My alarm goes off at 6:45, though I know I'd be a better person if I made that 5:45 and went for my runs then. I lug myself out of bed, turn up the furnace and check the weather online. I then proceed to make breakfast for the kids and if I'm really organized that day, it's a simple matter of dishing out the hot cereal that's been simmering in the crockpot for the past nine hours. The house smells better that way and it's the kids' favorite breakfast.
I then go to the different bedrooms and wake them up. Their differing wake-up styles makes me laugh. Lucy and Oliver are almost always awake and reading in their beds already, though if they're not, they wake immediately and energetically. Anabel is slower, but positive and lovely. Jude takes eons. He almost always requires a massage in order to maintain a positive mindset. This is the only time of day where this boy is inclined toward grouchiness and probably wrongly, I treat him with kid gloves and willing hands devoted to long minutes of rubbing my grouchy boy's back. Finally they're all up and dressed and meet in the kitchen for breakfast where they take their vitamins and chat and eat.
I do Lucy's and Oliver's hair as they sit on our high kitchen island chairs. Jude and Anabel no longer require this service of me. My repertoire is no longer sufficient, which frankly, is no surprise. The hair stylist within me rarely sees the light of day.
We then proceed to rush around at what feels like a frenetic pace, Job Charts in hand for the Littles, and 'we' do 'our' morning duties. I still have to brush the Littles' teeth, for if I don't, it's a nasty surprise for all those who they come into close contact for the rest of their days. Let's just say that being thorough isn't their primary consideration for when brushing their own teeth. Speed is more the nature of the game as far as these seven and nine year olds are concerned.
I swap mornings and afternoons with my carpool partner. If I'm on my two-week stint of mornings, we're in a rush and if I ever struggle with impatience in life (and I do), it's during this mad morning rush. We have our litterless lunches to shepherd into backpacks, freshly washed gym strip to pack, planners to sign and record individual reading times from the night previous, hole-less socks to place on little feet (and not-so-little feet), breakfast dishes to put in the dishwasher (though honesty dictates that I let you know that they rarely make it there and usually settle somewhere near the kitchen sink), cheques and permission forms to sign and carefully pack so that they don't go away to that mysterious Land of lost-essential-I-must-have-it-signed-and-turned-in-immediately items, preteen boy bodies to shower (subsequent nagging regarding the towel thrown haphazardly on the floor afterward is almost inevitable), teen girl outfits to choose (because it must be an outfit that no one else on the planet has ever once conceived, and should include, if possible, an apron or a tunic covered in pigs) , and breath to smell. If some brilliant one among you has developed a more effective plan than the smelling of potentially stinky breath to check for tooth-brushing effectiveness, do tell. In the meantime, I smell. And I sometimes cringe.
I beller out my standard line, Jackets and shoes on! in a mystery tune whose origins I'm no longer sure of. There are four pairs of shoes and four jackets hurredly put on in a hodge-podge flurry of activity as I do so. On a really successful day, mittens and scarfs and hats are also donned. We then proceed to pick up our carpool friend and make our way to the middle school, where both Anabel and Jude go to spend their days. Next is the elementary school where a drop-off is taboo (And frankly, not welcomed by me, either. I love to hang and chat with the moms who are also there waiting for the teachers to open the doors to welcome our Littles). And then - and only then - I can heave a sigh of relief for my more pressing duties for the morning are now complete.