How's Your Morning Going?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I am awakened at 6 a.m. to the melodious sounds of my toddler screaming “Mommy!” and I am pretty certain that it is too early for that toddler to be awake because they didn’t nap yesterday and then they didn’t fall asleep until 2 hours past their usual bedtime.

I roll over to get out of bed and discover that no, that's not my husband next to me, I hear him in the shower, it's my older child asleep next to me. She somehow managed to sneak her way into our bed in the night. I get out of bed, get the cranky toddler out of his crib and I am already thinking about all the stuff that I have to accomplish today, like the school fundraiser I got guilted into being in charge of that starts next week and I haven’t done a thing to prepare for it, the piles of laundry waiting to be washed and folded, on top of the regular activities of the day.

Everyone is awake now. I am making breakfasts and school lunch and I remember I am out of coffee and dog food. I didn’t get to go purchase those items yesterday because my child had a HUGE tantrum/crying fit because I wouldn’t take her on a bike ride after I took her apple picking, then to gymnastics, and then to dinner at her favorite restaurant. I am startled from my thoughts by a screaming match over control of the iPad, which was only placed within their reach because it was being charged.

After separating the two kids, plugging the iPad back in and feeding the dogs and children I go to place the checks I wrote for Brownie dues and another school fundraiser (headed by some other sucker) into my daughter’s school backpack only to discover a letter from the teacher. It seems my daughter hasn’t been completing all her homework and has been doing a sloppy job. Oh, and it seems my daughter is forgetful, because she conveniently forgot to give me this note on Friday.

I speak with my daughter about the incomplete homework where I am told some lengthy story about how she didn’t get to finish it or forgot or something to that effect and when she realized at school the next day she tried to finish it BUT would you believe her teacher wouldn’t let her finish it in class? Yes, yes I can believe it. Then we have a discussion on why homework is called HOMEwork and how she’s barking up the wrong tree for sympathy lest she forgot that prior to her arrival I was a public school teacher. Few excuses make it by me and I wasn’t buying what she was trying to sell.

I send her up to her room to get dressed for the day only to hear her shriek and that I need to come to her room immediately. She's going into some hyperventilation hysteria. I arrive at her room to find that one of her fish has died. We have a burial in the bathroom. She's over the hyperventilation hysteria in two second and she tells me she has to be honest and is thankful it wasn't the other fish, the one that she actually named and has survived for two years.

I then proceed to coax her into wearing the outfit I placed out for her. She doesn't like it. She doesn't want to wear Capri pants--have I forgotten she doesn't like Capri pants! Forget she picked these Capri pants out herself. Can't she change her mind? NO, no she can't.

She gets dressed. She comes out of her room wearing the Capri pants, bright pink tie-dyed socks and her black high top sneakers.. "This looks stupid!" she tells exclaims. Yes, yes it does, I think silently to myself. "No it doesn't," I tell her as I gather up and attempt to stuff the overflowing pile of dirty clothes back in to her laundry hamper so I can carry it downstairs to wash. While she is watching me do this, she tells me, “You know, sometimes I knowingly put clean clothes into the dirty clothes pile because I don’t want to put them away.” Thanks for the honesty.

I go to get myself dressed and while doing so the toddler squeezes himself into my too tiny closet and drops the giant, heavy toy he’s also crammed into the small space onto my big toe, cracking my toe nail. I scream in pain, which startles my toddler, who begins to cry. I feel terrible at frightening him and then assess whether I should attend to the crying toddler or to my bleeding toe?

I proceed to calm the toddler, forgetting my toe which is getting blood on the wood floors and dress the toddler. I then dress myself while the now calm toddler goes back into my closet and starts playing “dress up” with my jewelry. I hear the distinct sound of small beads hit the wood floor, which is still spotted with blood from my toe. I discover my toddler has broken a necklace and hundreds of tiny beads are all over my bedroom and closet floor. My toddler then tries to show me the broken necklace and attempts to take a few steps towards me over the hundreds of tiny beads on the floor only to slip, fall and hit his head on the footboard of the bed. He's crying again. I calm him. I throw whatever on and try to get my older child out the door and to school on time. Forget the blood and beads on the bedroom floor.

