There's nothing Mama J likes more than being asked for help, if it involves redesigning a domestic system, right?
So, here we go.
Our mornings, which I found incredibly pleasant (for reasons that are soon to become obvious) were clearly no longer working for E., who is typically (though not always) responsible for getting the kids off to school and/or camp. They looked something like this:
- E. wakes at some ungodly hour, and instantly begins to ruminate about work. And is itching to get off to work as a result. But the three ladies in the house are still sawing logs.
- E. pees, heads downstairs to feed the dog, who has already stuck his wet nose in our faces about sixteen times, and is followed by both the 90-pound dog and the annoying cat with her annoying meow. Frequently, E. trips over one of these obscene creatures and breaks his ass on the stairs.
- E. brings me my coffee. I try to open one eye. Often unsuccessfully.
- E. brings in one sleepy, grump-ass kid at a time to cuddle in bed while he harrumphs and/or goes off to shower.
- Kids immediately fight over who is taking over the bed and who has had "mama cuddle time" vs. "dada cuddle time" and whether one is singing the lyrics to the Justin Bieber song "Never Say Never" correctly and who got more cookies yesterday.
- E. drags the fighting children down the stairs (tantrums ensue) for a leisurely breakfast. And I do mean leisurely. We're talking Paris Hilton leisurely. The kids fight some more, this time over who got more Gorilla Crunch in her bowl and why we really have to eat lactose-free yogurt (protest punctuated by a loud FART) and who was mean to who.
- E. drags the fighting children back up the stairs to get dressed/have potty time/brush their teeth/brush their hair/fight over who gets to have water fun day at camp vs. who has the lyrics to the Justin Bieber song "Baby" correct. One child typically shoves another child off a stool in the bathroom and someone ends up mildly concussed. At this point, I get my lazy butt out of bed and try to help somebody get dressed or put their hair in a ponytail because otherwise E. is going to engage in infanticide/wife-icide.
- E. drags the fighting children back downstairs, wrestles shoes on to their feet, crams backpacks into the car, and buckles them into the car before silently weeping in despair. And that's all before the long trips it takes to get the kids dropped off, AND before a long day of work.
- Meanwhile, I enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee, journal, and read, because, people, my day has BEGUN.
Anyway, E. has had it. So here's our new system, implemented this morning:
1. The girls are awakened by alarm clocks at 7am. Nolie gets Disney music and Addie requested NPR (?). They can have a few minutes to wake up in bed. E. and I also get ourselves out of bed, and make our bed, so that there is no cuddle temptation (alas, cuddling is now for evenings and weekends only). Luckily, I have given up coffee, and my other eye is slowly beginning to open, so this is easier than it would have been two months ago. Also, it's summer, and I'm not working like an ass.
2. The girls have laid out their clothes the night before. Before they leave their rooms, they get dressed, and then go do their hair. Then they get their own sorry asses downstairs for breakfast.
3. They eat. They fight. They laugh. They sob. Whatever. It's fifteen minutes.
4. They brush their teeth, go potty, get their shoes on, and go out to the car. Backpacks were also packed the night before.
Anyway, that's it. This morning's text from E. said "Best morning ever!" so I think we're on to something.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
I just have my decaf green tea and do my journalling after everyone leaves, guilt-free, and in peace and quiet. Much better anyway.