They are not ashamed so much as they are flummoxed they might have to skip their latte. Then there are the rest of us, in five-year-old used-to-be-black-now-they’re-gray sweatpants, a sweatshirt with a hole in it and coffee stain on the front, and hair looking like Nick Nolte’s mug shot. We are the ones averting eye contact with others. And some of us have dog poop on our shoe.
7. Perky gym teacher says “have a nice day!!!!” and I shoot him a look that almost guarantees my kids do a few extra crunches next time they are in gym class.
I’m telling you all this for several reasons: first, it is important to have routines so your day runs smoothly. Second, learn to devise a plan “B” on the fly. Third, you should not come to my door early in the morning, or you will likely be frightened by my appearance. Fourth, I arrived home to this message spelled out (the evening before) on my bathroom sink in stretchy band bracelets by the very child who could not find a pair of shoes or socks this morning.
I think I can skip that glass of wine, after all.
XO – Amy Mac
CONGRATS to Katy A. from Brookville, Pennsylvania – your green polka-dotted purse is in the mail!