7:02 am A small warm body climbs into bed and curls into me. “I duddle you a lil bit Mom”, she says. I wrap my arms around her and she kisses my cheek. We listen to the sounds outside of my room. I hear Seth and Ben letting Dotty out of her kennel, then feeding her, then putting her outside. They are a well-oiled machine. A machine that I created, and I am proud of them, so independent in their morning routines. I lay in my cozy bed, cuddling with my sweet child, listening to the sounds of my smoothly running household, and I feel so good about life.
7:18 am Seth reports he’s done all his morning chores. I hear Oliver crying from the kitchen. Ben is refusing him his breakfast because he won’t apologize for something he likely didn’t even do. I sort it out and make sure everyone has a bowl of cereal, then throw sheets in the laundry. Monday is sheets day.
7:23 am I remind Ben that he’s on dishwasher emptying duty this week. He protests that he did it yesterday. I explain that yesterday was the first day of the week. He balks and insists that a sibling help him. I tell him to get started and maybe someone will help him in a minute. He whines, he yells, he cries. Eventually he drags his feet down the hall to the kitchen where he proceeds to empty the dishwasher as slowly as humanly possible, sobbing the entire time. He ends up taking almost a full half hour to empty it.
7:40 am Ivy keeps straight out hitting Oliver because he’s playing with his own toys. His own toys that she wants. After a scolding she proceeds to the hallways where she screams as loudly as she can while throwing her purse (yes she has a purse, doesn’t your two year old?) to the ground repeatedly. Eventually she cools down, wanders off, and starts playing contentedly on her own.
7:55 am I remind Seth that he should find his school library books.
8:00 am Seth can’t find his school library books. He’s crying now.
8:10 am I realize Scholastic book orders are due. Ben hastily chooses a book and I fill out the form and chuck it in his backpack.
8:14 am The kids should have started getting their snowsuits on a couple minutes ago. Now they’re rushed. Seth wants to leave without Ben but I won’t let him. Miraculously Ben gets dressed in a mere five minutes. I kiss their faces and send them out the door frazzled, Seth’s cheeks still damp with tears about his books. It’s only been an hour but I’ve gone from feeling like I was totally winning at parenting to feeling like I’m a total dink. Nothing new, really.
8:40 am I pack the littles up in their snowsuits and we head to the freezing cold car.
8:50 am I unload Oliver and Ivy at Tiny Tots preschool and we run through the parking lot, bracing against the -40 windchill.
9:05 am I am home, alone. I pour a cup of coffee and sit down for a few minutes. The day seems so full already and it’s barely begun. I’m thankful that I have so many more hours to try to show my children how much I love them, and to try to bring more peace than chaos to our home. I’m going to give it my best shot, anyway.