Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Five Universal Laws of Mornings

What is it about the morning routine? Why can't we get through one measly cup of coffee and *possibly* the gossip section of the paper before the Giant Clusterf**k of Whacktacularness washes over MommyLand, turning our mornings from a Norman Rockwell stroll to school into a Norman Bates "what have you done??" stabbiness that sends us peeling rubber out of the school parking lot.


Rule #1: The Decibel Factor

Why is it no matter how much I plan ahead, pack lunches the night before, and have your clothes out and backpacks in the car, I still wind up screaming you guys stupid. Every furkin' morning. Please. It's a simple list of five things: eat, brush, dress, bed,and stuff. Just do those things and Mommy won't lose her schmidt. Problem is, the more I yell, the less this crap gets done. Why? Because now we're wiping noses and drying tears and making last-minute bowls of cereal because we burned the eggs because we were busy yelling.


Rule #2: The "I Forgot" Clause
It's now April. We have been going to school for EIGHT FREAKIN' MONTHS. Why are you still looking at me like Long Duck Dong when we ask you "where is your backpack?" It's not in a big lake. It's hanging on the peg in your bedroom. Right where I hung it last night when I found it on the driveway. And now we're at school and you're saying "AUTOMOBILE??" and my eye is starting to twitch.



Rule #3: The Entropy Effect
Why? Why is there always a mess? Either there's a bowl of cereal dripping down my dining room table, or a spilled carton of orange juice slowly seeping into that teensy space between the counter and the refrigerator where magnets apparently go to die, or you've changed clothes so many times that your bureau thought it was auditioning for The Exorcist and Linda Blair-ed all over your bedroom. The other day we all got out the door with the kitchen and bedrooms intact, and I came home to find the dog had made a lovely buffet of used kitty litter, a dead mouse (or bird...it was hard to tell), regurgitated toilet water and a box of Maxi pads. My house now smells like the inside of a shoe.

Rule #4: The Daddy Variable
You need to get out of my house. Immediately. And stop
looking at me like that or you're getting a lap full of tea.

Dear My Spouse, You need to be gone by the time the children wake up. We'd both like to think that you could be helpful in situations such as these. And you -- you dear, sweet, kind, clueless man -- actually do believe you are being helpful.You're helpful in the way that speed bumps are helpful, and that's in ruining my speedy transmission. You just slow everything down. Rather than being the guy who finds and places the missing shoes on the barefoot child, you're really just the fourth voice outside the bathroom door asking me where said shoes are when I'm trying to hurry up and poo. Do us both a favor. Leave. And leave a nice big pot of coffee for me when you go. Chances are, you do that, there's a good chance you can get a peek under the hood tonight.


Rule #5:  The Time/Appearance Dichotomy
I showed up at school once with a fork in my hair, a t-shirt that said "I love it In&Out" on it, and a pair of stilettos. It didn't matter that  that the fork was actually an improvement over my forkless hair. Or that the t-shirt was for a chain of hamburger restaurants. Or that the shoes were the closest ones to the front door. All that mattered was that, for the twenty-seven people who saw me that morning, I was a deranged hooker who had just gotten off work and was desperately trying to feed the disembodied Lord Voldemort in the back of my head.

All I need is eleven uninterrupted minutes. To do those five little things - eat, brush, dress, bed and stuff - and we're good for the day. And you get off to school happy and fed and with matching shoes. And I get three-to-seven blissful hours where I am Perfect Mommy. A trait that can only be achieved when you, my children, are not here.

Until then, I'll be contemplating how to get that fork out of my hair. A big pot of cold coffee outta help.


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

55 comments:

  1. How could there be no comments on this piece of brilliance yet? (Terrible sentence, but it's late. And I'm tired.) The Daddy Variable is too, too true. He thinks he's helping, but really our 4-year-old is wearing shorts and a muscle t-shirt, watching some crap on TV and eating three kinds of yogurt for breakfast. And I'm late, and left alone to wake everyone else up and dress them and brush them and feed them something, AND nurse the littlest one for a half-an-hour I don't have and I don't even get a shower till 9:30 that night! Please, hunny, just go! I'll be anonymous just because I can't figure out how to post a comment. But I'm Lara.

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  2. I can't decide which part if my favorite...the Long Duck Dong reference or the 'peek under the hood' comment. Love, love, love.

