It usually starts about 5:45 a.m. Hubs and I stare at the baby monitor and silently will Reid to go back to sleep. He almost always does, but sometimes he waits until one of his parents has shrugged on their robe and has a hand on the door knob. We pause a moment to make sure he really fell back asleep and then gratefully collapse back into bed.
Fifteen minutes later, my 6:00 alarm jars me awake again, and I start the “hit snooze at least three times” ritual. Sometimes, I accidentally dismiss the alarm all together, but that’s okay because Hubs’ alarm starts at 6:30. Not sure why we torture ourselves like this, but it’s our routine.
At 6:45 the baby monitor comes alive again, and we hear Reid happily chattering in his crib, sometimes telling nonsensical knock-knock jokes to his favorite stuffed animal. At exactly 7:00 his happy chatter turns into demanding calls for Mommy and Daddy because the little alarm clock on his dresser has turned green, which is his signal that he’s allowed to get out of bed.
Now that Hubs works from home (more on that later), he and Reid have established their own routine together while I shower and get ready for the day. But sometimes I stay in bed a little longer and listen as Reid and Daddy greet each other. From the bedroom, I hear Reid pull a chair from the kitchen table across the floor to the counter so he can help Daddy make coffee. He likes to push the buttons. Then I hear Reid say “eat, eat,” and Hubs asks him what he would like for breakfast. Every day, Reid gives the same reply: “pancakes.” That’s what we call First Breakfast.
A little later, Quinn emerges from his room and immediately walks over to the couch where he lays back down on a sofa pillow and curls up under the throw blanket. Quinn and I agree that waking up in the morning is a process that should not be rushed. After he’s had time think about it for a while, Q tells Daddy what he wants for breakfast. If Quinn is eating, Reid wants to eat, so then there’s Second Breakfast.
Sometime between First and Second Breakfast, I haul myself into the shower to try and scrub away the sleep that continues to cloak me and fog my brain. My morning routine is long and cumbersome, and most days I wish I could wave a magic wand and be all ready to go. I know there are several steps I could cut out, and I do when I’m running late, but the routine allows me to physically and mentally prepare for the day. I’m more confident when I look presentable, and I feel like myself again.
Sometimes I actually get that entire time alone while I brush my teeth, apply make-up, comb my hair and get dressed. Other times, Reid will sniff me out and join me in the bathroom. He opens the drawers and gets into my hair clips. He pulls my shoes out of the closet. Sometimes he hides my hair clips in my shoes. Or under the bed. Or in the hamper. Those mornings take me a little longer to get ready.
After that I’m on a mission to get the kids ready and out the door for school. Clear away breakfast dishes. Get kids dressed. Remind Quinn to take off his dirty underwear before putting on his clean underwear. Help them brush their teeth. Pack lunches. Fill water bottles. Grab backpacks. Put on shoes and coats. Make sure Quinn’s shoes are on the right feet. Realize Reid pooped. Get him undressed, change his diaper and start over again. Get everyone in the car. Pull out of the driveway. Pull back into the driveway. Go back in the house to get whatever I forgot – usually my phone. Back out of the driveway again and off to school. Transform into “DJ Mom Beats” and take song requests from the back seat. Play “Uptown Funk” three times before arriving at school and crack up while the boys sing along and get most of the words wrong.
Despite the hurried chaos, I wouldn’t have our mornings go any other way.
Fast forward to the end of the day, and the morning routine happens in reverse. Hubs and I tag team to get dinner done, the kitchen cleaned, the kids’ chores accomplished, then both kids bathed, dressed and in bed. Bedtime stories are read, cuddles are shared, kisses are planted.
Once the house is quiet, I slip into my comfy clothes and pull my hair up. (Where are my hair clips??) I remove my eye make-up and wash my face. I try to scrub away the day that continues to cloak me and fog my brain. I take almost as much time in the bathroom to get un-ready at night as I do to get ready in the morning. I know there are several steps I could cut out, and I do when I’m feeling lazy, but the routine allows me to physically and mentally prepare for sleep. I’m more comfortable when I my face is clean, and I feel like myself again.