Define Normal

Can somebody please let me know what type of rituals constitute a normal morning routine? We do the waking up and the shuffling around but we are lacking the meat on the bones of the morning melee.
First up, I would like to note that we are a family full of night owls who would rather stay up until all hours watching movies and snacking on bags of chips than being tucked in and kissed on the forehead at eight, so there are some tired bunnies come 6:30 a.m. However, the level of difficulty is rising with each passing year and soon they will outweigh and tower over me. How do you reason with (or threaten if you like) someone like that?
This morning I awoke abruptly from a dream where I was being stalked through my house by a giant anaconda. You might think that is a little weird, but I spent much of the day yesterday wondering what ever became of a friends recently escaped snake that disappeared into their pipes. Could those things go from house to house? What if one found its way in and got all cozy underneath a bed so it could bide it’s time until it got hungry? Worse, what if one flew up out of the toilet-while it was being used? So now you understand why my subconscious decided to go there.

Unmade beds, another recurring theme in this house.

Moments after coming out of that nightmare the alarm sounded and I was off. My kids were barely awake at this hour so I made it easy by slipping clothes over their heads and sending them toward the stairs. When I arrived seconds later both were sound asleep on separate couches and I had to shake them violently to get them to move on their own to the table to eat their Cheerios. This just continued in a bizarre cyclical pattern until it was time to leave. The third also contributed to the chaos, but at least I could pick him up to move him along.
I watched a couple of advice gurus and they had what looked like helpful hints. Make sure the kids are getting enough rest, limit TV and video games, watch the diet. Those I can do but how do you motivate these motionless beings in real-time? I’ve already been yelled at for hovering over and dressing them being told that my helicopter parenting is doing them NO favors and stripping them of the little independence they actually do have. But I refuse to let the lolly gagging make us late. Gah, what to do?

My somewhat practical husband had a system in place during the first week  of the school year that had their clothes laid out for them with the expectation that they would put them on their own bodies. The excitement and hustle and bustle of September was enough to motivate and propel them into action as we were all up running around. Now the mornings are more like floating quietly in a tube down the lazy river at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Vegas-serene and mind numbing but with sleepiness instead of alcohol.

So, I will set the alarm in hopes that tomorrow I will see fresh-faced self starters hop out of bed, bathe themselves and put clothes on their uncovered parts without my help or encouragement (also called yelling). This followed by smiles and thought-provoking breakfast chit chat around our kitchen table.  Everyone would be ready to walk out the door on time and in good spirits minus the usual skirmishes about personal space and who qualifies as the biggest pain in the ass that day. The woman from the Free Range Kids blog would award me my graduation medal and tell me I was on my way to letting my kids grow up and do their own thing.

Yeah, that sounds good to me.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Define Normal

  1. MommySaidWhat?

    I would kill, KILL to switch places with you. My daughter is up before 6 every morning. I don’t even set an alarm anymore. I figure, if they sleep in, I sleep in. Screw it. I’d consider it a personal victory.

    Count your blessings. 🙂

    • dufmanno

      I know. I actually toyed with the idea of revealing that they sleep in on weekends but decided that a thousand sharp knives coming at me from slumber deprived parents was a risk too great to take. When the two boys were really little they NEVER slept, so the current state of the mornings here are a real change of pace. Hope the 6 am wake up call eases a little in time:)

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