Wednesday, January 25

Morning Routines

Here's a quiz question for you. If the singalong at the library starts at 10 a.m. and we need to get our tickets for it by 9:45 a.m., both children are dressed and fed, and the drive to the library, including parking, takes nine minutes, what time do we need to walk out the door to make it on time?

The answer is: 8 a.m. By leaving at 8 a.m., we guarantee being no more than twenty-two minutes late to the half hour singalong.

Why is this? Because by saying, "We absolutely, without a doubt, must be out this door by eight a.m.," instantly puts Doodles into, well, Doodle mode. I know our morning isn't so different than any other family's morning, but it's ours. Our morning (the abbreviated version):

Me: Doodles, let's get your shoes on.
Doodles: I want to ride on the train!
Me: We don't have a train.
Doodles, dragging a dining room chair across the living room and into the playroom: I'm riding the train!
Me: Let's get your shoes on, honey. We're going to singalong. You love singalong!
Sweetie Pie, sitting in the high chair, begins to nod off.
Me: Oh no, you don't! No falling asleep there. You can fall asleep in your car seat.
I take the sleeping Sweetie from the high chair and move her to the car seat, where she instantly starts to wail.
Me: Doodles, shoe time!
Doodles: Mama, can you come here? Mama, can you come to playroom?
Me: You know, E. is going to be at the singalong.
Doodles: E.?
Me: Yep!
Doodles thinks a moment.
Doodles: I make coffee. Mama, here is your coffee.
Me: Thank you, honey. Can we put your shoes on?
Doodles: I need coffee. I need coffee!
Doodles drinks his coffee: Mama, where is E.?
Me: She's putting her shoes on for singalong.
Doodles: Where is E.?
Me: Still putting her shoes on for singalong.
Doodles thinks again.
Doodles: Where is E.?
Me: Um, let me think. Oh, I know! Putting her shoes on for singalong.
Doodles: Mama, I put sugar in coffee.
Me, sniffing: Doodles, do I smell something? Did you poop?
Doodles: No! No poop! No poop! Mama, here's coffee.
Me: Doodles, do you want to play in the snow?
Doodles: Play in snow? Play in snow!!
Me: We can play in the snow outside the library before the singalong.
Doodles, marching out of the playroom: Play in snow! I need shoes!
Me: If we're going to play in the snow, you need your snow pants. Let's get those on.
I actually get the snow bib out and get them on him. I zip it all the way up. Panic sets in on Doodles.
Doodles: Where's my belly button? Where's my belly button?!? [Doodles's security thing is to put the first finger of his left hand in his mouth and the first finger of his right finger in his belly button.]
Me: Here it is.
I unzip the bib just enough for him to get his hand in.
Me: Okay, the boots. [Sniff, sniff. To Sweetie] Oh, you pooped!
I stop to change Sweetie's diaper... and onesie... and pants... and shirt... and socks.
Doodles, coming out of the playroom with two cups on his feet: I'm wearing boots! I'm wearing boots!
Me: Okay, let's get your real boots on.
Doodles: I wearing boots!
[Repeat for 11 1/2 more minutes]
Me: It's time to play in the snow. We need to get your boots on.
Doodles: I wearing boots!
A dog runs past the window.
Doodles: Doggie! Doggie!
Me: Doodles, if we get your boots on fast enough, we can go out and see the doggie!
Doodles runs to the chair: Boots! Boots!
I get one boot on his foot. The phone rings. I debate what to do. I ignore it, but I hesitate long enough that Doodles can hop down.
Me: We've got one more to put on, honey.
Doodles, with a whine: Doggie went away! Doggie went away!
Me: Honey, we have one more boot to go.
Doodles climbs into the living room chair: I watch TV!
Me: Not even close. Let's get your boot on.
Doodles: I watch TV!! I want Wiggles! Little Einsteins!
Me: You're whining. We don't whine.
Doodles, still whining: Pleeeease!
Me: There is no TV until 5 p.m. It is 8:22 a.m. You have a long way to go.
Full scale meltdown erupts that lasts anywhere from three to twenty-seven minutes.
Me: We've got to get your other boot on.
Doodles, screaming: No, no, no, no, no, no!!!
I try to distract, cajole, beg, and bribe. If I'm lucky, another dog will pass by.
Me: Look, Doodles, another dog! Maybe if we get the boot on fast enough, he'll still be down the street.
Doodles immediately quiets and sticks out his foot. Boot goes on. Jacket is flipped on. Diaper bag? Check. Snacks for Doodles? Check. Mei tai for Sweetie Pie? Check. Sweetie Pie? Check. Only... Sweetie Pie is now covered in spit up. I evaluate. I swipe at it with my sleeve. Good enough. I get Doodles in the car. I get Sweetie in the car. I pile all our belongings in the front seat. I realize I've had to pee for the past twenty minutes, but I figure I can ignore it for an hour or so till we get home.

Now getting from the car to the library and through the library past the elevator, computers, and countless other obstacles is a whole 'nother story. But it's all worth it to spend a half hour sitting on the floor, legs going numb, as I beg Doodles to dance (to wear him out for a good nap) to the bossa nova version of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and bounce Sweetie Pie to keep her from wailing.

Anyone who says she loves every second of motherhood... is an obvious liar.


Blogger Roni said...

Ha! That sounds just about how our morning went today.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Chrissie said...

My new routine is to take said toddler and carry him/her out to the car shoeless. Once child is securely buckled into the carseat then, and only then, do I attempt the horrifying task of shodding said toddler.

Of course, if the kid manages to break away from you, you end up with some really soggy socks but hey, life is meant to be lived on the edge, right?

6:00 PM  
Blogger Daniella said...

yee-gads. You're making me re-think this having-a-kid thing.

12:52 PM  

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