Some school mornings the first sip of my morning coffee tastes different. I actually taste my coffee some mornings. I know that you might think, what is she talking about? You taste everything that goes into your mouth. However, some school mornings, it tastes different. It tastes calm. It tastes relaxed. It tastes at ease. In other words, It tastes happy.
Let me backtrack a bit. In the past, my morning routine has consisted of hitting the snooze a couple more times. My middle daughter would walk into our bedroom fully dressed,combing her hair,telling me to wake up,as she reminds me of the time. She has an alarm clock in her room and has never hit the snooze button,not even once. I get up,because the guilt of not being awake before my daughter has already seeped in. I ask her to wake her older sister and she usually replies with a sigh,because she knows that her sister will not be pleasant. It’s funny how one child can be a morning person and the other not so much. Anyway, what I’m pretty much getting at is that I self-consciously want to let you know, that there have been school mornings, when my 7-year-old wakes me up.
When our other two daughters wake up,the morning chaos begins. When I say chaos,I mean chaos. The chaos starts as I enter my pre-teens bedroom, who my husband has nicknamed “Sloth Girl”. ( she doesn’t mind the nick name btw and fully admits to being a morning sloth) My first attempt to wake her is in a
gentle,soothing tone with a little rub and shake,letting her know the time. My second attempt is usually not the same as the first. I usually leave the room and carry on with the other morning duties which include feeding my daughter who has been up for the last half hour and is probably starving. While I fix her breakfast I am scrambling to pack lunches. At the same time, I am grabbing a mug, because all I can think about is my morning coffee, and how I should pack lunches the night before. I glance at the clock on the microwave and realize that my eldest has not come downstairs for breakfast yet. Rather than walking back up the staircase, I yell from the bottom in my not-so-pleasant tone,” It’s 8:15!!!” I know that this attempt can be fatal in how her morning will begin. This tone makes her grumpy and the chaos just heightened. I however,haven’t had my coffee, or finished packing lunches and somehow my tone sounds like it is all her fault. When she finally comes down the stairs to eat her breakfast, I rush her to pick up the pace. The energy in the kitchen starts to feel chaotic. Our toddler then wakes up and comes down the stairs holding on to the railing with one hand and her long fuzzy blanket in the other. The first thing that she would like is to be carried. With the only two hands that I have, yet still need to use for other things,I lift her up,give her a few back rubs and place her on the sofa to watch Dora the explorer. I need to occupy her with something so that I can get the other girls to school on time. I place her breakfast in front of her and proceed with the morning hustle. The girls still need to brush their teeth,get their hair brushed and pack their bags. Back up the stairs they go. Teeth brushing time
turns into some type of argument between the two oldest, most likely because our eldest is in her morning funk and takes it out on her younger sister. “You’re taking so long to brush, we are going to be late!” Now our eldest has turned the rush onto her sister, who was actually the one who woke the household up, dressed with her hair combed! They come back down the stairs and as I watch their feet come down the staircase, one pair of feet is bare. I have to send her back up to her room for socks, which makes her grumpier than she already is. She marches back up, and then marches back down, with one neon orange sock on and the other neon green. Do I mention anything about the fact that they don’t match? No, forget it. Not enough time, plus we are going to be late. The girls begin to put their shoes and coats on. I grab my toddler who has eaten maybe two scoops of Cheerios, milk spills all over the coffee table. I put her coat on her, and shove her bare feet into her rubber boots. I buckle her up in her car seat, the other girls buckle themselves up. We all look at the clock on the dashboard as I start the car. We have 5 minutes until the bell rings! I race up the hill and give the girls the morning lecture about the importance of getting up early and being at school on time. I also let them know how frustrating it is to start the day in such a rush. The school yard approaches and I immediately apologize. I don’t want them to have a bad day, because their morning wasn’t so pleasant. I bring up memories of the mornings that we aren’t in a rush. The mornings that we have time to walk to school, and play a bit at the playground. I hope that we can try to have more mornings like that. I pull the car forward into the drive-thru and stop the car. Our eldest opens her door, but before she steps out of the car, she looks at me and says,” Sorry mom, I love you.” I look at her round changing face with so much love and guilt and reply, “no , I’m sorry honey, I love you too, have a great day.” I turn my head, look back at our middle daughter and say,” have a great day, I love you.” Our eldest waits for her younger sister to get out of the car, and they walk away together. I watch the key chains on one backpack jingle around and the vibrant pink of the other back pack as they walk together to their classrooms.
The morning chaos is over,and as I drive away,I already miss them. The guilt that riddles me is still existent. All I can think about is that none of
that rush is their fault.
You see,if I had just actually smelled,tasted and finished my coffee on these mornings, the mood of the morning would be less chaotic. If I would have prepared the lunches the night before, or perhaps I should have had the girls help pack the lunches. If I woke up BEFORE the girls,and maybe even fit in a morning jog, and perhaps read the daily paper,the dynamics that
morning would have been less rushed, less moody and most importantly, more enjoyable for everyone.
How you start your day, determines the rest of your day. So this school year my goal is to try and taste my coffee every morning. My family will appreciate me more for it.
*With the new school year quickly approaching, what are some ways that you try to stay organized with your families morning routine to ensure that it is organized and less chaotic. I would love to hear!