A Head Start on the Day?

After a few false starts and intentional ignorings of my alarm, I rose before the children needed to with the intent to get a head start on the day.

The idea sounded great last night -you know, during that time I looked over the laundry, paper bills and tax forms, dishes, laundry, to-do list, messy tables, dishes, incomplete homework, laundry, cluttered floors, dirty toilets, almost-sleeping children, and more laundry and dishes- and told myself that I could go to sleep and address it all tomorrow.

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An old picture, but somehow still applicable.

I neglected to recall how tired I am when I first rise.

So, yawning, here I sit, cursing my mental state, for not recalling that I’d need a day to fully wake. I can see why people drink coffee. I think. I’m actually not experiencing much clarity of thought yet.

True, I shouldn’t need much ‘clarity of thought’ to just do dishes or sort laundry. The problem with that is that I’ve pretty much run out of tricks. I’ve tried bribes, calm reasoning, yelling, and reverse psychology; but I just can’t convince myself to do the housework.

No matter what, I know two things: there will never be an end, and there will be more after that.

So, yawning, here I -oh, I already said that. Sorry; tired mom brain.

What’s a dead-brained mother to do? The toilets? Maybe after breakfast, I suppose. If nothing else gets done during this Magic Quiet Hour, I at least got some writing in.

And (don’t tell) some chocolate.

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Photo by Levi Bare on Unsplash

Morning Routines

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The boys’ carpool ride arrives at 8:10 a.m.

Right on cue; our three handsome children who attend elementary school line up at the door Sound of Music style. They’re dressed smartly. They’re clean, their clothes are clean and pressed, and their socks and shoes match each other. What’s more, they’ve packed their own healthy lunch and eaten their own balanced breakfast. As I kiss each on the top of his head, I am treated to three radiant, teeth-brushed smiles. They skip out the door holding hands and singing of brotherly love and making the world a better place. “Goodbye, Mother, Dear,” they chorus as they skip.

Yep, in a parallel universe.

In this universe, my neighbor often shows up around 8:15ish. All right: 8:20. Ish. We’re near the end of the school year, after all.

As if they cannot possibly hear a knock that has sounded on the front door since last August, my elementary-aged children continue to do what they were doing. Boy #1 scrolls down his Amazon wish list to see if he’s already added that particular Lego set. Boy #2 enters the room to demand to know where his mother put his item that he absolutely must have RIGHT NOW. Boy #3 is casually eating cereal while reading a book.

According to an advanced mathematical formula I’ve developed, only 1/3 of the boys will be dressed. 1/2 of that third will not be fully dressed. Further; 0% will have completely clean garments, matching socks, or even matching shoes. The only thing my offspring know about ironing is that the iron gets really hot and they will be burned alive by parents yelling at them if they get within 5 feet of it.

The next five minutes are a complete chaos of sorting shirts to backs, shoes to correct feet and owners, food to lunchbags, backpacks to backs, and a few parental hands to figurative backsides. After passing a last-minute toothbrush swipe and underwear check, my little darlings grumble out the door to the sound of impatient honking.

I love my neighbor. She drives in the morning because she’s doing that whole work-outside-the-home thing, and I’m not usually dressed before 10 because I’m not.

She and I love our children. We love them getting ready on time, dressed in a manner that upholds the family name, and sitting quietly and seat buckledly during carpool. We especially love when they do all of these things without prompting.

It’s a good thing we love them in the real world, too.

The Best Time of Day

Birds twitter joyfully in the trees and early morning sunlight streams innocently across our bedroom walls when I hear it:

Mom? Mo-o-om? MAHM!

The call may vary sometimes; usually, lately, it’s the mid-conversation climax of hearing the caller “playing” with his brother, until the thumping escalates to a definite clunking of a body or piece of furniture making contact with the floor.

I’d say the noises make for a great wake-up alarm, but only if ringtone companies wish to wake their users with a day’s worth of stress from the get-go.

No, mornings are not the best time of day.

The best time is not difficult to discover. All that a potential Sherlock need do is sift through the overwhelming photographic evidence in our electronic picture stockpile. What is the most frequent time that I think, Aw, how sweet! -and save the moment for all eternity?

Sleep.

Okay -we also have an inordinate number of each of them attempting to eat yogurt for the first time. That; and times when they’re reading, riding in the car and reading, or watching each other game on a screen with zombie-like expressions.

OBVIOUSLY, my favorite times are when they are holding still and not destroying something (or someone).

So you can keep your incessant twittering of morning birds. Take back your glowing sunrise and bad alarm ideas. I’ll take what rays of sunset filter through our neighbors’ houses and our tightly-drawn blinds. I’ll get what Nature can yell, from outside, over the sounds of, “But I don’t wanna go to bed yeeeet.”

For, when all are FINALLY quiet and asleep, I know I have a good, solid eight hours of uninterrupted “free time.” True, I ought to also sleep -and sometimes do!- but the thought of the potential freedom alone gets my vote every time.

The best time of day isn’t day at all. It’s night.