It's that time of the year again! Summer vacation days are winding down, and soon it will be time to set the alarm clocks, and wake-up your little angels for a brand new school year! We all know what it's going to be like too. Right? Your children are going to bound out of bed with a big "I love you" on their lips. They are going to eat the breakfast you have prepared with a "Gee, that was great!" at the end. They will floss, brush and gargle with flourish, dress in the blink of an eye, and skip out the front door with their backpacks and lunchboxes in hand. All the while, Mom or Dad (or maybe both), will sip on coffee and nibble on fresh fruit and croissants, fully relaxed and ready to head off to work themselves. Sound familiar?!? I didn't think so! If only mornings had a Stepford family vibe to them, every parent could head off to work with a Zen-like smile plastered on their face. Instead, the smile on your face merely means 1) I survived the morning battle, 2) The children lived to fight another day, or 3) It's not a smile, it's gas. I remember those days. They are like childbirth: the further away from the actual event, the more pleasurable it seems.
As a young mother, I remember trying to do everything right. Homework done? Check. All notes signed? Check. Clothing picked out by my child the night before? Check. Lunches packed? Check. Backpack packed and by the door? Check. So, everynight I would go "Check, check, check!", and every morning I would duck and yell at my husband, "Incoming! ' Our two kids never did morning serenely or with any concept of a timetable. Our son was always in a good mood, but slooooooow didn't even begin to describe his rate of speed. His grandfather called him Lightning. Needless to say, he had his own timetable... still does... and all the cajoling to hurry up, only caused him to.... slow.... down... even... more. Our daughter? Grumpy with a capital G until she was fully awake, which in her world was noon, or at best, noonish. Sooo... we never saw a smile in the morning, but heard plenty of stomping and grousing and whatevers. Guess what? She's still the same too. And what, might you ask, did her grandfather call her? Of course, he called her Sunshine. My father and his sense of humor. Since I am writing this post, and speaking of my children in the present tense, it is correct to assume that we survived those harrowing school-day mornings. And what advice do I have for all of you newbies? Well, I could tell you to read all the latest child-rearing books, or I could tell you to order this DVD or that. I could tell you a lot of things, but let's try the truth - the ugly truth: just get them out the door - fully clothed if possible - and live to see another day.