I have an upcoming Before Breakfast episode that talks about that morning ideal of enjoying a whole, uninterrupted cup of coffee, preferably while sitting down. People without armies of young children might be wondering why that seems so elusive. So let me describe what the past few mornings have looked like.
I have been waking up between 6-6:30 a.m. Theoretically I could set my alarm for, say, 6, and get 10-15 minutes before the kids wake up. But I’m not a naturally early riser and so I’m trying to get as much sleep as I can. Anyway, I have been sleeping in the guest room so I don’t hear the toddler start to babble at 5:30. My husband either ignores him or gets him — I am not really sure which — but has so far not been handing him to me before 6 a.m., so I don’t ask questions.
The morning frenzy really starts at 6:30 when the 14-year-old is woken up. I generally make him breakfast because otherwise he will just eat a piece of bread. Not even toasted. I am doing this while juggling the toddler who, if he hasn’t been fed yet, is yelling “Mommy milk!” (It’s great when they start using their words, right?) Inevitably the dog is downstairs barking in his crate. My husband is either showering or (if he was up at 5:45) sleeping. I might pour a cup of coffee but the toddler has a tendency to wave his arms and legs around while nursing, so this is a dicey proposition. Sometimes we read a story but again, it is an active process.
The 12-year-old needs to be up at 6:50 in order to have a shot of getting ready for the bus. At this point my husband is bringing the dog outside, and then brings him back in, so he’s in the kitchen with the rest of us (sometimes he goes on the porch then, but then he might bark and I’m trying not to be terrible as a neighbor). 7 a.m is peak crazy, as my husband and the 14-year-old are headed out the door for the high school run, I’m getting the 12-year-old breakfast, the dog is barking, the baby is running around, and inevitably the 6-year-old hears the commotion and comes downstairs with his own needs (somehow the 10-year-old sleeps through all this…I have to wake her at 7:45). One of those needs is to be supervised packing his lunch, since he decided after a few weeks of school lunches that he wasn’t going to eat them anymore (to be fair, the last week wasn’t a great week — the district is having supply chain issues, and he’s “selective” — picky — enough that if what he thought was there wasn’t, he just doesn’t eat. The other kids will eat whatever is on offer).
Yes, at the moment, 7:00 a.m. is not my favorite time of day. It does get better. The 12-year-old gets on the bus at 7:25 and if my husband is working from home, he comes home around then from the high school run and I go shower. Our nanny comes to work at 8, the elementary kids are on the bus at 8:30, and the dog often goes into his crate for a morning nap around then, so things settle down considerably. If 7 a.m. is terrible, 8:45 a.m. can be quite lovely. So while it might be nice to trouble shoot the morning rush, and while I’m sure there are things that can be done better, I’m trying to remember that a weekday morning consists of both 7 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., and one is not necessarily more representative than the other.
However, I would like to drink my coffee before 8:45 a.m. So that “uninterrupted cup” is a work in progress…
In other news: This should be a great fall weekend — we’re doing some leaf peeping, seeing a lot of family, hiking, and having cider and donuts. I have been learning the names of fall wildflowers, as I mentioned in my fall fun list. There’s a lot of white snakeroot everywhere (those are the little white flowers), goldenrod (self-explanatory), and asters in various forms.
I may abandon my first fall-themed puzzle, as there are approximately 150 pieces of blue sky to go…and I am just not feeling it.
I had an idea for a novel featuring a character who always does the blue sky in 1000 piece puzzles first….