Some weeks are tough to find a moment of mindfulness and I am back to my old tricks of anticipating the very next disaster and need. Naughty Mommy. It sends me into a nasty tail spin and never seems to end up with a good result. Well, it was one of those mornings today. Ugh. Hate that. The mornings where you feel like there are so many requests that you wish you could clone yourself.
With five kids, everyone seems to want things, especially first thing in the morning. We are talking 6am here, people. Its still dark out. I have been up since 5:30 to shower and put on clothes, because lets face it, if I don’t it will be a yoga pant day and I will not shower. Not the rut I need to be in.
Now, wanting things and needing things are two entirely different situations which kids, bless their little naive hearts, do not seem to comprehend. I fulfill wants and, I have to admit as an enabler in the situation, I fulfill most needs. Shame on me.
Actual morning conversation with Taylor:
Taylor: “Mom, I need you to curl my pony tail. I made it really high today to look like MaryEllen.”
Well, being the nutty person that I am, I briefly thought about how I was going to juggle the rest of the morning rush AND figure out how to curl her pony tail, which of course, would have to be perfect. Enter a moment of clarity…
Me: “Needs are things you NEED to survive, Taylor. Having me curl your pony tail so that it looks like your American Girl Doll who represents the 50s is not one of those things. You do not need to have it done. You want to have it done. Wants are things that you don’t have to have to survive.”
Seriously, the look on her face was priceless. Confusion was plastered there.
The wants of so many kids can be overwhelming in the morning. I am sure it is a race for many Moms and Dads to deal with it. It is stressful and tiring. With five kids, its like taking on the Ironman, except not in Hawaii, on an empty stomach after swimming to the island from California.
Conor is first out the door, and like a first born, he is a stress case but gets all his morning crap done, relatively quickly and of course perfectly. I admit that getting him to brush his teeth seems to not be a priority for him, but I have to let that one go in order to survive my morning. He eats while walking to school and his lunch is all set up for him to pack. (Yes, I pack lunches. No, not at night. By the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is pack lunch. I used to have them pack, but lets face it, I can’t have them packing only chips and cookies.) I guess he has figured that if he really wants to only give himself twenty minutes to get out the door in order to sleep in, he needs to move fast. Bless this child who really asks for nothing, except for a hug and snuggle, which I am always happy to give.
Maddy is happy and relaxed every time she strolls down the stairs, thumb in mouth and monkey happily rubbing against her nose. She waits patiently at the table for breakfast. She is a ticking time bomb. It is after that that things start to get complicated. She is IMPOSSIBLE to get up the stairs to get dressed. She has a favorite chair that she sits and watches the commotion going on around her. I guess its like watching a train wreck, so I can’t necessarily fault her. By the time I get her upstairs, picking clothes is a disaster. Not those pants. They don’t feel right. Those pants are too hot. Those pants aren’t sporty enough. Ugh! Put on the freaking clothes and lets go. This often breaks down to me threatening to take some activity away if she doesn’t get dressed.
Bro and Piper are small, I get that, but the morning WANTS are huge. “I want toast” in the most ear splitting whine you have ever heard. Enter image of me putting toast in. Wrong jam. I want strawberry, not grape. I don’t want toast. Can I have oatmeal? I want oatmeal.” I make the oatmeal. Oatmeal sits on the table, uneaten for two hours and then gets tossed. 9:00 am rolls around. “I’m hungry.” As for NEEDS, Brody is potty training. When he says he needs to go… you go, or have to fix the mess, which quite honestly sets me back in time. To the point where I sometimes think I might just throw him back in diapers and potty train him at six. Potty must be dumped, washed, disinfected. Hands must be washed. Piper wants to follow. I need to walk her to the bathroom, watch her get on the toilet and then stand outside the closed door until she screams to have me “WIPE MY VAGINA!”
Tay is a walking disaster. She comes down confused and disoriented, like a bear coming out of its cave after 4 months of hibernating. The blessing is that she gets herself dressed before she enters the kitchen, although I am highly suspicious of whether her underwear gets changed. Good thing she showers at night. I know she changes it then. She fumbles through breakfast and then doesn’t seem to move from the table, oblivious to the ticking clock. She has to be directed through the entire morning process. AAAHHH! Even then, after she walks out the door, she leaves a mess in her wake. We call it the Taylor Bomb. It is well known in this house. Coats and hats are every where and her homework, which I swear we put in her binder the night before is on the table.
IF you have made it this far through this post, you will want a payoff for it…
Well, here it is.
I hear Maddy and Taylor on the porch this morning. They are both finding coats and shoes. “Mommy, I CAN’T find my shoes! I NEED you to find them!!!” Taylor responds, “Maddy, she isn’t your butler and you don’t NEED to have her find your shoes. You WANT her to. You will survive. Now, find them yourself.”
There it is. Bliss. Moment of silence for someone sticking up for me and my plight. I have gotten through to her and hopefully Maddy, too. I have done something right in this morning of disaster. The rest of my life will be carefree and glorious. My children will now be the picture of independence. I smile. Someone throw me a party. Calm rolls over me. Can you feel my happiness?
Well, it was nice, but reality had to step back in. “MOM, I NEED YOU TO FILL UP MY WATER BOTTLE AND PUT IN MY BOW!” Oh, well. I had that one moment.