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  3. AUTOMOBILE... SNORT... THANKS!

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  4. YES YES YES to number 4. He complains that I am freaking out and rushing before we leave. But he showers 15 minutes before we have to go which means which he is showering I am getting myself ready, the baby ready, and all the crap we need to bring ready. The best part? When he is getting dressed he is asking me to iron his shirt.

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  5. Oh my....love it! Mornings in this house are horrible also!

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  6. This is why God allowed me to understand my limitations and kept me out of jail. I have 2 children. 10 years apart. Didn't plan that. Just worked out that way.

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  7. Rule #2 is perfection. The Daily Amnesia. Groundhog Day. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. As if they are reset overnight and awake in the morning in factory mode. The previous 8 months of daily nagging never occurred. Shoes? Backpack? School? Huh? And (eyes brimming) why are you yelling at me?

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  8. I am laughing so hard I am crying! As I just went through this all 40 min ago while attempting to get my two out the door and to school. You have , again, made my day. (I dont believe I even got to brush my hair this morning, and I am currently sitting at my desk at work wearing mis matched shoes...)

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  9. True. So True. And I am no better at it after 10 years.

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  10. That was absolutely hilarious! I only had time to read Facebook and one blog post this morning, and I'm so glad this was the one. Thank you for making me laugh out loud at your completely honest and outrageously funny take on a typical morning. :D

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  11. this is every household in america (at least those with parents who are up and "help" the darlings off to school!). Cheers to that pot of coffee!

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  12. Oh you ladies you made my morning :) Love, love, love this blog about the mortal enemy of all Mommies - Morning. Would love to know how feeding Voldemort worked out :P

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  13. This was perfect for my morning today. I so needed to feel the presence of the sisterhood. For some reason, Older Son woke up on the cranky side of the bed and whined about every aspect of the morning routine. I have never been so happy to put that kid on a school bus!

    And Kate, sweetie, get yourself a Keurig. The coffee will always scald the inside of your mouth. It's soothing after all the screaming.

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  14. Oh thank you for this! This morning SUCKED! Yelling and Mickey Mouse and crying and unchanged diapers. Finally got the oldest out the door and to school. Now for more coffee. And Mickey Mouse.

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  15. Perfect timing! My youngest decided to get up extra early this morning and paint me a little masterpiece with paints found in her diaper. Nothing like adding that extra bath to your morning routine! So misery really loves company... Oh, and dad--well, he's getting his 20 bathroom "me time" like every other morning of course!

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  16. OMG ... Spot on! Love it.

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  17. Thanking my lucky stars once again that I have one child and that she's very independent.. currently she's 9 and in 3rd grade. She gets up, gets dressed, brushes hair and teeth, gives me a kiss goodbye, makes sure to grab all her stuff and walks to school and has breakfast there.. she's out the door within 20 minutes every morning and has been this entire school year with only 2 or 3 mornings waking up maybe 15 minutes later than usual..

    how did I get so lucky?

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  18. "The Daddy Variable!!" Perfect! Thank you for describing exactly how I feel. Yes in theory it would be nice to have extra help, but somehow when you're not here, we actually get out of the house early! Imagine that.

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  19. oh.my.gawd....and I thought it was just me who risked an aenurysm (?) every.single.morning..... hysterical. still laughing out loud at rule #5.... thank you ladies, so very much, for making me feel normal. (ish). xxx

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  20. you ladies, rock! raising my travel mug of coffee that I poured two hours ago in a toast to you! :)

    PS - wouldn't it be great if blogger had a "like" button for the comments? loved all the comments this morning.

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  21. do you have cameras in my house? I needed this read this morning for sure. Thank you! Awesomely, humorously accurate!

