I wake up every morning and begin The Schedule.
Depending on the day of the week — and the night before — The Schedule begins at 6:30 a.m. or 7:21 a.m.
I have to be at work at 8:30 a.m., so let’s look at what we shove into the first hour and a half to 29 minutes of our days.
6:30 a.m.: Get Shae Ready
- Alarm blares “Silk,” which is a gentle and inaccurate reference to the car horn screaming me awake, at 6:30 a.m.
- “Wake up.”
- Snooze alarm.
- Alarm blares again 7 minutes and 59 seconds later. (Why can’t I set my own snooze on an iPhone?!)
- Wake up, and actually get out of bed.
- Obtain coffee. It’s dark outside, and humans should be awake, and coffee is life force in liquid form, and I need it.
- The coffee is not fresh.
- Drink it anyway.
- Speed through a shower… or ignore the shower and hope #shorthairdontcare can be made presentable for work.
- Get ready for work. This takes seven minutes with or without a shower.
7 a.m.: Get the Toddler Ready
- Now “ready” for my day, simultaneously do the dishes, pick up the house and repack the toddler’s daycare bag because he definitely unpacked it the night before. Yay. He’s good at zippers.
- Later than 7 a.m.? Ignore all chores and hope there are spare diapers and a change of clothes in the daycare bag.
- Prepare the toddler’s breakfast, which is nearly always yogur’ and a ‘nack (a granola bar). Otherwise, he’s not gonna eat breakfast.
- Wake the toddler — who would rather sleep longer thank you very much. I feel your pain, kiddo. Get TF out of bed.
- Toddler attempts to drag me into the crib. He’s very strong.
- Finally coax the toddler out of bed and onto his diaper changing station.
- Argue with him about changing his diaper. He wants to keep it, of course. (I don’t understand this. Someone explain it to me.)
- Argue with him about taking off his PJs. He wants to keep them, of course. (Again, please explain.)
- Finally coax the toddler into a clean diaper, out of his jams and into daytime clothes.
- Feed the toddler his yogur’ and ‘nack. He still doesn’t eat it.
- While the toddler is NOT eating, make my own breakfast and prep a lunch for work because, no, I did not do it the night before.
- Where are the toddler’s shoes? Where are his shoes always? Why aren’t they in the shoe tote? Why aren’t they ever in the shoe tote?
- Find the toddler’s shoes in a pile of his toys — and then shove them onto his argumentative little baby feet.
- He’s dressed. He’s “fed.” He’s got a jacket, hat and mittens. He’s wearing shoes. Hallelujah.
8 a.m.: Leave the House (we’re going to be late!)
- Pack ALL THE THINGS.
- Attach ALL THE THINGS and an uncooperative child to my body, so we can leave the house.
- Leave the house.
- The toddler has other ideas about leaving the house. Other ideas like finding a special invisible nonexistent toy. Fuss about it. Settle for a puppy. Demand to be carried. Cling to mom while she tries to open doors, close doors and lock doors.
- Finally coax the toddler out of the house and to the car.
- Argue with the toddler about which door he gets to open on the car.
- Argue with the toddler about getting in the car.
- Argue with the toddler about sitting in his carseat.
- Argue with the toddler about buckling his carseat.
- Promise the toddler — my first-born — to a random deity if he will just SIT IN THE CARSEAT.
- Finally get the toddler in the carseat. No deity shows up to get him. (Rude.)
- Did I lock the door?
- Go back to the house to make sure I locked the door. It is. It always is.
- Almost drive away with my now very cold coffee on the roof of the car.
- Save the coffee.
- Drive to daycare while pumping up my toddler about going to daycare — and being awake.
- Arrive at daycare.
- Navigate pedestrians.
- Park and get out of the car and carseat.
- The toddler celebrates like I’ve locked him in for longer than 8-10 minutes.
- Navigate drivers.
- The toddler helps me open the doors, which means punching the code in wrong at least twice.
- Say “hello” to everyone we see, including the fishes in the fish tank by banging on it. Sorry, fishes.
- Drop off the toddler at his classroom.
- Be immediately ignored by the toddler once he sees all his little friends at daycare. He’s so excited to be awake now — and I haven’t finished my coffee. Bye, dude.
- Got to work — I just made it.
Repeat every weekday that ends in Y, and there you have it: The Schedule.
Toddlers really make mornings a chore. Are teenage boys any better? I’m terrified.