*Facebook 12/13 At some point every morning I wonder whether maybe it would be better for everyone involved if we all just went back to bed.
5:30am - The dogs’ barking will wake you up. Leap out of bed and run down the stairs. If you are fast enough, you can get to them before they pee on the floor.
5:37am - While you’re outside hopping from bare foot to bare foot because it is freezing and the stupid dogs won’t come back inside no matter how many times you yell for them, you will hear the alarm going off upstairs. Forget the dogs and run back up the stairs so the alarm doesn’t wake Bill.
5:38am - Apologize to Bill for waking him up…again, and go back downstairs. Open the door and pour the dog food into the dishes. The dogs’ super-sonic hearing will kick in when they hear the food, so it will be worth it to leave the door open even though you’re letting the cold in. Note: Don’t stand between Brady (our 80 pound golden retriever “puppy”) and the food unless you want to sit on the kitchen floor.
5:40am - For the next 10 minutes, you are completely alone. If you remembered to put all the parts of the coffeepot together correctly last night, then you can pour a cup of coffee and sit on the couch with your laptop checking Facebook. If you didn’t do it right, you will waste the 10 minutes cleaning up the huge mess in the kitchen. Write yourself a note to keep hinting to Bill about needing a less-complicated coffeepot. *Note: if any children are sick, have something exciting going on at school today, didn’t do their homework or woke up with the dogs because you weren’t fast enough, you have lost these 10 minutes. Protect them with your life.
5:50am - Wake up the kids. Don’t be fooled - do not leave the rooms until you actually see 12 feet on the floor.
5:55am - No seriously. Get back in there. They all went back to sleep.
6:00am - Lock the bedroom door. Get back in bed. Pretend you can’t hear the kids yelling and that they are all perfect angels getting themselves ready for school. Assume that the big kids are helping the little kids and that everyone is smiling and perhaps humming the Brady Bunch theme song.
6:05am - Yell at the kids to get dressed and get downstairs. Tell Sam to get out of bed right now or you are going to take away his ipod.
6:10am - Get in the shower. Stay there until the kids notice that you aren’t paying attention and start banging on the door or barging in.
Somewhere between 6:11 and 6:20 - Get out of the shower. Shoo the children away and brush your teeth.
6:20am - Stick your head out of the bedroom and call down to them to make sure they pour milk in Gabby and Levi’s cereal. Calm quarrels and refocus unfocused children. Find three pairs of socks, two hairbrushes, and a backpack.
6:25am - Get dressed. Depending on if it is a fat day or a skinny day, try on 3 to 17 outfits. Ask Bill what he thinks of each one until he is so annoyed he gets up and gets in the shower. Then accessorize.
6:45am - Yell down to the kids that they have 5 minutes. They actually have 15 minutes, but they can’t tell time and 5 minutes sounds more desperate.
6:50am - Put on make up and choose a pair of shoes. Kiss your husband and go downstairs.
6:55am - Call up to Bill to bring down the jacket, purse and phone you forgot upstairs. Find another hairbrush, two pairs of boots, three lunchboxes and a jacket. Match unmatched socks. Zip unzipped coats. Brush unbrushed hair.
7:00am - Get the kids into the cars. Go back inside between 12 and 79 times to get the things that they forgot. Then go back 8 more times for things you forgot.
If it is now between 7:10 and 7:15 - kiss Bill and tell him you hope he has a great day. Hug the kids going in his car and mention something specific you know they are doing today and something else you’ll do when they get home. Then calmly get into the Pilot and drive the speed limit to school.
If it is after 7:15 - yell goodbye to Bill as you both race down the street in separate vehicles. Throw the backpack that one of the kids left on your front seat through his passenger side window at the stop sign and blow everyone a kiss.
7:50 – As Homeroom students arrive in your classroom, answer your ringing phone so that the school secretary can inform you that Emily just threw up.
*Facebook 4/1: Why does work sometimes feel like vacation?
Copyright © Jody Hoffman 2011