The first five minutes of the day are my worst five minutes of the day. I have actually developed a coping mantra that I start chanting in my head the second my feet hit the floor. It goes: Don't think, don't think, don't think. Because for the first five minutes of my day, every thought thunk is a negative one. Full of anxiety, up to its ears in stress and dread.
Once I'm actually awake and have had a sip of coffee, I'm usually fine. This does not mean I'm functional, however, which is why I do all my morning preparations the night before. I make the boys' lunches while I'm making dinner. I lay out clothes, including mine, put socks with shoes and put the shoes on the mantle (otherwise the dog will eat them). I place the backpacks by the door and make sure homework folders are in the backpacks. If the boys have requested french toast for breakfast, I mix up the eggs and milk and cinnamon and put a pan on the stove.
I do this not because I'm the queen of organization. I do this as a favor to my morning self. My morning self is capable of very little given her own devices. Drinking coffee. Blinking slowly. Cajoling children out of bed. That's about it.
In fact, there is little evidence that I'm actually awake as I'm getting boys out of bed and pouring the coffee and saying, "Time to brush your teeth, yes, you do have to brush your teeth or else they'll all fall out before you're seven that's why."
Which is why it should come as no surprise that this particular morning Jack, my lovely fourth grader, my wonderful child who has the sense of inchoate lemur, who is even less of a morning person than I, managed to go to school in his pajamas.
Okay, I'm exaggerating. He did put on his shorts (underwear? I'm not going to even check), but the shirt? It's the one he slept in. Which actually happens to be the shirt he wore to school yesterday, which for some reason he did not change out of last night. That would explain the double set of toothpaste stains.
Oh, it is a wrinkled, dirty shirt--and worse, it's the shirt he wore yesterday afternoon when he got his hair cut. So it is wrinkled, dirty and hairy and most likely itchy.
And I didn't notice it until he was grabbing his back pack out of the front seat when I dropped him off this morning.
Fortunately he's a boy and he doesn't care, and he will spend his day surrounded by other fourth grade boys who won't notice and fourth grade girls who might notice but who are too busy wondering what Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers are doing right this very second to care. I suppose his teacher might feel compelled to call Social Services in the face of such blatant parental negligence, but if she did, I'd quit room parenting and she'd have to do all the little "it's your day to read at lunchtime" reminder e-mails, so she won't.
Still, it's pretty pathetic. I should probably get up a half hour early and have a cup of coffee before the boys get up, just to avoid mishaps such as this. But I won't. Because I hate morning, and I'm willing to sacrifice my children's social status and physical comfort (that shirt has just got to itch) for five more minutes of sleep. That's just the kind of mother I am.
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