Cainan is usually already awake and waiting for us. He is a light sleeper, so I am sure he either hears our alarm or the shower running. So he hops right out of bed. He is our morning person. He is full of energy right from the beginning - running around and hopping into the bathroom to get ready. I watch him with bleary eyes and wish I could be half as awake.
Sometimes it takes Mat coming in and turning on the light or pulling back the covers. Cruel. Yet...necessary at least 1 day a week. Arlington usually is the last up, and walks slowly to the bathroom as if she is being forced to do the most awful task in the world.
I also usually have to knock on Arlington's bathroom door to get her to move it along. She has taken to locking herself in there with a book or magazine and hopes I forget about her. I think she goes back to sleep.
While Finley gets dressed, ("OMG hurry up" comes out of my mouth 8 billion times), I brush Cainan's teeth. Mat is usually down by now and getting Arlington's breakfast ready. She is the only one that has to eat. Bless the preschool that serves breakfast. Amen.
Finley? Well, Finley may or may not have dressed herself at this point. Usually she is fussing over her socks. Or the fact that she has to wear pants. So on and so on. I brush her teeth. I brush her rats nest she calls hair. We search for her glasses and clean off all of her fingerprints. We search for her sunglasses. She begs for a drink. A snack. A hug. She goes to put her shoes on and is not seen for a full 5 minutes until I look in our mud room and she is just playing around. Then she says she can't find any shoes (even though there are 10 pair there for her to pick from).
While she eats, I help Finley find her shoes, and Mat helps get their coat and belongings and shuttles them out the door. It is 7am at this point, and it is now just Arlington and I.
I sigh. Arlington eats and I pack our lunches. (Again - blessed preschool provides lunch and snacks, so I am off the hook). Arlington realizes what time it is - about 7:05 - and scarfs down the rest of her breakfast. In the morning I allow her to watch "
I continue to pack lunches, and clean up breakfast dishes, and put things away around the house. Arlington is dressing - slowly - and promises to brush her teeth during the first commercial break. She is dressed and on the couch relaxing while I finish getting ready.
At 7:15 - she brushes her teeth and I do her hair. At 7:20 I go down and start the car (if it is winter) or just load it (if it is warm). Bookbag - check. My bag - check. Lunches - check. Any odds and ends. Check. I check the days schedule. Is it library day for Arlington? Field trip? Homework is complete and put in her bag? Check check check. I quickly think what it will be like when I do this next year with three of them, shudder, and put the thought from my mind.
I drive Arlington to the wonderful people who watch her in the morning for 15 minutes. Free of charge. I am grateful for amazing friends. Their little girl and Arlington are friends and in 2nd grade together. I drop Arlington off at 7:40 and talk with my friend for a few minutes. I am
It takes me from 7:45-8:15 to get to work. This is my relaxing time. I unwind - listen to the radio, or music, or any other
Unless I get behind a bus. Then bliss goes bye-bye, and my hypersensitive "need to get to work on time so please get out of the way bus" feelings take over.
From 8:15-3:15, I am a school nurse. I wipe noses, give bandaids. And hugs. I give about a trillion ice packs for boo-boos, and wipe tears. I see about 100 belly aches, headaches, "can't remember" aches, and just "I need a break" aches. I give out at least 10 water bottles, 50 mints (magic mints the kids call them - good for bellies), cough drops, medication, breathing treatments. I file tons of papers. I got to meetings. I talk with most of the teachers about their kids. I eat lunch with my work BFFs. I talk to worried parents. I call parents who didn't call their kids in sick to see where they are. The day goes by quickly. Before I know it, it is time to head home.
3:15-3:45 I unwind from work. At 3:45 I meet Arlington at her bus at our other life saving friend, Athena's house. Her little boy and Arlington get off the bus - wound up and ready to play. They dump their backpacks and take off, with me yelling "5 minutes!" behind them. Athena and I chat and catch up. I love that I pick up Arlington there because I love getting to see her and chat with her every day. She is one of the best people I know.
5 minutes (okay usually 10 by the time Athena and I stop chatting) later, Arlington and I are on our way home. We are usually home a little after 4pm at the latest, and she sits down to do her homework right away. I get her backpack unpacked and set her up at the table. No one is home except she and I, so this is a great time for her to do her homework. Some days after school she has after school activities, so this only works on days she doesn't and comes straight home from school.
Homework goes pretty smoothly. It doesn't take long and she is pretty independent. Her spelling needs help. But more than that - she is good. Thank goodness because 2nd grade homework is tough. She works on multiplication and word problems, and things I don't remember doing quite that early on.
5-7pm can go two ways. Smooth. Or.....not. When it is smooth - the parents get to relax and play with the kids and all is well. No fighting, and lots of giggles. The other times, well.....let's just say 7pm cannot come fast enough. We have a big house, and yet - it is still not big enough to separate them on these days when no one wants to play cooperatively. Luckily - those days are few and far between.
At 7pm, my big girl Arlington takes her shower. She has been doing this for a few weeks now, and is really great at it. And I cannot tell you how nice it is to not have to bath 3 any more. I didn't want her to make that step -it meant she wasn't a little girl anymore. But it truly has been great, and she loves having that responsibility.
The little ones chase each other around while I call for them. And call for them. I run the bath water and get the towels. I look, and see that Finley hasn't taking one lick of clothing off, so she is not ready. It is 7:10 - she is trying my patience.
But Cainan is ready. He is still bouncing around. Not at bouncy as he was this morning, but still a happy boy. I bathe him first and have him go and get dressed while I wait.for.Finley.
7:20 - baths are done, and Mat is reading a book to Cainan. Arlington has used a half a bottle of shampoo and body wash, but she is clean and ready for bed. I finish picking up the bathroom while Finley attempts to dress herself. And when I say attempt - I mean....not doing anything but playing butt naked in her bedroom. Completely oblivious that it is bedtime.
Mat reads to Arlington (they are making their way through the books of Chronicles of Narnia). I wrestle Finley into her pajamas and we read a book. She then requests no less than 5 books in her bed that she can read to her doll Lilly loo loo. (don't ask). She has her rag, and she is settled in.
High maintenance that girl is.
By 10pm we are beat and in bed. Knowing that in 8 hours it is going to start all over again. But we love it and wouldn't trade it. The giggles, the chasing, the hugs and kisses. That all makes up for the spilled cereal and slow pace our children take with life.
See you Saturday.