Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anatomy of a Preschool Morning

7am- Get everyone up and dressed, including myself. Help find matching leggings, non-itchy socks, sharing items for school, school library books, and anything else that should be brought downstairs when we go down to eat. Try to pull a brush through my own hair and over my own teeth. Succeed only sometimes.

7:15 am- Get everyone's breakfast going. Make toast, pour milk, cut strawberries, resolve squabble over certain spoons/bowls/cups, evenly divide cereal if the box is getting low, wipe tears, wipe spills, make 2 lunches, try to remember to take a drink of water, skip making coffee or eating anything myself until later.

7:30 am- Start reminding everyone in a rushed tone to finish. it. up. already. Do all three girls' hair, each to their own liking. Ignore Marin crying since she cries anytime a brush touches her head, no matter how gently. As each girl has her hair done, remind her to get her shoes and coat and backpack and sharing and library books and lunch and water bottle and anything else she needs ready.

7:35 am- Hear David get up and turn on the shower. Try to be understanding that he was up late, working.

7:42 am- Remind the older girls that I have to leave in less than 10 minutes. Continue finishing up everyone's hair, since I've been interrupted so many times for other minor "emergencies". Realize I still haven't got a drink of water.

7:44 am- Hear shower turn off. Try not to swear in my head about how HE gets a shower in PEACE while I'm spinning 100 wobbly plates in the kitchen directly below him. Take a deep breath a force a smile when another plate shatters and "crisis" ensues.

7:50 am- On a good day, be out the door with Marin. Kiss the older two, at least 5 times (their request), run back in the house at least 2 times for things I forgot- like the car keys. Catch glimpse of self in reflection on the door and realize I look like ass. Try not to care.

7:51 am- See David come downstairs and pour himself some cereal. Hear my own stomach grumble. Frantically check the clock and give Joan and Kate more last minute reminders (library books! sharing!) and kiss them AGAIN. Glance nervously at David and wonder if he'll get them to school on time. (He does, but barely.)

7:55 am- FINALLY back out of driveway and head to pick up Marin's classmate (it's my "driving job", and her family pays me to drive her to and from her daycare to preschool).

8:16 am- Drop both girls off at preschool. Only 1 minute late today- hurray! Talk to some of the parents outside the school.

8:20 am- Head out for a walk, leaving my vehicle parked at the preschool. Enjoy my walk around the lake on such a fantastic fall day. Compose this blog post in my head while walking.

9 am- Jump in my van and head home for breakfast and coffee. Finally.

9:15 am- Contemplate what I'm going to "do" with my child-free morning. Realize I only have 1 1/2 hours left before I need to pick up the preschoolers. Coffee is done; sit down to eat.

9:30 am- Decide to leave the breakfast dishes for later. Pour 2nd cup of coffee and log onto the laptop for the first time. (HI!) Look up and realize that it's already 10 am and I haven't showered. Contemplate whether or not I'm going to have time to shower AND get groceries. Finish up 2 emails that I need to send.

10:20 am- Look up again and realize I STILL haven't showered. Frantically run around house rotating laundry, picking up messes, and showering in record time.

10:43 am- Leave the house to pick up the preschool girls. Wonder where did the morning GO?! Console self by thinking "I still have tomorrow morning to finish XYZ." Try to ignore that little voice that says that tomorrow morning will go just as fast as this morning did.

[*Actual activities during this time vary- sometimes I run errands, see friends, tackle projects, read, get a coffee from a coffee shop etc. The thing is, it doesn't matter what I do, the time goes by in a blink. My "child-free morning" is about 15 minutes in length, I swear. WHY?]


Jess said...

Sounds sort of beautifully hectic. But ooh, I'd be resentful of David too.

Anonymous said...

Kid-free time moves faster than vacation time.

Emily said...

TOTALLY. Just this morning I took my 4 yr. old to preschool, took my 2 yr. old to the library for a 30 minute program, and I swear I barely had time to nurse the baby before I had to pick her up again. Preschool needs to be like 4 or 5 hours.