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  22. As a mommy who had a horrible how-the-f*ck-did-my-life-turn-into-this? moment this morning I cannot tell you how much I appreciate knowing that I am not alone!
    Thank you spawn of Voldermort for keeping it real :)

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  23. I was just complaining about #2 to my mom this morning. I think I am going to stop doing things at night. Really, what's the point? lol

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  24. Guess I'm gonna get LOTS of hate here. I'm sprawled on my bed with my laptop, and the oldest just walked out the door, on his own! I've been up since 8 yesterday. Woke him up when I got home from taking Dad to work, and he got up, dressed, combed hair shoes on and got his backpack and clarinet on his own. And he's an Aspie (high functioning autistic). Now, in 45 minutes, it'll be a different story! "Mommy! Did you sign my permission slip for the field trip you're going on with me?" "Mommy! Do you have socks for me?" "MOMMY! I can't find my shoes!" "Mommy, where's my jacket?" "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!!!!" all of this from my (also high functioning autistic) youngest. My middle? She'll ask if I brought in her Fruit By The Foot (she's hiding them in the trunk of the car to keep her brothers and step-dad out of them). When I tell her there's one in her backpack, she'll be fine. I might have to re-braid her hair, but otherwise, she's easy! So, hopefully about 8:45, I'll get to crash out until about noon.

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  25. The husband getting the heck out of the house is RIGHT ON. Yesterday, for some unknown reason, my hubby was still lurking in the house as I tried to dress my two-year-old -- a daily battle of wills. He just sat there, right next to us on the floor, staring. I finally said, "Get up. I don't need an audience." Leave my house, man. Seriously.

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  26. ROFL- thanks for this Huge laugh this morning. I woke up feeling Queasy & so the house is in turmoil- "MOMMY DOWN"-Holy Crud- HELP!!!! That is what my four boys are thinking!! Too good- Thanks!

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  27. I love it! Before I had kids I never knew what a circus it would be just trying to get 2 little people dressed and out of the house in the morning!
    I have a 2 yr old and a 5 month old and we have to be out of the house by 7:20 for me to get to work on time.
    To top it all off our house just went on the market and there are showings during the day so I have to have it SPOTLESS before we leave!

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  28. Ex-freaking-actly! I had the same conversation with my oldest this morning. We do the.same.damn.thing. every morning. Why is this so hard? How is it that the 2 year old understands the schedule, but you, the 7 year old, do not? And don't even get me started on the daddy factor. It drives me crazy when I'm attemping to get myself and the 3 kids ready and he can't help at all because, you know, he's got stuff to do. WTF? Like I'm sitting here eating bon-bons? I have stuff to do too! Mainly it involves cleaning up after YOU! UGH!

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  29. We had two whole mornings this week where our two kids were happy, fully clothed, fed, and had all the right gear before walking out the door to the bus. The hubby and I are completely baffled--who's children are these?!? These kids are awesome!...unfortunately, it appears they only visited for two days, and my shoe-losing, argumentative, chronologically challenged cupcakes are back. Double mocha, please!

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  30. i'm laughing so hard i'm crying. and i might have peed a little. i SO needed this today...

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  31. I love this. Especially "... I am Perfect Mommy. A trait that can only be achieved when you, my children, are not here."

    I can be such a great mommy when my kids are not around.

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  32. This so made my day! I couldn't tell you how many times I have left dropped off and let out the loudest WOO HOO! I feel as if I have just had a shot of Valium especially after winter/spring break. My husband is a fire fighter and is sometimes home, he is so my 3rd child and makes morning routine so much harder. And don't get me started on how many days have we been doing this, saying the same thing and still not getting it. Its still cold enough for a coat here and got all the way to school to see my daughter didn't have hers on. Thanks for my dose of whuck, so thankful there are moms out there that get it. My mom(who had four) just looks at me like I've lost it and "doesn't remember it being this crazy" I so hope I can say those words one day.

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  33. I laughed so hard I think i hurt myself.
    to your post - yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

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  34. My gem of the morning: "Son, you have been awake 20 minutes. How could your clothes be THAT dirty already?" Nine years old and still the napkin is a foreign concept. Back in the room for a change of clothes.

    But, the sweetheart apologized. I then explained that I was not wearing the clothes I will teach in today, because I get them dirty cleaning the house before I leave for school. Regardless, we wear CLEAN clothes to school!

    Anyone have success having their kids dress AFTER breakfast?

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  35. #4 is spot on (as are the rest), but my husband never gets why he is just in the way!

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  36. Ah, I loved Long Duck Dong. How could you not?

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  37. #2 and #3 live at my house - entropy and memory loss seem to go hand in hand here (and it's a chicken/egg thing, since no one can tell which issue came first). Sigh.

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  38. This is exactly how my mornings go! Good to know I'm not alone.

    Love it!

