Holy crap! This morning was what classy moms call “a real shit show” at our house. I am drinking my coffee in celebration as we speak. Yes, I am celebrating. Celebrating that all three kids got on the bus and I don’t have to look at their faces for the next 8 hours. Is that wrong?
Sounds so simple doesn’t it? The school bus arrives at 8:11am and my only job is to get them on safely. Piece of cake right? Yeah, not so much. Let me break it down for you.
Flynn (age 9) enters the kitchen after his shower with soaking wet hair, shorts and no shirt in a panic “Mom? Please tell me you washed them.”
Me: “Washed what?”
Flynn: ” My favorite black sweat pants”
Me: “They are soaking wet buddy. I just switched them over to the dryer. Sorry.”
It sounded like a small animal was dying a slow death when he heard the bad news.
Flynn: (fists clinched) “Ahhhhhmeeeeyaaaahhh…..Moooooom! I NEEeeeeD those!”
Me: “Cut it out, will ya? Wear some jeans. You’ll be fine.”
Flynn: (As if I asked him to wear a dress or something.) “Jeans. Nobody wears jeans. I don’t even have any jeans.”
Me: “You have at least 6 pair of jeans. Go find them and put them on so you can eat breakfast.”
Flynn storms off like he has a terrible life muttering God knows what under his breath. I pester him, like all good moms do, from the bottom of the stairwell. “That’s why I asked you to lay out your clothes last night! So this doesn’t happen.”
Flynn: “I hate jeans! I’m not wearing jeans!”
Me: “You’re going to look funny getting on the bus without pants.”
I hear dresser drawers slamming. Apparently Molly (age 8) is awake and out of the shower because I can hear their conversation.
Flynn: “Don’t look at me, Molly!”
Molly: “Geez, Good Morning to you too!”
(Flynn’s bedroom door slams)
Then Molly chimes in “Mom? I just got out of the shower. Do I have any clean jeans downstairs?”
Me: “No. Find something in your closet. You have a bazillion choices.”
Molly: “None of these jeans fit right.”
Me: “I’m in no mood Molly. Find something. This is why I asked you to lay out your clothes last night.”
Molly: (feeling defeated) “Fine. And by the way, Teagan is in the shower now.”
Me: “Okay, thank you.”
Flynn comes downstairs for breakfast still wearing shorts.
I give him a disapproving eye and he defends himself “I really, really, REALLY do NOT want to wear jeans. Please Mom. Can we just wait and see if the sweat pants dry?”
Me: (I’m already exhausted.) “Fine. Just eat your breakfast please.”
He eats his breakfast as the dryer tosses his sweat pants in a rhythmic fashion. Molly enters the kitchen dressed and ready for school. She sits at the kitchen table directly across from Flynn and stares at him. He glares at his sister and arranges the cereal box to block her view.
Molly: “Good morning mom!”
Flynn grunts in disgust at her positive attitude.
Me: “Good morning! You need to eat quickly so you have time to blow dry your hair. It’s soaking wet.”
Molly: Ok, what’s HIS problem? Why is he wearing shorts?” (pointing to Flynn)
Me: “Mind your own business and eat.”
Flynn: “Yeah Molly! Mind your own business.”
I yell upstairs “Teagan are you coming down soon??”
Teagan:(age 5) “I’m getting dwessed Mom! This skirt doesn’t really fit me.”
Me: (Now I sound like a broken record.) “That’s why I asked you to lay your clothes out last night.”
Teagan :(aggravated) “Uggghhh…it’s too big for me!”
Me: “Come downstairs, I will help you!”
Teagan comes downstairs with soaking wet hair, holding her skirt so it doesn’t fall off of her. I approach her and adjust the butttons inside the skirt.
Me: “Ok Sweet Tea. Eat your breakfast quick. The bus will be here in 12 minutes.”
Teagan: “What? I can’t eat that fast.”
Flynn gets up and opens the dryer “Mom. They’re dry.” I walk over skeptically to see for myself.
Me: “No, they are damp. You will freeze if you wear these. Go brush your teeth and give them some more time. Actually, can you please just wear jeans?”
He ignores my plea to wear jeans and bolts upstairs to brush his teeth. Molly follows close behind him to do the same.
Me: (yelling upstairs) “Will you bring Teagan’s toothbrush downstairs for her please?”
