Waking up when the childrenare asleep is a challenge. Part ofme is saying, ‘Why on earth am I getting up if all my children aresleeping?’ Then there’s the partof me that says, ‘This is your last chance to be alone today!’ So I gotup. But then there’s the fact thatit’s already late and I really should wake my son up for school. Bummer.
I put a big, fake smile on myface, walked in the door and… “Wake up dear children of mine! It’s a beautifulday! Let’s get up and have a great day together!” Yeah, that’s how you doit. All smiles, how can they beanything but cheerful when I start their day like that?
Sometimes I can be sonaïve. My son pulls the cover overhis head. My daughter escapes pastmy legs and runs into my room so she can smother my sleeping baby withkisses. Cute, but not really. “Okay, buddy,” I say in anunderstanding tone. “I know it’s hard to get up, especially since we’ve been sooff schedule with the chagim, but let’s try to do the best we can.” What’s the response for my amazing showof empathy? A groan and the covers get pulled tighter.
At this point I have a myriadof insults I’d like to hurl his way. The least of which is, ‘Come on. I’m trying my best to be positive here, even though I’m dead tired andonly getting up to get your skinny butt to school.’ But in my head they’re growing to, ‘Listen you little twirp,I used to have a skinny butt too, but you ruined that just like you’re ruiningtoday, just like you ruin EVERYTHING!’
Okay mama, cool it. The kid is five years old. Just leave. Just turn and walk away before anything in your mind comesout your mouth. And I do. Score one for mama! I come downstairsand eat breakfast with my daughter. While I’m making my coffee, my son slinks into the kitchen in hispajamas. I calmly tell him to getdressed. “No,” he says equallycalm. Ooh, that’s annoying. Heat rising, blood pressure rising,anger rising. “No breakfast foryou bud, and you’re going to school in your pj’s.” “No I’m not, and I’ll make myself breakfast. And I’m not going to school.”
I’m at a very dangeroustipping point here. Quick, whatare my options? Remember thatshow, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?I’d like to call a friend, Regis. And so I do. I call afriend whom I know also has a difficult son. She tells me some of her frustrations and tactics. I vent about mine. I’m ignoring my son in hispajamas. Blood pressure dropping,core temp cooling. I say goodbyeand face my son.
“Here’s what’s going tohappen. I am setting my phonealarm for ten minutes. When thealarm goes off, I’m packing the little ones in the stroller and leaving. I hope by then you are dressed and willcome with us.” After a panicked protest I add the best part. “Would you like to pick the alarmsound?” And let us take a moment hereto thank Steve Jobs for the iphone. Bless your soul. “Really?Any sound I want?”
So, after going through allthe sounds on my phone, at least twice, he picks robot. And just like that, sets off running tobeat the clock. Look at that, he’strying to beat a clock and not me! And after comes the best part…
“Mama, can we set the alarmfor our walk to school?” Oh My G-d. The walk to school is usually grounds for the biggest fight of the day.He hates walking. He wants todrive like all his friends. His legsare tired. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s too sunny. It’s too rainy. On and on and on. But not today. Today we were racing the clock!
Do I consider myself arockstar after this magnificent morning? Yes, yes I do. And I hope to aspire to this level ofbadass-rock-magnificence every day!
1. This rockin’ morning
2. The goodbye kiss I got at school
3. My baby’s enormous poop didn’t leak up his back
4. The sunlight on the leaves with the dark cloudy skybehind
5. My garlic got planted before winter (Thanks Cindi!)