6:00am Lean over in the dark and peak at your phone. Freak out! You only have 30 minutes until it begins…
1 minute later (Actual time- 6:30) Hear that accursed chime – your alarm clock – your daily reminder that your plan to design Lego sets for a living or become a professional bass fisherman didn’t work out and your mix-tape wasn’t fire so you still have to go to work every damn day.
6:31 Hit snooze. Spend 10 glorious minutes feeling guilty that you’re not up yet. Instead of sleeping, graphically imagine every detail of every chore you should be doing right now.
6:41 Get out of bed. Carefully tip-toe to your closet in the dark trying desperately not to wake up your 10 month old baby. You are now 11 minutes late. The earliest you can be today is 11 minutes late.
6:42 Tip-toe out the door to the sound of a bawling 10 month old baby desperately gulping milk. Feel the fiery burn of your wife’s glare, luminescent in its fury, conveniently lighting your way across the hallway. She is now awake. After nursing your baby every three hours all night, she is now awake. The latest she can sleep in this morning is one minute after you woke up. What’s the opposite of “Happy wife, happy life?”
6:43 You approach the door. Trembling, you gather your courage, slowly tightening your grip on the knob. Finally, when it can be delayed no longer, you swing it open, while in one lightening quick move also setting the wall torch ablaze. The room is cast in stark light. It Begins, from deep in the bowels of the earth. You’ve unleashed the four-year-old.
With the speed of a mongoose he darts to the bottom of his covers while rolling into a defensive ball, hissing, squeezing his eyes closed, and cramming the pillow over his head. ‘I am not awake!’ he announces with his whole being. This child will not be woken and he will not be dressed, his body language declares as finally as any granite wall. No, this child will not be going to school – not on time, or not any time. Period.
You now have exactly 20 minutes until you need to be pulling out of your driveway with the four-year-old strapped into his car seat. The child must be mittened and hatted and booted but the bulky winter coat must not be under the car seat straps in an irresponsible and life-threatening fashion. Instead his coat must be beside his snack, drink, and indoor shoes on the seat to his left. But this can only happen after you’ve dressed, fed and washed the four year old and made him pee (after you first made your own lunch, made and ate your own breakfast, and made yourself presentable for your job).
You got this.
6:43-7:05 Power struggles/crying/time outs on the stairs, bunkbed, and otherwise.
7:05-7:10 Get the four-year-old dressed, make him pee, wash his face, pack his backpack, make and eat breakfast, dump the ashes from the woodstove, build a fire, make coffee, let the dog out and in, buckle the four-year-old into the car seat, scrape the car, start the car.
7:20 How is it 7:20?!!! 7:20? You’re screwed! You were just buckling him in his car seat at 7:08, you swear to God.
7:31 Arrive at school, only one minute late. The preschool teachers look at you with pure adoration, and smile serenely because your child is among the first to arrive and he’s so well-prepared for the day! They sigh and think to themselves, “I just don’t get it, why can’t all parents be like this? They just need to get their crap together. They just need a good morning routine. This guy could teach them so much.”
If you only knew, dear preschool teachers, if you only knew.