Molly: (as she is brushing) “I will.”
Me: “Thank you! (I turn my attention to Teagan and pull her chair away from the table) You’re done sista. The bus will be here in 5 minutes. We need to dry that hair.”
Teagan: “but…I’m NOT done eating!”
Me: “Bring your cereal into the bathroom so I can dry your hair.” (Eating cereal while someone does your hair is totally normal, right?)
Molly runs down the stairs, slings open the pantry door, grabs a snack and shoves it in her backpack. Then she sits down to put on her shoes.
Flynn literally knocks me over as he runs to the dryer. He opens the dryer, grabs his damp sweat pants, takes off his shorts and puts them on.
Me: “Those are NOT dry Flynn!! (I turn to Teagan) Now brush your teeth please.”
Flynn: As he throws a snack in his backpack “Mom. I promise, they’re fine”
Molly: (sticking up for her brother) “Mom! Flynn is right. All the boys wear those. They don’t wear jeans.”
Flynn: (he high-fives Molly) “See!!!!”
Me: “Oh. Well, I’m glad to see you two like each other again. ”
Me: “The bus will be here in exactly one minute.”
Molly: “Mom! My hair. Can you put it in 2 braids?”
Teagan finishes brushing her teeth and I slap a barrette into her hair. I call Molly into the bathroom and start braiding her damp hair at lightning speed .
Teagan: (devastated) “Mom? I don’t have my snacks!”
Flynn: (Waiting with his coat and backpack on)”We’re gonna miss the bus! Hurry up girls!!!
Molly: (confident and unfazed) “As soon as Mom finishes my hair, I’m ready!”
Teagan tries to rush and ends up running into the bathroom door. She bumps her head and is now crying. Flynn comes to her rescue and grabs any ‘ol thing out of the pantry and throws it into her backpack.
Teagan: (Still crying) “Mom? I don’t like those snacks Flynn picked…AND.. I have to write my name on them. My teacher says so. It’s a rule!”
Me: (I finish braiding Molly’s hair and instruct her to get her coat on) “Teagan bring me the snacks you want and a marker.”
Flynn: (screaming) “Mom! It’s 8:11.
Teagan:(yelling through tears) “We know Flynn! We are trying to hurry! Stop yelling!”
Flynn:(yelling louder now) “We’re gonna miss the bus!”
He walks outside and slams the door.
Maggie: (enters the room crying) “Where the big kids going?”
Me: (I’m writing Teagan’s name on her snacks) “Good morning Maggie. The big kids are going to school. Molly, go outside with Flynn. Teagan, put on your coat and backpack…HURRY!”
Maggie: (drops to the floor in a full tantrum) “Noooo! Why they go bye-bye?”
Our chocolate lab,Ted, licks Maggie to comfort her.
Molly steps over Maggie and Ted like they aren’t even there. As she turns the doorknob to head outside Flynn flings the door open and screams at the top of his lungs, “The BUS is HERE!”
All 3 kids run full speed out the door and down the driveway. I leave Maggie and Ted behind as I chase after Teagan. Somehow I manage to throw her snacks in her backpack and dry her tears on the fly. Who says I’m not athletic?
Teagan (as she is running away) “Thanks mommy! Love you!”
Me: “Love you too! Have a great day! Be careful, you’re running so fast!”
Teagan; “I’m ok mom!”
As they get further and further away I silently pray that nobody trips while in route.
Somehow everyone makes it on the bus without a hitch. We all wave goodbye and I can finally take a deep breath. I can’t believe they actually made it. I have to say, sometimes I impress myself.
I dreamed about a nice quiet cup of coffee as I made my way back towards the house; but instead I was greeted at the door by a two year old, holding a blanket and sobbing.
Maggie: “Why you leave me Mommy?”
Me: (Picking Maggie up) “Aw, don’t cry. I would never leave you. I had to get the kids on the school bus, that’s all.”
Maggie: (Settling down)”You not leave me.”
Me: “No Maggie. I will never leave.”
Maggie: (grabs my cheeks and kisses me. She is suddenly smiling and happy.) “Thank you mommy! I’m glad you’re home!”
Me: (giggling) “I’m glad I’m home too!”
Our home is crazy but I wouldn’t change it for the world!