Any other morning

Posted: Feb. 14, 2020 12:01 am

I know I'm going to miss them being young but please don't start with me today, Karen!

Today I want to sit in a dark corner and rock myself for a hot second while I stare at the wall and evaluate my life. Today the children broke me.  Not like full on broke me and I'm having a break down, but just I need some quiet time and a drink, broke. The children are oblivious of course. The van telling off/longest trip to school ever was, as always, a slow and steady accumulation of things.  

It could be that I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and had zero tolerance for repeating myself. It's always dangerous string to pull at though. I find myself asking is it them or me, a lot....especially with the teenagers. Like, when they say, 'Nobody asked you.' to me, are they trying to be funny or did they want to fight?  That's a question for another day. Today, we can clearly allocate some blame to the children in question.

One source of energy depletion in the morning is attitude and/or moaning about being awake, having to go to school and general complaints about everyone around you. When the fights started I'm always roped in to being the judge and executioner but let me assure you, there are no winners. For instance: Yes, it's annoying when someone chews too loudly however it's also annoying to start a fight with a person chewing too loudly.  This is our everyday. Get up, get over it and get on with your life. If someone is bothering you, say no thank you and ignore them. You may move to another room if necessary but just take care of yourself without causing a scene. Being able to do this will prepare you for dealing with people in the real world, where you're not allowed to punch people for their lack of manners and being short tempered get's you nowhere.  

The other thing I find daunting is finding a mess I didn't expect. Especially messes that I asked not to happen or to be dealt with the night before. I'm not talking about dinner or dishes or laundry. Don't worry, the adults sorted all that. I'm talking about the paint supplies being drug out and left open and paintbrushes and paint everywhere in the basement. I'm pretty sure I left guidelines for painting and clean up and it was blatantly disregarded. Not what I want to find when I go downstairs first thing in the morning to change the laundry over.  

Next is last minute prep after I've been asking you if you're ready for the last half an hour and you keep assuring me you're ready, even though you have no shoes on.  How is the TV still on?! I swear if anyone tries to tell me they still need to pack their lunch the gloves are coming off. I start to announce the need to move towards the car. What everyone hears is, let's play soccer in the snow and mud with the dogs. Then while I'm yelling at the dogs trying to get them inside, the kids decide to finally get in the vehicle opening all the doors and letting the dogs in the van.  

Cue head explosion and a series I call, van enlightenment where I hope that the glass in the van is sound proof. I tell them what they'll be doing after school to make up for this debauchery of a morning. I realize I'm still yelling a block out from the school so I finish up and start telling everyone that I love them. Also, sorry I'm not sorry for the chit chat. Get it together! We hug and hi-five and I send them to school.

When I get home to the older child staying home with a fever, I apologize for the yelling and chaos if it woke her up. She just shrugged and said, 'It sounded like any other morning.'  

The sad thing is, I'm not sure she's wrong. 

Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.