Usually, my wife, KayEm, gets the kids ready for school in the morning. But on a few occasions, I handle the this task. Based on my experiences, I’ve realized that things don’t go as smoothly for Daddy.
6:45 a.m. – I enter Nee’s bedroom to wake her up. She lifts her head off the pillow and asks, “Daddy, what are you doing here?”
“I’m taking you to the bus stop this morning,” I say. “It’s time to ready, sweetheart.”
Nee looks around the room and says, “It’s too early, Daddy.” “What do you mean it’s too early?” I asked. “What time do you usually get up?” I ask
“I don’t wake up until 7:30,” she says.
“7:30?” I ask incredulously. “That’s too late. I’ll give you 15 more minutes to sleep.” She’s already dozing before I can complete my sentence.
6:50 a.m. – I let dog out of crate.
6:52 a.m. – Dog decides she doesn’t want to go outside. Instead she sits underneath the kitchen table.
6:55 a.m. – Dog finally exits house.
6:56 a.m. – I check work e-mail
6:57 a.m. – I wonder why I’ve received 5 e-mail messages since 6:30 a.m. Don’t these people ever sleep?
7:05 a.m. – I go back upstairs to get the kids.
7:06 a.m. – N jumps out of bed and gives me a big hug. “Where’s Mommy,” he asks.
“Mommy’s resting,” I say. “Now wash your face, brush your teeth and get dressed.” I have to specifically mention each item because they wouldn’t get done if I didn’t.
7:08 a.m. – Nee grunts and drags herself out of bed. I give her the same instructions.
7:09 a.m. – With the morning routine started, I go back downstairs to the kitchen.
7:10 a.m. – KayEm enters kitchen and turns on oven. “What are you doing in here,” I ask. “Shouldn’t you be resting?”
“I have to make pizza rolls for the kids’ lunch,” she says.
7:12 a.m. – I escort KayEm back to the bedroom and tell her I’ll take care of the pizza rolls.
7:15 a.m. – Dog starts barking.
7:16 a.m. – I ignore dog.
7:17 a.m. – Oven beeps to indicate desire temperature has been reached.
7:18 a.m. – I ignore oven
7:19 a.m. – Nee comes downstairs. “Hi, Daddy,” she says. “Where’s Mommy?”
“Mommy’s resting,” I repeat.
7:20 a.m. – KayEm returns to cook the pizza rolls. “I told you I’d do it,” I say.
“Okay,” she says. “Make sure you use the bag that’s already opened. And cook a couple of chicken nuggets for X.”
7:21 a.m. – I escort KayEm back to the bedroom.
7:22 a.m. – I remove pizza rolls from freezer and place on cookie sheet.
7:23 a.m. – N comes downstairs carrying his socks and belt. “Why are we eating pizza rolls for breakfast he asks?’
“These are for your lunch,” I say.
7:24 a.m. – I place pizza rolls in oven and set timer.
7:25 a.m. – KayEm peeks head out of bedroom to ask how long I set the timer for.
“10 minutes,” I say. “Just as the instructions recommend.”
“Okay,” she says and closes the bedroom door.
7:26 a.m. – I instruct Nee to make breakfast for herself and her brother.
7:27 a.m. – Nee informs me that making breakfast is my job.
7:28 a.m. – I inform Nee that she can make breakfast or go to school hungry.
7:29 a.m. – Nee gathers cereal boxes, bowls and milk.
7:30 a.m. – N tells us that he only eats Cheerios without milk.
7:31 a.m. – Nee and N argue about Cheerios situation.
7:33 a.m. – I finally intervene and allow N to eat dry Cheerios.
7:34 a.m. – Oven timer rings.
7:35 a.m. – I remove pizza rolls from oven and place pan on counter.
7:36 a.m. – KayEm returns to kitchen. “What are you doing now?” I ask.
“I usually make them some Pop-tarts to go with their cereal,” she says.
“Will you please go back to the bedroom?” I ask.
“Okay, okay,” she says as she places the Pop-Tarts in the toaster.
7:38 a.m. – Dog starts barking again.
7:39 a.m. – I ignore dog
7:40 a.m. – I get Pop-tarts out of toaster and serve to kids.
“What about the icing?” they ask.
7:41 a.m. – I locate icing package and squeeze on Pop-Tarts.
7:42 a.m. – Dog still barking.
7:43 a.m. – I feed dog.
7:45 a.m. – Kids finish breakfast.
7:46 a.m. – I gather hairstyling items and order Nee to sit in chair so I can do her hair.
“No!” she says firmly. “Only Mommy can do my hair.”
7:47 a.m. – I give up on doing Nee’s hair and order N to sit down in the chair.
“Are you going to do my hair like a girl’s?” he asks.
“Yes,” I say.
7:48 a.m. – N jumps out of chair and runs away.
7:49 a.m. – I convince N that I was just kidding and begin to brush his hair.
7:50 a.m. – I realize that N still hasn’t put on socks and belt and order him to do so.
7:51 a.m. – I ask Nee to wrap pizza rolls in foil and place in lunch bags.
7:52 a.m. – I turn around to discover N sucking remnants of icing out of the package. Order him to throw package in trash can.
7:53 a.m. – During the commotion, Nee attempts to give herself more pizza rolls until N sees her.
7:54 a.m. – I divide pizza rolls evenly and tell Nee to proceed with her task.
7:55 a.m. – Remind N to put on his socks and belt.
7:56 a.m. – KayEm returns and prepares to do Nee’s hair.
7:57 a.m. – Nee places pizza rolls in lunch bags and places bags in backpacks.
7:58 a.m. – Nee sits in chair to get hair done.
7:59 a.m. – I notice that N has icing on his face and tell him to get a wet wipe to clean up
8:00 a.m. – N retrieves box of wet wipes and offers one to his sister
8:01 a.m. – Nee and N argue about wet wipes.
8:05 a.m. – KayEm intervenes and ends wet-wipe argument.
8:06 a.m. – N cleans face and finally puts on socks and belt.
8:10 a.m. – KayEm finishes Nee’s hair.
8:11 a.m. – Kids put on shoes, grab backpacks, kiss mommy and dash outside.
8:13 a.m. – Kids argue about seating arrangements in car.
8:14 a.m. – I grit my teeth and tell them to get in the car or else they will have to walk to school.
8:16 a.m. – Arrive at bus stop. Other parents look at me suspiciously. “Where is KayEm,” they ask.
“She’s at home,” I say. “I got the kids ready this morning.” The moms all nod their heads in unison as they inspect the kids.
8:17 a.m. – N falls into the wet grass while chasing his friend. Moms glare at me.
8:20 a.m. – Bus finally arrives.
8:21 a.m. – Nee and N load bus without bothering to say goodbye or give me a hug or kiss
8:23 a.m. – Bus pulls away.
8:24 a.m. – I look over to see Nee blowing me a kiss and waving goodbye.
8:25 a.m. – Everything is right in the world again.
Question: What happens during your morning routine?