The day is happy. For the most part, everyone is getting along. School is going well. Meals are healthy and thought-out in advance. I am showered and dressed, and I have makeup on. Everything is going well. Cue the song “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.”
We lose track of time as we prance about the house all day singing our song when the clock strikes 3:45. We have to be somewhere at 4.
Then panic sets in, and I become a drill sergeant barking orders:
Change your shirt! (You can’t go in public in *that*!)
Put on your shoes!
Where is your coat?
Then the kids get cranky and whiny. They start yelling across the house, bickering, and fighting. Socks, shoes, and coats seem to fly through the air.
And the baby looks at me and grins. There is a stench in the air. Toddler Law says they must always poo as you’re walking out the door.
We make it to the van. One still doesn’t have shoes, one has a crusty face, and one is missing.
We are in our seats, but no one feels settled. We are all spent, tired, and cranky. It is 3:59.
Cue “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.”
I’ve come to realize that some of my weakest parenting occurs during the rush to get out the door. It’s a pattern I know I need to fix, giving myself more time and praying for more patience. I’m going to work on that.
Because it would sure be nice to “Hit the Road, Jack,” with a smile on all of our faces.