Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Herding Cats

Or what my mornings are like.

I just don't get it.

I would think that with Beau being four and Carmella being six it should be much easier to get 2 kids in the car and off to school. I mean, come on! I only have 2 kids. How do people with 3 or even 4 or more kids do it? I just have to think they don't have a Beau. Maybe they all have Carmellas. Oh my gosh. Can you imagine that? A family of Carmellas? I'd never have to do anything!

I don't know. I guess it is easier--either that or I've mellowed. I distinctly remember when Beau was around 7 months and crawling (before Beau started moving everything was easier) and Carmella was 3 that once I finally made it to the car and had both kids buckled in I would start crying. Sobbing with head pressed firmly on the steering wheel. I would be all sweaty and spent from the WWW smack down known as putting clothes on writhing Beau and an hour of stale mate negotiations with Carmella over what outfit, how she wanted her hair, which shoes, and exactly what toys she just had to bring. Not to mention the ordeal of actually dressing myself while the 2 of them destroyed any semblance of order I had going in the house during which time they also took off their shoes. I must have had to put shoes on each kid no less than 3 times before we ever made it to the car. Of course once we got in the car they would promptly take their shoes off. Beau even once tossed one out the window.

The hardest thing I had to do that first year with 2 kids was leave the house. The second hardest thing was stay home with 2 kids under 3 and try to keep the house clean. And I mean a close second that most days involved several calls to poison control. I often had to weigh the situation: Should I make that 3rd call to poison control in one day and risk DEFACS wanting to pay me a visit or wait it out and see if Beau got sick from licking the dishwasher detergent cap? What to do. What to do. DEFACS, upon seeing the house in its desperate state, would most definitely decide to take my kids away. So I would weigh it out--phone in one hand, Beau on my hip, Carmella pulling on my leg, whining. And then I would wonder if that would be so bad. You know. If DEFACS came. Saw my obvious unfitness. And took the kids away for awhile? Heck, at least I'd get a little break. . .

Yes. Thoughts of a stressed out and stretched too thin woman. Better now, thank you.

So yes, it was so freaking hard to go places but staying home was worse. At least if we were out I wouldn't have to spend all day cleaning and re-cleaning my house.

So yeah, at least now when I get in the car to go somewhere I am not a sobbing mess. I am however one second short of losing my marbles and pulling my eyebrows out.

Take this morning for example:
6 am I wake and Ryan brings me a cup of coffee and then he leaves for work.
I drink coffee and watch the news until 6:15.
At 6:15 I make my bed and go turn on the lights in the kid's rooms.
Carmella hops right up and puts on her clothes, puts on her shoes and fixes her hair without speaking to me. Then she helps me while I straighten her room and make her bed. All the while I quietly call out to Beau. Carmella goes and gently nudges him and he yowls at her and she shrugs and goes downstairs and gets her dance bag and book bag and daily snack and waits patiently for me to make her breakfast. She turns on the TV.
It is now 6:30 am. I start a load of laundry, start breakfast, dress and continue coaxing the whining lump from his bed.

I finally understand what it is that the lump is saying. It is saying he is too smart for his pants. "Clothes are dumb stupid. I don't want to wear clothes," he says.

"Fine," I say. "Go to school naked but everyone will laugh at you," I warn him as I physically remove him from his bed and then go down stairs and turn the air down to 70.

Beau comes downstairs in his underwear and lays on the kitchen floor. I finish getting breakfast ready while stepping over him as he lays on the floor whining. He tells me that he needs to go to Parker's. He needs to see Parker's toys. He misses Parker's toys. He needs to have a playdate. For real. Super bad. He isn't kidding.

I put breakfast on the table and unload the dishwasher and take Lola out still ignoring Beau who has now gotten off the floor and is sitting at the table. Carmella is particularly disturbed that Beau isn't wearing clothes. She keeps asking me, in disbelief, if I am really going to let Beau go to school naked. I ignore her too.