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  39. This killed me! And is so true... love that you are willing to give your hubby "peek under the hood" if he gets out of your hair.

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  40. A gem!!!! Funny, its nice to know that I am not the only ones who's deliriously happy when the kids go off to school, used to feel guilty about it till now :)

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  41. So here i sit reading at 530 in the morning when ALL 3 of my children are awake... i just knew i needed a good giggle to make me not want to strangle them this morning!! but this had me in tears!!! my dad used to reference Long Duck Dong all the time when i was a teen... this sounded just like my mornings and we are just dealing with getting one kid to PRESCHOOL!!!! im screwed!

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  42. I am rolling! Which is not really a good thing since I have already completed my morning toddler shuffle (and my eye is finally starting to stop twitching) and am at work TRYING to appear to be working, but instead I am working hard at not blowing coffee out of my nose. Damn you! :D

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  43. Hahaha!! Although my kids aren't in school, so I can't completely relate, this absolutely cracked me up! = )

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  44. As the only man to comment so far I would just like to say: If staying out of the way was TRULY a way to get a "peek under the hood" we would stay so far out of your way you would have to come find us. And we know that's not gonna happen.

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  45. oh my ... Long duck dong


    I can't be the only one that heard of the Smoov - E song..

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  46. OMG! My husband will actually stand there watching me run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get the kids ready rather than take some initiative and maybe find socks and shoes for the kids. Or comb the snarls out of the little one's hair? Her hairstle is a BOB, not an AFRO, dude, how could you miss that it still needs attention? Nope, he's standing there with his shoes and coat on while the rest of us are still barefoot and coat-less.

    In an hour and fifteen minutes I get me showered and dressed, coffee made for hubby, two kids dressed, and lunch made for the eldest while hubby manages to get 30 more minutes of sleep, himself showered and dressed, coffee into his thremos and grab a granola bar. What gives?

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  47. Too funny - it's so good to know how many others are going through exactly what I have been in the morning. After asking nicely so many times, I finally went upstairs to my husband who was taking his usual"extra" 30 minutes to sleep while I try and get myself ready for work and three kids up, dressed, fed, teeth brush groomed and out the door before the bus comes and screamed at him that I need help!!!!!!! He got the message loud and clear. He's been helping like a trouper. So funny how it's always on us. I contemplated just letting him do it all one day just to see what happened. But I couldn't do that to my kids!

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  48. Ah, the husband factor! When I haven't showered in 4 days and am trying to get out the door to get to preschool on time and pack lunch and the baby has just pooped and I'm wrestling to get sun screen the 3-year-old... and I've taken the time to make oatmeal for my husband, said husband emerges from his daily 20 minute shower and promptly whines that I haven't put raisins in his oatmeal. ARG!! He's so wonderful in so many ways, I don't get how clueless he can be sometimes.

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  49. Hubby gets the boys up, ready & takes them to school on his way to work; I get the girls up, ready & take them to pre-school on my way to work. The boys have to leave before us. Hubby complains that I slow them down when I get up early. No. . . I just notice that you haven't given them their medicine or attacked their Asian cowlicks (way worse than caucasian cowlicks -- oh my!) or made them brush their teeth. I'm dreading next year when everyone will be at the same school and we'll all be in each other's way at such a God-forsaken hour. I can only hope Hubby decides to go to work even earlier!

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  50. I could have written Rule #2 (although not nearly so well.) Seriously, people, if we are going somewhere, why do I have to TELL YOU to get into the car? Have we EVER teleported? Has a helicopter EVER landed in the front yard to pick us up? Have the Hell's Angels EVER stopped by to give you a ride? GET. IN. THE. VAN.

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  51. Absolutely hysterical - my sides still hurt from laughing so much. Very much needed today!

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  52. OMG, I have totally had one of those "all-I-do-is-yell-and-I-must-be-the-worst-mommy-ever" days. I SO needed this!!! Seriously better than any therapist. My eyes are still watering - I literally had to stop and catch my breath before I could finish reading when I got to the Daddy Variable. Hallelujah, it's not just me that has to put up with this! :D

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  53. I just read this after the Summer one and I can't decide which is the worst scenario .

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  54. This is my morning. Every morning. Birdy didn't brush her teeth this morning and it was funny hat day at school. We were prepared for funny HAIR day. Guess that's tomorrow. I hate spirit week!

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