My ever-helpful bladder wakes me up promptly around 5:30 a.m. every morning. Then I have about an hour of "alone" time if I am lucky. I can check the weather forecast, school closings, e-mail, Facebook, and maybe do a little blogging or find writing prompts to think about for the day. All too soon, my husband's alarm clock is sounding and my kid’s is chiming in shortly after. I turn off both alarms and begin my favorite part of the day: nagging people to get out of bed. I turn on every light in the house and also radio. I tune to the station that plays the annoying 80's classics that I love. I drag myself into the kitchen and turn on the space heater so that the tile floor is not too frosty for sensitive seven-year-old toes.
Around this time, I aptly employ another round of boisterous nagging of people to get out of the darn beds already! We're going to be late! Why must I spend the first part of my day convincing people to go to work and school? It’s a good thing that I love to nag, and was trained first-hand by the Grand Queen of all nagmeisters, otherwise I could get really irritable around about now. As it is, I live to say the same thing over and over (and over) first thing in the morning. Honestly, I would be disappointed if they actually got up and turned off their own alarm clocks and let me sleep in for once while they took care of themselves.
Next on my agenda is breakfast. If I feel generous with my time, I will serve overcooked bacon and microwave pancakes. One an especially lucky day, I will get them some juice, buttery spread, and light syrup to enjoy their goodies with. Maybe even plates and silverware – hey, I’m good at my job. Other days, it’s milk and cereal for the little ingrates.
The smell of bacon cooking is a sure-fire bet to lure them out of their warm beds. The bleary-eyed zombies slog into the kitchen and sit in front of the “food” and proclaim that they are too tired to eat. This from the same family who plowed through a half a spiral sliced ham and a vat of mashed potatoes last Sunday, and then asked for dessert? I remind them of what happens to food critics that start work too early in the morning – they don’t live to see lunch.
While they fuss about food, I open yesterday’s lunch boxes, swipe them with a damp rag and pronounce them “clean” and throw in a makeshift lunch. This generally consists of something that can be justified as a protein, possibly a fruit-type doo-dad, and maybe some chips. Don’t forget the cold pack and the all important juice pouch. I put random lunches into random back packs, knowing there will be no complaints by the end of the day (or else). Next, I threaten a few lives if they don’t get dressed and ready immediately because the bus is due in 5 minutes and dad’s running too late to play taxi. We all get dressed, I find matching socks for each pair of matching feet – okay, sometimes the socks don’t actually match each other, but as long they keep their BOGO shoes on, nobody will know, right?
After putting everybody’s shoes on the correct feet (except maybe my own which are slippers), I kiss hubster goodbye and walk the kidlet to the bus stop. The bus, of course, is late. January in Ohio is a joy to its own. Times like these, I curse under my breath and wish that I had actually worn day clothes, a coat, hat, and shoes.
Just then, my favorite bank teller/neighbor drives by laughing and waves hello. I grab the edges of my robe and “flash” her my pajamas in response. “Take that, workin’ mom, I’m going back to bed in 20 minutes!” I shout. Behind me, the other neighbor greets us with his usual “good morning” with an underlying chuckle. As I turn around to find out if he had just witnessed my juvenile behavior, he bends down to pick up his newspaper. Straightening his 80-year-old back, he turns to me, flashes his jammies and returns to his house guffawing all the way. The bus arrives, drives my love off to school, and I slide all the way home imagining the stories he will tell “da boys” later at the bridge table of the senior center.