We have a morning problem. It used to be that Logan was the only one who would stomp and growl at me while getting ready for school and Riley would run around being her compliant self, while Finn was left in the sanctity of his crib until the last possible moment. Well, things have changed and Riley has now begun to follow in her sister’s footsteps, leaving me completely exhausted by 8:20 when we’re on our way to school. For the last two days, instead of brushing her teeth, Riley has decided to change her entire outfit two minutes before getting in the car. Yesterday she emerged back in the kitchen, teeth not brushed, with a spaghetti strap summer halter top on and white corduroy pants. I was furious! Meanwhile Logan had gotten herself preoccupied with ten things other than her coat and shoes. I was about to lose it…. As usual!
Now everyone is thinking I’m an ogre, I’m sure. It’s just that there was no time left to change her and Logan was about to be tardy for school. (I am a big fan of punctuality – I guess it could be a slight obsession.) Anyway, that’s how we left home and that’s how she stayed until gymnastics class at 4pm.
I’m getting ahead of myself though. We were on the way to school and I was working hard to control what has become my usual morning drive-to-school rant. I literally make myself sick while spouting off, but I am so frustrated by that point I feel I can barely stop. I was asking the typical (and useless) question “Why don’t you guys listen to me?” and Logan delivered a quick and annoyed “I don’t know.” That, of course, made it worse. I said, “You do know! And I’d much rather hear that you’re sorry and you don’t know what you were thinking, but that you won’t do it again!” And Logan, totally matter-of-factly, said, “Ummmmm. I think I’m going to go with….. I don’t know what I was thinking. Yeah, that’s the one.”
All I could do was burst out laughing, thankful for her comic relief to hit me on the back of the head. Sometimes I get so stuck in my daily routines and responsibilities that I am like a steam engine forging ahead, not taking notice of all the wonder around me. And what’s worse is that I’m creating this “before school” memory for my kids of a ranting pushy lunatic shoving them out the door and into the world every morning! I know I’m not alone. I have a good friend that is experiencing something very similar with her daughter and the bottom line is that it is frustrating. But they are little kids. Because they are little kids, it’s okay to change into a ridiculous outfit, even right before school (we put on her coat and she was fine.) It’s okay to get distracted now – as they grow they’ll lose that opportunity for most of their days and nights! And it may even be alright to be tardy once in awhile, as long as we try our hardest to be responsible and on time.
It’s 6:30 am and I’m about to do it all over again. Wish me luck!