What I Didn’t Do Before 8 am

Do you remember that commercial for the U.S. Army with the slogan: “In the Army, we do more before 9 am than most people do all day?” Well, most days I can top that. This morning I did more before 8 am than a lot of people do all day (I won’t say ‘most’ since I know many moms are in the same boat). Here is how this morning went:

5:30 am: Dog wakes me up from rare, deep slumber with a loud bark and slobbery lick to face. Look at clock. Dam it, I had another hour to sleep! Curse dog. Open door to let her outside but screen door is blocked by snow. Curse husband for not taking off screen door. Dog manages to squeeze outside, barks once, and comes back in and promptly goes back to sleep. I, of course, am unable to fall back asleep. Curse dog again.

6:25 am: Wake husband up by scratching his back and apologizing for being cranky the night before. He goes back to sleep. Curse husband.

6:30 am: Go upstairs, grab plunger on the way as gentle reminder to husband to plunge upstairs toilet that 12-year old son is constantly clogging and husband neglected to do last night. Make coffee. Make lunch for 10-year old who has decided to do before-school eco-class. Praise 10-year old for helping the earth and being ambitious, then curse her for making us take her to school 1 hour early.

6:40 am: Wake up 10-year old. Put her clothes in laundry basket. Go outside in snow and freezing wind to search for 10-year old’s lunch box in car. Find the dog has gotten into her lunch box again and destroyed all containers. Heavy sigh. Curse dog.

6:50 am: Wake up 10-year old again. This time I mean it.

6:55 am: Make her lunch. Decide she won’t notice moldy grapes and put them in her lunch anyways. Open lunch boxes for two other kids. Find lunches intact from day before. Wonder why they complain I don’t pack them enough but they never eat it. Close lunches back up and tell myself if it was good enough for yesterday’s lunch, it’s good enough for today.

7 am: Make oatmeal for 10-year old that she only half eats of. Sigh.

7:02 am: Watch husband plunge toilet while he gags. Clean toilet when he’s done.

7:10 am: Say good-bye to husband and 10-year old. Wake up 6-year old and 12-year old. Throw Poor, Neglected Guinea Pig some hay. (That is my official name for him although kids call him Oreo.)

7:15 am: Empty dishwasher. Go downstairs to get dressed to find dog has puked in our bedroom. Heavy sigh. Dog looks at me with sad eyes. Give her love. Run upstairs to get cleaning supplies. Clean up puke. Start emptying dryer and tell myself to stop trying to be so dam productive in the morning. Get dressed. Put on leggings backwards. Try again with success.

7:30 am: Shout at kids to hurry up.

7:40 am: Have talk with 12-year old about need to learn to plunge toilet and develop better eating habits. He gets mad at me.

7:45: Husband comes home. Says he will take other two kids to school. Rejoice! With 15 extra minutes I pull out kids’ ski clothes and boots and helmets and look for gloves that match. Find three matching pairs out of 20 gloves Make kids try on stuff. Nothing fits 12-year old. Heavy sigh.

7:55 am: Make pile of ski gear to donate. Watch 6-year-old try to tie her shoes while watching clock slowly tick. Tie 6-year old’s shoes and usher family out door.

8:00 am: Look around at empty house. Collapse on living room couch for 30 seconds. Get back up. There is still lots to do. It’s only 8 am after all.

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