I have watched movies about the destruction of the world, zombie attacks, shrinking children, hobbits, hit men, time travel and people switching bodies. But by far the most fictional part of any movie is a scene that shows all of the children sitting together around the kitchen table in the morning, smiling, and the mom is serving up breakfast, smiling.
While next year might be a little easier, right now feels like I'm suffering from a revolving door syndrome because I have three school-age kids getting up at three different times. Most mornings it seems that my primary function is to be a combination of back-up alarm clock and Julie the Cruise Director. Once each person has joined the land of the upright, is actually conscious and muttering understandable words, I then make sure that they eat something for breakfast that won't cause a stomach ache, mid-morning sugar crash or be too filling/not filling enough before they head out the door on time with their teeth brushed, without forgetting anything and hopefully not wearing a non-sucky outfit.
Occasionally things go off without a hitch, but most of the time there's at least a little bit of chaos. Sometimes Zach has to get up earlier than normal so he has to reset his alarm clock, and in the process manages to change the time from a.m. to p.m. There have been several times when Charlie's alarm goes off but the volume is so low that it doesn't actually wake him up. Moments like these don't say "Hey look at me mom, I'm an independent person and even though I can't remember to turn lights off, at least I can get up at a designated time all by myself." They say "Hey, I'm kind of a moron, and even though I can remember what each button does on an Xbox controller, I can't figure out how to use three buttons and a volume knob on a simple $9.99 clock radio."
Fortunately, Zoe wakes up around 8:00 without the need for an alarm. This might be due to the fact that when she was younger we put a clock radio in her room and told her "Don't even think about putting a foot on the floor and getting out of this bed until you see an 8 on that clock." At least once-a-week, though, she lays buried under her down comforter like a 16-year-old and shows no desire to be awake. This is when I have to chant "Zoe get up. Zoe get up. Zoe you have to get up. Zoe you have to go to school. Zoe you're going to be late." The strangest thing is that "I'll just call the teacher and tell her 'Zoe won't be at school today because she wouldn't get out of bed.'" is the threat that always manages to get her up. Once she's finally awake, I switch my chanting to "Zoe eat your breakfast. Zoe eat your breakfast. Zoe you need to eat your breakfast or you're going to be late."
And don't even get me started on how daylight savings has fucked things up.
I realize that I am extremely lucky in that I only have to make sure that three people are up, fed, clothed and out the door on time. I have resigned myself to the fact that unless I have a morning appointment to get to or would like to run errands in something other than a baseball hat and yoga pants, my being showered and presentable is not a priority before 9 a.m. How people that work full-time and also have to get kids to daycare or school without morning breath and in something other than pajamas five-days-a-week pull it off is, to say the least, impressive.
Our spring break is a little over a week away and I am really looking forward to having a week of relaxing mornings to maybe sleep in a little bit, let the kids eat cold cereal straight from the box and sit around in their pajamas. After all, it's not just a week off from school and homework: it's a week off from violin, piano and club tennis.
And then I found out that during spring break Zach has high school tennis practices two times a day, every day, with the first one starting at 8 a.m. DAMMIT!