The usual morning in the Libby house goes something like this:
Kids play in their room from 7 - 8, then I roll out of bed (or come in from my run), and head to their room to get them up, banana and diaper in hand. MUST NOT walk into the room without a banana, or Jude turns into raging wildebeast, fighting his diaper change with all of his 18-month old strength. He is a wiry little guy, but VERY strong.
Hand Sophia undies and clothes, and instruct her to go potty and get dressed. Repeat instructions about 17 million times as Sophia hides in various locations upstairs.
Get Jude dressed. Give up on Sophia getting dressed, and head downstairs. Three minutes later the Snuggler wanders down, in some state of dress. Or not. Tell Snuggler to wander back upstairs and come back down with clothes on. Pronto.
Put Jude in his high chair and attempt to get cereal out as fast as he wants it. FAIL. Realize that the honey nut O's you got the kids for a treat have almonds in them and will kill your first-born.
Make oatmeal for Sophia.
Make more oatmeal for Jude when he spots Sophia's and decides he MUST HAVE OATMEAL NOW OR DIE!
Chug down half a cup of tepid coffee left over from the day before, or else surviving the morning madness will be questionable.
Dive back in . . . GAH! How could I forget Jude and Sophia's milk cups?! "I am getting it, Jude, you can stop flipping out now."
Enter Sophia, fully dressed, with some sort of ridiculous breakfast demand.
"Can I have popovers?"
"Can I have cheerios?"
"They'll kill you, eat your oatmeal."
"Can I have my heart candies?"
"Can I have chocolate milk?"
"No. If you eat a good breakfast, then I will make you some for snack. A good breakfast equals all of your oatmeal, and some fruit."
"I don't want chocolate milk." Pout.
"Eat your oatmeal anyway."
"I don't like oatmeal." Pout.
"You seemed to like it yesterday when you ate it down without a complaint in about two minutes. What changed?"
"I don't like it." More pout.
"Tough. Eat it."
Pout. Slow eating.
Time for morning meds. Nixing the applesauce in favor of Sophia swallowing her med has been a great addition to our morning. Dropping the little granules out of the capsule onto the spoon was a pain in the butt. "No, don't turn your head away when I just pushed down on your inhalor! Great. That's great. Did you even get any?"
"I don't like my inhalor."
"Well, Dr. T said you have to take it." (This is not throwing Dr. T under the bus . . . Sophia loves her, so when I say Dr. T said to do it she thinks it's great. Hopefully she never rebels against Dr. T or I'm in trouble.)
Morning meds more or less in, time for another gulp of coffee, just as Jude announces:
"Ah done. AH DONE AH DONE AH DONE AH DONE AH DONE AH DONE AH DONE!"
"All done" is usually accompanied by chucking whatever he doesn't want anymore on the floor. Sophia and I simultaneously call out "No throw, Jude!" and I race over to grab him out of his chair, dancing around whatever breakfast is now all over the floor. What is it with this age and the necessity to throw things on the floor? I could literally be holding his hands, ready to get him out, and that little stinker will struggle away, on a mission to chuck one last cheerio on the floor.
One last Herculean task and the morning routine will be complete . . . Sophia's hair.
You wouldn't think that putting her hair in pigtails would be too terrible, but it usually involves threats of timeout, at least one "Don't run away from me, Sophia!", and saying "Hold still!" many many many times. If the wiggle worm would just get that it would take a fraction of the time with cooperation hair time would be a much less bloody battle. (Figuratively bloody, people, I don't rip her hair out or anything.) I would love to go back to her cute little crop, but the Snuggler insists "I want hair down my back, like Bianca."
Oy. It's a miracle we all survive this routine.
Last night I decided to try something new . . . going to bed early (by 10 p.m.), and getting up early. You may have noticed . . . the above scenario doesn't leave any time for me to even get dressed, so I am usually running around sweaty in running tights, or just rolled out of bed in pj's. My thinking was that being fully dressed and having a couple minutes to myself might make the chaos more tolerable.
And it totally did! I got up at 6:30, dressed, got my face on, and was downstairs with a cup of coffee in hand 15 minutes later. John and I chatted briefly in the kitchen, then I settled down to have my quiet time in the living room as he ate breakfast and did his quiet time at the dining room table. We heard the kids wake up and start playing, and when I headed upstairs a little early to get them at 7:30, I was feeling calm and together.
The whole calm and together thing only lasted a few minutes, but somehow the morning chaos was doable. The thing to note is that the kids were as crazy as ever, but having those few minutes to myself and starting off with a nice calm quiet time made the chaos pretty much bounce right off me. Mostly. And Sophia's hair? We french braided it, people! Double braids! With no sadness! Or running away!
That settles it. One morning in, and I would say my experiment was a grand success and worth sticking with. Tomorrow morning is a running day, so now all I have to do is convince my running partner she wants to get up that early, too . . .