First day of School. Alarm clock rings at 5:30am and daddy hits snooze. And again, seven minutes later, and seven minutes later, and seven minutes later, and finally, seven minutes later, daddy picks up alarm clock, stumbles to bathroom, casually opens window and throws alarm clock out window. Our backyard is littered with alarm clocks, clock radios really. I go into a store and someone always announces my entrance with, Big Daddy’s here, will the person responsible for clock radios please lock them down. It’s amazing, every store, every time. You’d think clock radios were an endangered species!
Did I mention that SMM (Sergeant Major Mommy) NEVER has the clock radio on her side of the bed. She would never hear it anyway and if it did go off, she would let it buzz until forever. So, daddy (me, moi, numero uno, big daddy, Mr. Right) has the dubious task of listening to the darned thing (technical term). (FYI: SMM doesn’t even own a watch, just saying).
Nevertheless, daddy gets up, showers and makes coffee (not necessarily in that order).
I have about 20 minutes before I have to wake up the little buggers and start the process to get them ready for school. To prime myself for the cataclysmic event, I down six cups of coffee.
So, the time comes to wake them up. I turn on the CD player with their favorite CD which is Disco Favorites cause they like to dance. I pour the milk in their cups and walk into their room, careful not to break my neck on the Lego landmines. I raise the curtains as unobtrusively as possible. Good morning, I say. And then, I turn into a drill sergeant, YOU’RE MOMMA IS NOT HERE TO SAVE YOU BOYS! YOU HAVE TO GET UP AND GET READY FOR SCHOOL IF YOU WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING OF YOUR LIVES, UNLESS YOU WANT TO GO THROUGH LIFE AS A SEVEN YEAR-OLD SLACKER!!!
They respond, Yes, Daddy, then turn over and mumble, five more minutes. Obviously, they take after the wife’s side of the family.
I take this extra time to go wake SMM up. YOU’RE BOYS NEED YOU, MOMMY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING STAYING IN BED? DON’T YOU WANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CHILDREN, WHICH WERE YOUR IDEA TO BEGIN WITH AND WHICH I WOULD GLADLY SELL, BUT THE SQUIRRELS REFUSED THEM!!!
She mumbles, five more minutes, and I shake my head and retreat back to the boys.
YOUR BREAKFAST IS NOT GONNA COOK ITSELF! WHAT DO YOU WANT AND IT BETTER BE SOMETHING NUTRIOUS AND EASY TO MAKE AND WE HAVE IT!? Archibald (not his real name) mumbles Waffles and Mortimer (not his real name, either) says, what are my choices? I need choices. I can’t be expected to pick something off your dream list and heaven forbid, we don’t have it and I’m stuck with nothing to eat.
I reply, ok, well, since you put it like that we have French toast sticks, waffles or cereal. He smiles, French toast sticks and I scurry off to get the little buggers their breakfast.
On my trip back to the kitchen, I check on mommy. She is clearly out of bed by this time and in the shower. Good thing. I hate to threaten her with taking away things, like her Ipad, if she can’t get ready on time.
Ten minutes later, breakfast is ready. The boys still haven’t budged from their beds. Archie! Morty! It’s your first day of school! Aren’t you excited! I’m so excited all I can do is end each sentence with an exclamation mark!!!
The boys eat and about the same time they finish, SMM comes out of the bathroom.
End of Phase One.
SMM begins to prepare lunches for the boys.
They have new backpacks and new lunchboxes this year. They picked them out themselves. Archie has a Grim Reaper backpack and a skull and crossbones lunchbox. I hope he doesn’t become a Goth. I told him that he can’t have any tattoos or body piercings until he’s AT LEAST ten. He said ok, but I think he’s still thinking about it. Morty has a backpack and lunchbox that have dollar signs all over them. He says he wants to be a lawyer and that he is hoping to sit for the Bar exam next year. I say, Ok, but you’d better pass second grade first.
I tell the boys, It is now 7:30 and time to brush your teeth. They have retired into their bedroom and have been constructing more booby traps with Legos. I hate to break them away from such focused work, but, as I tell them, we are on a strict time schedule and cannot afford to miss the bus, unless THEY WANT TO WALK TO SCHOOL.
This doesn’t phase them. They continue playing until I drop my bomb, No TV, No dessert, No Kindle. They immediately stop, stare at each other, yell NO at the same time, and get up also at the same time (it’s amazing how different they are and they are now acting in unison).
We head into the bathroom and brush our teeth, daddy, too, and rinse our mouths with mouthwash.
Mommy finishes the lunches at approximately the same time.
End of Phase Two.
It’s time to get dressed.
I have come a long way in my care for the boys. I used to always pick out their clothes for the day. But, since they are trying to be more independent, I relinquish my clothes-picking-out to them. I do oversee it though. Of course, I’m a guy. My fashion sense is somewhat narrower than SMM’s and there has been that occasion, like every other day, that SMM doesn’t like my fashion selections for the little buggers and she picks out something completely different. Nevertheless, I pick out shorts and socks. Underwear and shirts they can pick out.
I steer Archie away from the black shirts to something tye-dyed. Morty looks for a superhero shirt, but chooses a muscle shirt with a peace sign on it. I can live with those choices. SMM looks like she can, too.
7:50am. All the boys have to do is put on their socks and their shoes, get their backpacks and head out the door. However, Archie spontaneously decides now would be a good time to play hide and seek. Morty, the enabler that he is, is all for it. I spend ten minutes chasing them around with their socks in hand.
8:00am. Socks on. Shoes on. Backpacks in place. We open the door and go outside and see the two kids from across the street already waiting. The boys run to join them and at 8:03, the bus arrives. Daddy, who usually gets the bus-waiting duty, and the mommy of the kids across the street look at each other, shrug our shoulders and say almost simultaneously, mission accomplished. Whew!
Things will be better tomorrow morning, I tell myself. Haha.