As I head out the door, my oldest child tells me she’s thirsty and can she have a drink? I’m also attempting to put shoes on the toddler, who is still upset from his fall and is telling me, “I don’t like shoes!”. He throws himself on the ground- kicking and thrashing. I get my oldest a drink of milk, I scoop up my toddler and his shoes and I head out the door to wrangle a screaming toddler into his car seat.

School drop off goes without a hitch but my toddler is still crying, now exclaiming he doesn't like his sister going to school. I head to the grocery store to pick up the needed fair trade Ethiopian coffee. I make it into the grocery store, find my needed item and head to the checkout. There are two lanes open. One is express and one is the regular check-out line. Both lines have women in them with massive amounts in their shopping carts. I stand in the regular check-out line only to be asked by the cashier to go to the express lane because it will be faster. I comply.

The express lane is next to the automatic door, which leads to the very busy parking lot. The toddler, who I didn’t put in a shopping cart (why bother? I was only getting 1 thing, coffee beans) thinks this is great fun to pop in and out of the door. I check the sign in the checkout lane. It clearly says “Express Lane: maximum 10 items” above it. I check the number of items in the ladies shopping cart in front of me. Way over 10 items. I roll my eyes and chase the toddler who has managed to stand outside the exit door which has automatically closed on him, shutting him outside. I re-enter to find a man, with 3 items has taken my place in line. “Sorry, I was in line,” I say. He rolls his eyes at me and goes to the other check-out lane. That cashier is done now. He doesn’t send the man with three items to the express lane, like he did me, he begins checking him out. I continue standing in line, attempting to hold on to my toddler, who doesn’t like being held. He wants to play with the automatic door. The man with three items is done. He walks past my lane and out the automatic door.

I wait for the lady with too many items to be in the express lane to finally be done. AT LAST! The cashier tells her the total--she takes out her checkbook! WHO GETS IN THE EXPRESS LANE WITH A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF ITEMS, KNOWS THEY ARE WRITING A CHECK AND THEN DOESN’T WRITE IT WHILE THEY ARE WAITING TO BE CHECKED OUT? AT LEAST I COULD HAVE WRITTEN OUT “TRADER JOE’S” WHILE I WAS WAITING!!!!! Forget that, WHO WRITES A CHECK ANYMORE? GET A DEBIT CARD! The lady then asks the cashier for a pen. I feel an aneurism coming on.

The cashier looks for a pen. “Oh wait,” the lady says, “I’ll pay cash.” I feel the twitch in my eye and the veins beginning to burst.

Finally, it’s my turn. The cashier smiles at me and my wriggly toddler who is trying his best to scratch my eyes out because he wants to play with that automatic door right by the express lane checkout. “Does your son want some stickers?” the cashier asks. “NO!” I say a little too loud, “my son wants you to ring up the one item his mom has so he can get out of here!” I say. I feel bad for being rude, but I’m annoyed and I have scratch marks on my face now, though I successfully averted the aneurism and all I wanted was their whole bean, fair trade Ethiopian coffee.

I make it out. My toddler is highly annoyed. I rethink whether I am going to stop at the pet food store. “Can he make another stop?” I wonder. Let’s give it a try. I arrive at the pet food store. I make it in the door. My toddler sits on the floor. Refuses to go further. I scoop him up, he's covered in snot from so many tantrums today. I'm not even going to attempt cleaning him up. Don't even think about it. I just turn around, I head back to the car. I go home with only the coffee.

Will try again later, maybe. I begin thinking of items I have at home to make homemade dog food as I look at the clock in the car. It’s only 9:15 a.m.

Is it too early for nap time?

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