Wow! Time flies! Its been a month!
What a busy month its been. I have missed you all the past few weeks. I had to take a few off because, well, life. Shut it. Don’t judge. I’ve had shit to do. I’ve traveled, ran a half marathon (wasn’t ready, jacked up my knees), had food poisoning, worked my ass off, training for my triathlon, and on and on. But here I am back at it and ready to share with you all. Today, I want to address mornings.
Mornings with kids are usually on the level of stabbing yourself in the eye. They suck, right?
Well maybe I have found the holy grail to mornings with kids, or perhaps “holy water.” Anyone that has kids can testify, there is NOTHING simple about a morning with kids. Mornings with kids are hard for most couples to manage, much less perfect it. And, I in no way, have perfected the managing of it as a single dad. Mornings can be the most daunting part of the day.
They can keep you up at night, knowing that as soon as you fall asleep you are going to have to awaken to quite ultimately the most challenging part of your day. Mornings are even tougher for people that are not “morning people”. Unfortunately for my children, I am a morning person. This can be quite counterproductive with kids, as you walk the fine line of pissing them off and motivating them to get going.
But I do it! And I’m pretty damn good at it too.
My day began as most Tuesdays do. Woke up around 4:00 am, worked out, took a shower, and then attempted to wake up the kids.
Waking up the kids has got to be one of my most favorite daily tasks on a long list of responsibilities that must be accomplished every day. Now, if you believe that, then you don’t have kids and I have some ocean front property somewhere in the dead heat of the dessert to sell you. Point blank. Every morning I walk into their rooms under the umbrella of fear and uncertainty, knowing the next few minutes will dictate how the rest of the morning will follow.
What will I get when I lean over to kiss Zoe on the cheek?
A swinging fist that would put Holyfield on his back? Perhaps a smile as she snuggles up to me with an angelic whispering voice saying good morning Daddy. With Zoe there are mornings with attitude and times without.
Zak on the other hand, almost every morning, is up, dressed, and eating breakfast before he even opens his eyes.
He is not very talkative when first awakening. Moving silently through the house grabbing his clothes, school stuff, shoes, then making his way to the kitchen he, in an almost zombie like fashion, pours his cereal and gets to eating
But then, there are other mornings. Mornings when they need a little coaxing. Something extra just to get them up and moving.
On these types of mornings, I’ve given them chance after chance to get up on their own accord. I’ve tried being sweet, blasting music, and even yelling. So when I say coaxing, I mean cold water! Yes I will do it. The kids know I will do it. I have done it!
And if you want to see a little girl turn into the spawn of Satan, head spinning around, fire spewing out of her ears,
then just throw a little water on her at 6 o’clock in the morning. Now I’m not talking a full cup of water. Not saying to get ice. When I say water I mean dipping my fingers into a cup of water and sprinkling just a little on their sweet unsuspecting faces. If I go into this heinous punishment realizing that what I am throwing on my child is not actually acid, as said child would have me believe, and think of it more like magic water that transforms my kid in to a step ford child, then it’s quite easy to find the humor in it. The beauty of it, when done right, is I won’t have to follow through with it very often.
That’s the trick, no open ended threats!
Kids smell the bull shit from a mile away and when given the chance they will run all over you. They will find that the little crack in the door, jam their little fingers and tiny feet through it and pounce all over you. You must not show weakness. You must stick to your guns. Someone once told me if you go an entire week without your kid saying, “I don’t love you” or “I hate you”, you are not doing your job as a parent. This water “trick” will work and miraculously after a few seconds and several sprinkles of water they will pop up and begin doing whatever you ask them. Sometimes even with a yes sir and no sir. It is pure magic…..
But mornings, even the gathering of things can be a long drawn out process of arguing, searching, and mass confusion.
Where’s my lunch? Daddy where are my shoes? Hey stop running, we are leaving! Where’s my book bag? I can’t find my pencils! Zak turn off the TV! We are leaving! Daddy I need to use the bathroom!
And it goes on and on and on.
This is all in the last 60 seconds as I am literally one foot out of the door. We then make it out the door with hopes nothing has been forgotten. But, most always we have…there’s always a schedule of events in my head that should be done by certain times (some people are organized and write these things down, I do not), and
some mornings we nail every one of them.
Gym bag for afternoon workout packed, book bags for school, briefcase for work, change of shoes in the bag, kids dressed, all school papers have been signed, lunches made, breakfast ate, teeth brushed (so they say), dishes done, coffee drank, soccer stuff in the car, shoes tied, lights turned off, I even found 15 minutes of quiet time for myself, and we are five minutes early. This morning we are on a roll!
I don’t mean to say all of this because I have figured out this whole “parent” thing.
It is really all just smoke and mirrors. A house of cards that, when one thing goes wrong can all come tumbling down. I have realized; however, it’s not about being perfect or whether you remember to pack everything in your kid’s lunch. Being a parent to me is about raising two little humans to become well-functioning adults. People that contribute to society. People that will care for other people no matter what the look like, that know right from wrong and will do that right thing even if no one is watching. It is my job to show them how to handle everyday challenges. It is my job to show them how to be kind to people. It is my job, no not my job, my responsibility to teach them not to take life too serious, work hard for everything you want, and find the simple joys in life.
I really Love my job!
Disclaimer: This pic is from a few years ago. But it is one of my all time favs!
Photo credit: Barefeet Photography