I’ve reached that milestone in my children’s education where the kids officially have to be at school at an “ungodly” hour. If there were such a thing as a “godly” hour, it would have to be the start time when they were in pre-school. Of course they only went to school for two hours a day then, which barely left me time to run one errand. But school didn’t start until 9am, which I thought was a reasonable time for me to be semi-conscious.
In elementary school, they had to be at line-up by 8:25am. This was definitely worse but at least I only live five minutes away so, more often than not, I could actually drive them in something more appropriate than my bathrobe. Not that anyone notices that I’m in a bathrobe… but if my car broke down or I got stopped by a police officer, it could be pretty embarrassing. Besides, I’m sure if I got pulled over, I would certainly get a ticket for reckless ugliness.
Anyway, this year my son has graduated to a bi-weekly 7:40am arrival. Unfortunately, with this time, I foresee many bathrobe days ahead.
Now you have to understand, I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person. When we were kids, my brothers would scream in fright when I exited my bedroom in the morning. Now as an adult, when I get out of bed, my own kids are momentarily taken aback. What’s worse; the dog growls at me and even the bearded dragon puffs up his beard and hisses. Honestly, I don’t blame them… I scare myself in the morning. I usually look like one of the monsters that does battle with Scooby Doo and the gang. My hair stands up at wild angles, my face is puffy and it’s lined with bed sheet creases on one side. No, I’m not a pretty sight. The best way to describe me would be a cross between the Bride of Frankenstein and the Mommy from the Black Lagoon. Fortunately, my husband leaves for work before I get up or I think my marriage would have ended years ago.
Knowing that this is the hard reality of my life, I try to leave time in the morning to shower, put on some makeup, and iron the creases out of my face. However, as the school arrival times get earlier, the mornings getting darker, and the creases get deeper, its getting harder to accomplish all this before its time to leave the house.
Naturally, I’ve tried to get as much done as possible the night before so I have more time in the mornings to get myself together: I make the kids lunches in advance, get them to pack up their backpacks in advance, have them eat breakfast the night before and sleep in their clothes. But ultimately, we all end up rushing around in the mornings anyway.
Finally, in an effort to give my children the benefit of a perky, ready-to-go, bright and cheery mommy in the morning, I decided to set my alarm clock an hour early, shower, get dressed, have their lunches made and their back packs packed before they even woke up.
Clearly, I was dreaming.
Nevertheless, at 7am when my children awoke, everything was done and I was awake… sort of.
Curiously, that day at pick-up, I was greeted by two sullen-faced children.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” I asked them.
They glared at me.
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“Mom, you gave us the wrong lunches,” my daughter snarled.
“And you put my math book in her backpack so I didn’t have my homework to turn in in class,” said my son.
“I’m really sorry, guys. I got up extra early so I wouldn’t have to drive you in my bathrobe and I guess I was still half-asleep.”
“Mom,” said my daughter grabbing my hand.” If you need the extra sleep and you have to drive us in your bathrobe, its O.K., really.”
I was touched. “Thanks, Sweetie,” I beamed. “That’s very understanding of you.”
She smiled supportively.
“But if anyone we knows sees you, don’t tell them we’re related.”