I like to consider myself a creature of habit. You know, surround myself with enough routine in my life to make things feel ‘normal’. For the longest time (i.e. when I was married), there was too much routine. However, since my ex and I split up, life has been anything but.
Now I feel I am finding some middle ground. That happy medium in life we all seek. That is, of course, unless my kids sleep over on a school night. Take all the planning, scheduling and routine that brings order to my life and toss it right out the window. Somehow, the circus that is a school day morning with my kids creates an anomaly in the space-time continuum, whereby time moves twice as fast and little children twice as slow.
I had it all worked out. My morning gameplan. My mental schedule. The logistical architecture to get out the door by 7:45. HA! First of all, getting out the door by 7:45 means waking up when my alarm goes off. Normally this is not a big deal. However, the ability to jump up out of bed is significantly impeded when you are smothered under the warmth and tenderness of your kids. “Five more minutes. We’ll still be on time.” Twenty minutes later, that voice inside your head turns from Mr. Rogers to General Patton. “Let’s go people! Move, move, move!!!!!”
When you’re by yourself, it’s easy to get out the door. No time for breakfast? No problem. “I can grab a muffin at work. I’ll just head out early for lunch. I can stand to lose a couple pounds anyways.” These are all perfect justifications for just grabbing the keys as you finish tying your shoes and head out the door. Doesn’t quite work that way with the little ones. Not only do I have to allow time to prepare, not to mention have them eat, their breakfast, I also have to allow for time to prepare their lunch.
So I look at the clock. 8:05!!!!! When did THAT happen. “Daniel, put on your shoes! Natalie, put your plate in the sink! C’mon, we gotta’ go. Natalie, grab my belt from the bedroom, please. Daniel….. Daniel…… DANIEL!!!!!!! Turn OFF the TV and put on your shoes!!” Check the clock one more time. 8:15? I need to call Stephen Hawking about this!
But it’s really not as bad as I make it out to be. I love when my kids sleep over. More importantly, I know how much they love it when they sleep over. Sometimes we roll out the sleeping bags and sleep on the living room floor. They usually get to stay up later when they spend the night at my place. . But the best part of it all, and the part I REALLY miss the most, is walking into the bedroom after they’ve dozed off and watching them sleep. It’s the most serene thing you can ever do in life, and it’s worth every ounce of effort the following morning may require.