7:04am: Kids come running up the stairs to wake me up to finish getting them ready for school while Daddy gets ready for work. At the head of the stairs, Mimi begins yelling at Dom not to go in so SHE can go first, which Dom naturally ignores. Wailing and loud recriminations ensue. The door to my room is flung open; Dom walks in and asks his favorite/obsessive question: “Um, Mommy….what shall I do?”
7:05am: Mimi (aka Our Lady of Perpetual Grievance) follows close behind, still fussing loudly at the injustice of the world. Pulls it together to corner Dom and articulate all of her woes: “Dom, I have fwee fings to say to you. Fiwst, you didn’t yet me go in to Mommy’s woom fiwst when I asked you to. Secondwy, you gwabbed de back of my shiwt when we were on de stairs. Firdwy…um, I don’t wemember what was firdwy. Ok, I onwy have two fings to say to you…” Dom is indifferent to this scolding. His lack of apology drives Mimi into renewed wailing and crying. Probably in a heap on the floor. I wasn’t paying attention.
7:15am: I have distracted Mimi from her woes by allowing her to pick out her clothes for the day (which must always involve a dress. Preferably a girly one.) She insists on putting everything on herself. I make the mistake of helping her guide the t-shirt over her head and am rewarded for my efforts to save time by her immediately taking it off so she can do the whole thing all over again by herself. Having put on shirt, jumper, underpants, and under-shorts, she proceeds to dance around my bedroom for the next five minutes, watching how her skirt puffs out when she jumps, while I dress Dom.
7:20am: I am still trying to communicate to Dominic that what we are *trying* to do here is get his clothes on him. His clothes. These clothes. Put them on. Dom, your clothes. DOM! Through it all, Dom has kept up a running, sotto voce monologue about I have no idea what. I think he was imagining that he was teaching Winnie the Pooh his letters, and voicing his half of the conversation to himself: “Yes, I know it does look like that… Well, okay, you can also do it this way. ….Yes! [insert funny, affected, grown-up type laugh.]”
7:31am: Mimi sits on my lap downstairs in the living room, playing with her bunny figurines while I brush and braid her hair. Dom is lying on his stomach across the other armchair, completing Khan Academy exercises on the computer with one hand, which was the bribe I had to use to get him to actually focus on the dressing process. Aunt Margaret comes downstairs.
7:32am: The children are playing “peacock” with Aunt Margaret (or, according to Mimi: “Dat peacock game where you twy to catch de pwetty peacocks but I JUMP away fwum you wiff my cweverness!” So, yeah: basically Gotcha Monster. But with imaginary peacocks.) Lots and lots of hilarity and running back and forth and nearly knocking Aunt Margaret over every 30 seconds. Mommy decides to make her coffee while the children are handily distracted.
7:37am: Coffee sits on the counter getting cold while I wrangle the children into the back of Daddy’s two-door convertible. Wait, children, don’t get in yet, we have to switch the carseats around. …Because Mimi doesn’t fit behind Daddy’s seat — she can’t get out without Daddy getting out of the car first. Yes, I know it squishes your legs, sweetie — I’m sorry. Why the frigfrigginfrig won’t this seatbelt pull through the carseat slot?!? Alright, kiddos, go ahead and climb—– Honey, could you please just let your sister get in first? Look, she’s a sobbing heap again.
7:40am: Kids are strapped in, Phillip begins to pull away with a hasty wave to Mommy (which will have to take the place of a “Good morning” and a kiss) when Mimi announces she cannot go to school without a bag of dry cereal to eat. Oh yeah, Dom remembers he can’t go to school without this, too. Mommy begins to get very firm with the children; Daddy suggests she just get them some cereal. Mommy feels this is an affront to discipline and opens her mouth to object. Has a painful contraction. Decides not to die on this hill today. Gets the cereal: “But I want to hear a ‘thank you!'” she yells at the retreating car.
There. That took care of that parenting issue. Time for some cold coffee and three hours of silence.