A smooth morning does not start out at 6:00 with a kid waking you up out of your Robitussin haze to ask if you'd finished his "Canadian costume" for International Children's Day (no) then going downstairs to find two half-naked children fighting over their dentist office balloons (WHY BALLOONS? WHYYYYYYY?) and an empty coffee canister.
Nor does it start with an angry toddler wide awake at 6:20 when he used to sleep until 7:45, allowing us to get the bulk of the morning scramble out of the way and PBS Kids fired up long before we had to get him ready for school. Thanks for nothing DST, you jerk.
And when you're standing there in your pajamas shaking the coffee canister while simultaneously drawing a Canadian flag on a piece of construction paper, willing more coffee and a furry hat with ear flaps to magically appear in the kitchen, the last thing you want is for your toddler to walk up behind you and hand you the poop-covered diaper that he had just rubbed all over his shirt.
And there are no bananas because everyone has been sick and work is crazy and Wes scratched James's cornea so we had two doctor's visits and a day off preschool and we stayed up until 2 AM on election night and there simply is not enough mental or physical energy left to go to the store or plan a meal, but that's OK, we'll have peanut butter toast instead! Only, there are only five pieces of bread in the whole house and we still have to make school lunches. Somebody is getting a half!
Fooey (is not what I really said) as I scrambled some eggs and asked Wes repeatedly to stop lying on the floor screaming about milk, which we are also out of because Charlie filled up an entire Nalgene bottle with the last of the skim and left it out all night. Homework is scattered around the living room, lunchboxes are in the car, Wes is refusing to put on his shoes. Charlie is running around trying to catch a flying insect instead of brushing his teeth.
It is 7:15. Charlie has to leave at 7:10. Dressed like a Canadian.
There is still no coffee.
We stuff him into some jeans and a thermal shirt. A green down vest completes the look. I want to do a hat, but sending a kid to school in a down vest and winter hat seems cruel when the forecast high is over eighty degrees. What the hell, November?! Next year he can be a Jamaican.
He continues to whine that his shoes are not Canadian enough. James screams from his high chair, waving his plate at me. Wes is angry about something. I play the Canadian national anthem on YouTube and for ninety glorious seconds the house is quiet as the kids sit in rapt attention to the image of the Canadian flag blowing in the wind.
We get Charlie out the door then install Wes in front of the TV while I take James upstairs to destroy the bathroom while I shower and get ready for work. I'm washing my hair when he starts turning the lights on and off. It's like a rave in my shower, which is convenient because I could really go for some hallucinogenic drugs right now (now that the Robitussin has worn off). I get out and step over James, now lying on the floor screaming because I turned the light back on after almost killing myself getting out of the shower in the dark.
Dress quickly, hang up towels, make bed, carry screaming, hitty toddler back downstairs so he and Wes can bicker and hit each other until it's time to leave for school. Get tired of the screaming, lock James in his car seat for the remainder of Curious George. Sit in the front seat ignoring his impotent rage, read political blogs.
Really really really wish there was some coffee in the house.
Curious George is over. Snap Wes into his seat. Pull out of the garage.
These are mornings when I'm glad I have a job to go to.