coping

Pancakes are better than therapy

First day back to school/work after a holiday weekend…  Never a smooth transition.   All five of us have to leave the house (together in one car) by 7:00 to begin the round of drop-offs.  Noah gets dropped off first at his bus, then Richard at his train, then Micah at her school, leaving Hannah and I to go home and finish waking up. 

Well, by 6:30 am Micah and Hannah are still out cold.   In 30 minutes I have to get Hannah up, sweet talked out of her diaper to use the potty, then into her big girl underpants and clothes, fed breakfast, and somehow stuffed into her car seat.  I have to get Micah through 14 changes of outfits, breakfast, teeth brushed, hair brushed (our biggest fight of every day) and lunch made.  Needless to say, getting some clothes on myself is always a good idea.  Noah (thank heavens) is able to fend for himself at this point.  In fact, he is ready and waiting at the door each morning at 7:01 repeating his mantra; “If I miss my bus, I am not going to school”.  Richard can dress himself but is somehow always the last one to get in the car.

6:45 and the girls are sitting up in bed, but no progress on the goals at hand.  I am starting to panic.  Maybe Richard can drive himself to the train, dropping off Noah in the process and buy me a little time.   I check with him;……nada.  Okay, just stay calm. 

6:50….I hear Micah and Hannah screaming at each other.  I run to check it out, and they are fighting over a book that Micah has no time for, and Hannah isn’t capable of reading.  I think this is the point at which I lose my patience.  I put Hannah in time-out for hitting her sister.  This leads to more screaming and Micah coming to her rescue, to break her out of bondage.  This leads to me losing my cool and telling Micah in a very firm and nasty voice to get her little butt dressed!  This leads to Hannah screaming louder and Micah huddled on the floor in fetal position crying that “I don’t love her and she is not going to school”.   And guess what……..It is now 7:05!     

7:10 …Noah is by the door getting slightly agitated, Richard is still showering, Micah and Hannah are huddled together crying hysterically because “mommy is so mean” (am I missing something here?) and I am still in my pajamas!   I am faced with a choice.   I can become the evil witch out of the depths of hell and actually get everyone to their destination on time, albeit a little emotionally challenged for that day,  or………I can just take a breath and regroup.   I had to pray really hard for a few minutes to make the right choice.  And let me say; it was a toss up for those few minutes which way I was going to go.   But I remembered, that I had actually promised my children, in writing, a few years ago that the evil witch was gone forever.  And I am deeply thankful that I made the right choice and stuffed the evil witch back into her hole.

7:25.  We are all dressed and in the car.  No one is crying or ripping their hair out.  No one is screaming or threatening to run away.  Noah is whining a little about missing his bus, but I am assuring him that I will run over any one (including little old ladies) that gets in my way, to make that bus.  I promised Micah that if she and Hannah could make themselves presentable and be in the car in 5 minutes, we would get rid of everyone else and just go to the pancake house.  It is first grade for G-d’s sake!  Was it really worth years of psychotherapy for my offspring, to get Micah there at 8:00 sharp?  Noah made his bus, Richard made his train, and Micah, Hannah, and I regrouped over pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream.   Sometimes, life happens and you just have to take a breath and say “the heck with it”, let’s go to the pancake house.

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