History tells us if we don’t learn from it, we are doomed to repeat it. Well, I’m not sure History really said that, but I’m convinced History must be a mother whose primary line is “I really wish you would learn to listen to me. I kind of know what I’m talking about.”
I’m talking about the morning routine we all hate to talk about. The diurnal meditation on internal combustion or as it is commonly referred to: getting my child to school on time.
Oh, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been through this unsuccessful romp before. My own childhood attendance bore the marks of tardiness so often in fact, that there was a temporary shortage of red ink pens in Denver County schools for a month. After considerable concern over a small forest of trees that were felled for my tardiness slips back in ‘77, I was given my own laminated card with the date left wide open.
As Karma, and my mother would have it, I bore not one, but two children who were just like me, with my gift for morning dawdling.
It begins at 7 a.m. Convinced that gravity is heavier on weekdays and lighter on weekends, my daughter who was just sprawled out across the mattress immediately reverses course to fetal position.
Deploy tactic number 1: Sunny Mom morning wake up.
7:05 am: “Honey, rise and shine! It’s time to get up for school and start another new wonderful day!” I sing to her in my chirpiest voice of over compensation for the un-caffeinated.
Her response is a counter-productive half twist under her pillow. Not ready to face the impending child retrieval. Retreat to the kitchen for caffeinated ammunition. Pick your battles.
Tactic number 2: Caffeinated Mom who is picking up speed.
7:15: My slothy sleeper still hasn’t roused. Come in armed with a peanut butter and Nutella waffle, a pair of pants, and a hair brush, talking to the pile of blankets which have now taken on the form of Mount Kilimanjaro in defiance.
“Come on Now. You know we don’t have time for this.” pulling out two legs wedged in grumpy hedgehog stance.
“I’m tooooooo tiiierrrrrddd.” She whines.
7:35 Retreat #2. Put the waffle back in the living room, on a plate this time, instead of balanced on my head, scouting for a pair of socks that resemble her size. Exact matches are a mythological quest in our household, and one would sooner find a Unicorn than a pair of socks that mate for life.
It’s now 8 o’clock and we have to leave in 10 minutes. At the pace of a Pleistocene epoch, my daughter schleps herself to the breakfast table and begins to nibble on her waffle.
By now, any leftover Snow White twittering birds of happiness have been taken over by the goddess Kali the “Caffeinated Multi-Tasker”, opening ADHD medication, signing the permission slip to the town dump, grabbing toothpaste to toothbrush, giving up the hairbrush as just another delusion of grandeur.
“Okay!” I exclaim with waning enthusiasm, “We have an outside shot in hell at being on time today. I just need you to put your shirt on, (putting it on over her head and face full of waffle) shoes on, and we are ready to go!”
This could be our day and I am already picturing how we will decorate our float of exceptional effort, making our acceptance speech of excellence…when my crash test dummy of hopeful thinking, hurtles headlong into the brick wall of History once again with the shriek of :
“But Mommy, I still have to write my reading log sentences!”
Holy Erma! How could I have thought we were in the running for on time attendance?
My wings of victory charred by my desire to rise above the educational system’s “permanent records. Et tu Icarus?
We needed to face the reality that we were Kairos kind of gals, living in a Kronos kind of world.
8:25 my daughter opens the front door with a smile wider than the gates of heaven, and a feeling of accomplishment at her side. She has completed her homework, has a full belly of knowledge and waffle, and enthusiasm for a Jamba Juice at the end of her day!
And Lo though we walk through the Shadows of the Valley of the belated, we will not fear the badge of the ambling wayfarer, but walk boldly and with sense of purpose that she still carries her self-esteem intact… and that is much more relevant.