At my very ripe old age of 36, I feel like there’s not much about my day-to-day that could surprise me. The laundry/dish-washing/yearning for ginormous quantities of coffee to power me through my day is a routine set pretty solidly in stone. Even the more exciting events, like driving the minivan into the garage door and crapping my pants in the church foyer, have become rather par for the course around these parts.
Yup, the element of awe and wonder has relatively managed to eke its way out of my days. This, however, is not the case for my children.
I’m not talking about taking time to behold small miracles, like a butterfly-chasing or finding the perfect shiny stone in the preschool parking lot. That kind of stuff is always cool and special and should be supported (despite the fact that it will make us even five minutes later than we already are for wherever we’re going). I’m talking about the genuine surprise my children experience on a frequent basis regarding the basic elements of their day.
When Tina Fey said in Date Night, “Every night! Every night it’s a big surprise to everybody every night that they have to wear pajamas…”, I understood then that she was my soul sister.
And cheers to her because she had already made it the whole way to the evening. We’re so busy being shocked and stymied by the morning we can’t even make it past 8:30am…
It begins before the sun is up:
“But WHY? It’s already 4:30am! Why can’t we get up and start playing now?!” Of course! Let’s all go full-on nocturnal. Why not?!
It happens when we actually get up:
“But Mommy! I want to eat a lollipop for breakfast! Why can’t I?!” This is a harsh reality to embrace, given that for all other days of their lives I’ve obviously plopped the candy jar in front of them first thing in the morning and allowed them to have at it.
Teeth-brushing never disappoints:
My “calm suggestions” (feel free to interpret this as creatively as you’d like) that we not emphatically dance jigs while I attempt to shove the toothbrush in their mouth, someone gets poked in the eye with a toothbrush (it’s always, always the eye) the wails of “Mommy! YOU HURT ME!” are most assuredly heard by the child abuse authorities ten counties over. This event is charming in its consistency.
My favorite is the ritual of getting dressed:
“WHAT?! WHY MUST WE WEAR PANTS?!?!” Pants are apparently a very alarming experience for children.
It is then announced that we must walk to the bus stop:
“But I wanted more time to play! Mom! You’re not being fair!!” Because I alone organize and set the school calendar and bussing schedule for the entire district.
Upon the determination that (surpise!) we must (again) wear shoes to leave the house:
“Ooops! I forgot!” Every day. EVERY DAY.
Upon the further determination that to wear the shoes we must actually put them on our feet:
Commence Mommy hollering, “The other foot! The other foot!”, “Sit down! I can’t put your shoes on when you stand!” and “Stop grabbing my hair!” I’m almost positive the hair-pulling is retaliation for the fact that I’ve just poked them in the eye with the toothbrush. MY BAD.
After multiple panicked sprints back to the house to secure forgotten coats and backpacks, while Mommy grabs onto the counter for a split second to catch her breath:
“Moooooom! Hurry up, you’re going to make us late!” (another chance to be creative, readers! Insert expletives of your choice here!)
At the bus stop where we wait every morning:
“It’s the bus! The bus is here!” Who would have guessed?!
And then…”I love you, Mom,” replete with a sloppy kiss.
Maybe sometimes I do get a bit surprised by my day…
For a fun, 100% accurate look at how our mornings really go down, check out this VProud.tv video, or this one about coping with picky dressers! And if you are ever wondering if it’s really okay to bribe your kids to get them out the door, I love the discussion on this Vproud.tv video!
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