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When I am struggling, as a parent, I often remind myself that when you have children, the days may be long, but the years are definitely short, too short. Somehow keeping this sentiment in mind, helps me remember what’s important when it comes to my children. As we all know, they grow up so fast and, although, we try our best, sometimes we find ourselves in a real parenting “mess.” For me, it’s definitely most mornings before school. Somehow, we just can’t get the mornings right. We have tried everything to minimize the madness that happens nearly every school morning-getting up earlier, going to bed earlier, a morning timetable for my daughter, before bedtime preparation (laying out clothes, preparing backpack etc.), rules, and even more rules. Nothing works, at least not for long. We fall back into our old habits quickly and the chaos returns just as quick.
This morning was definitely one of those mornings that made me question my parenting skills. Too bad my peaceful, sleeping children couldn’t have slept a bit longer this morning. When I tried to wake my nine-year daughter up at 6:57. I was greeted with her usual response, “One more minute, Mom.” If she had been woken up by the alarm clock, instead of me, she would have instantly got out of bed. I waited 3 more minutes, then tried again, same response. I waited another 5 minutes and, no opposition, she slowly rolled out of the bed and headed down the hall to get dressed. I thought, yes!, not much drama here, until the baby... Unfortunately, her rolling woke him up. He was definitely not happy about getting up this morning. Through his tears, I learned he is upset because the curtains are open. I close the curtains, but that didn’t do the trick. He was crying because he just wasn’t ready to greet the day.
By the time the baby is settled and out of bed, it’s nearly time to leave for my daughter’s school. My daughter is nowhere in sight. I find her in her school uniform, which is good, but she is in her room reading a book. She is not allowed to read before school because it only increases the morning chaos. She has no control over her reading. When she starts reading, she can’t stop! She reads while eating breakfast, dressing, even while putting on her shoes. At 7:37, after a quick breakfast, lunch packed, water-bottle filled, and shoes/socks on, with less than 3 minutes to go, the big surprise comes. My daughter needs her hair to be teacher-like because she is playing the teacher today in her class play. What’s teacher-like hair?!?! According to my daughter , “it’s a bun, Mom. I need a bun.”
We are behind schedule, but in the car and off to school #1 when I notice my daughter has forgotten to brush her teeth. Of all mornings, given that the play is today, why did she forget and why did I not check? But, in my defense, she has a bun, although it is slowly becoming less bun-like.
Daughter dropped at school, now it’s the baby’s turn. At least 10 minutes is spent arguing over the right clothes. He wants to wear his superman shirt to school (again), I want him to wear his uniform, it’s not only clean, but also required. He wins! Then it’s breakfast time, We settle on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. An American classic! Even though the baby was born in India and has Indian mannerisms and such, he definitely has American o taste-buds! Now hair, teeth, socks, shoes. All of which are a struggle. Out the door with four cars in his hands “to show Mam,” he says. He also tries to take his legos to school, but I put my foot down on that one.
Whoo-Hoo! It’s 9:22, more than 2 hours after it all began. Both kids have been dropped at school. I am in the house, already tired, but happy that although we had another not-so-great morning, we made it through. Less than 22 hours before our next chance to do it all over again. Tomorrow morning will definitely be better, It will definitely be better!