Maggie said...

Yes. The chaos. I find I'm much less resentful since my husband and I switched who does drop off and who does pick up. Now that he does drop off, he's in charge of morning routine crap while I get to work by 7:30 so I can leave by 4:30 and pick up the kids. When I did drop off, I found that somehow I ended up doing morning/ breakfast/get ready insanity AND after work homework/dinner/bed time insanity. I'm ever so happy to just be in charge of one group of insanities now.

d e v a n said...

7:44 - I HEAR YA.

Cassie said...

Huh. He gets 20 minutes to shower and have breakfast before leaving for work, and that irritates you.

And yet you are about to spend HOURS spoiling yourself - taking a leisurely walk around the lake, eating a relaxed and solitary breakfast, drinking coffee, wasting hours on the computer...

Talk about a spoiled, entitled wife.

Your poor husband.

Marie Green said...

Well, "Cassie" thank you for such a supportive comment! I do have a few things to say in response.

1. He would have more than 20 minutes if he didn't lay in bed so long- 35 more minutes, to be exact. So yes, I DO think that 55 minutes is PLENTY long to shower and eat.

2. This post wasn't a debate about who has a harder morning, me vs. him. The point was preschool "free" time goes by really FAST. I think you missed that point.

3. I hardly think that 8:15-10:45 is "HOURS" to spoil myself and "HOURS" to waste on the computer. I also don't think of exercising as "spoiling myself" but as "taking care of myself" and I don't consider my time on the computer to be "wasted".

4. Be careful "Cassie" for no one is truly anon on the internet. I can SEE you.

Swistle said...

Oh Cassie. What a charmer. And what a surprise that you would say such things anonymously, so you don't have to take responsibility for opinions you would never express as yourself!

Are you seriously not understanding why it would be somewhat irritating to have the morning division of labor between two equal partners be that Spouse A sleeps in, then gets his own breakfast and takes a shower completely undisturbed and does nothing else, while Spouse B handles everything with the children (who belong to both spouses), so that she has no time for her own shower or breakfast? And please note that Spouse B went ahead and did all that anyway, even going so far as to try NOT to be irritated.

And are you seriously suggesting that eating breakfast and exercising counts as "spoiling yourself"? What is the matter with you, do you think?

GratefulTwinMom said...

Sounds EXACTLY like my morning when I don't work (Fridays). I mean, my husband has actually said to me, "I'm gonna let you do it since you're here."

The preschool day is faster than lightning. I never get everything done that I want, and my kids are in school until 2:30!

I think it's great that you got to do as much as you did. Showering's overrated sometimes anyway. :)

Rachael said...

The other day I actually kept a record of what I did ALL DAY. It certainly gave me a sense of accomplishment seeing everything I get done written down. When people ask if I work, I say not outside the home because most days I work hard!

Anonymous said...

Please don't think me a Cassie (or casshole?), but may I suggest the cereal cabinet? This was not my own idea, but it has worked beautifully. I picked a low reaching cabinet, put in 2-3 boxes of cereal, plastic bowls, cups and napkins (they can reach the spoons) and invited my kids to make their own breakfast. Actually 1st it was an invitation, now it's more an expectation. My 2.9 yo son is so enthusiastic and proud of himself, even when he needs to follow with the dustpan. My 5 yo daughter grumbles at times, prefering when she had wait service, but also feels very competent making her own toast, bagel or frozen waffle (wooden tongs for removal). I do still make them breakfast from time to time, like when we do pancakes on a weekend morning... and feel more appreciated.

My husband and I both work inside and outside the home; in both jobs I'm the more efficient, it's just the way it is. When he's on his own I know he gets things done though it sometimes pains me his style. Oh well.

Maybe it's similar to the baby pangs, for women it's a physical and emotional need/want for another child, for many men it's about practicality of $ and how it will change their life. Apples and oranges... Best wishes... Leah