Finally Beau admits that he is cold and that he would like his "dumb stupid, boring clothes."
Beau dresses while I shove bites of banana in his mouth. I implore Carmella to eat her banana and drink her juice. Beau declares himself the breakfast winner: "You loser Cardella! Cardella is a loser, Cardella is a loser" he sing songs. Carmella shrugs to show how much she cares.

I send kids up to brush their teeth and start cleaning the kitchen. Carmella goes and brushes her teeth. Beau goes in his room and starts pulling out his toys. He drags his rocking motorcycle into the hallway and starts trying to take off his shirt and calls down to me to help him put on his spider man costume. Carmella comes downstairs and waits by the door. I ask to her to put Lola in the crate. I go upstairs and put all of Beau's toys back and brush his teeth for him all while he protests.

It is 7:20am and we go out to the car to leave. Beau runs around the yard. Makes sure he is still fast. Carmella gets in the car and waits. I corral Beau and put him in his seat. We get Carmella to school in less than 5 minutes. Beau has a fit as I pull out of carpool and head back to our neighborhood.

"Take me to happy school! Take me to happy school!" Beau yells from the back, kicking my seat. I tell him I will and I tell him as I tell him every single day that I can not drop him at school til 8:30.

Beau then insists first that he will wait in the car. And like I do every single day I tell him no. Then he says, like he does everyday, that he wants to play outside. He wants to ride his bike. And like I do every single day; I tell him no. I ask him to please just watch TV quietly and to not take off his shoes. I also ask him not wrestle with the dog while I have another much needed cup of coffee, straighten the upstairs, switch out the laundry and inhale a bowl of cereal.

It is now 8 o'clock and I call to Beau that we are leaving in 10 minutes. Please be ready and have your shoes on I tell him. I finish up and turn out the lights and put the air back on 78 and take Lola out one more time.

I come downstairs and find that Beau is covered in dog hair and has his shoes off. I put his shoes on and take his shirt off. I ask him to please go get in the car and wait for me while I go grab him a shirt that is not covered in dog hair.

I lock up the house and expect to find Beau in the car but he is riding his bike in the garage. "Look Mommy," he says when he sees me, "I am riding my bike in circles!"

"That is great. Please put this shirt on and get in the car." I, on the verge of imploding, tell him.

"Where are we going Mommy?"

"Really?" I ask. "To school."

"The happy school?" He says this as if this is the first he is hearing about this all day. "I like school. Can I go to Parker's. I need to see his toys. Wait! Let me get a toy and can I wear my Darth Vador costume?"

Oh.My God.

So it is no wonder that in my frazzled state and once I finally got home to run that I made the mistake of going too long. Oh well, two steps forward one step back right? 16 miles at a 9:02 pace. I should have stuck with my just do 12 miles plan. Whatever. Tomorrow I get to ride my bike and today is only Tuesday and already I am 22 miles (did 6 yesterday) of my planned 50 this week.


  1. LOL. It gets better when they start moving out of the house...

  2. Just know you are not alone. I threaten mine with country music if he doesn't comply, and it's crazy how often it works! He hates the twang apparently.

  3. Right there with ya, sister. It's a miracle we ever get out of the door.

  4. I've got 4. I've got boys. I'm sure my mornings would be like yours if I didn't have to be downtown at work by 8"ish." They don't get the option to stray from the routine. (All of my four probably resemble Carmella, though... fix their own breakfast, fix their own lunches, give the dogs water, rotate laundry, clean up the kitchen...)

    It takes a lot to get DFACS to get to your house, but that's a WHOLE other story (and doesn't really involve 'us' - just the boys' "bio-mom") LOL

  5. I now really, really believe in karma! Lala

  6. Hey Nat! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who is unrecognizable with make-up on!

    Next month I start training for my first of two marathons that I will run next year...ING and then the one at the end of IM Louisville...fun.

    Did you follow a training plan? I am having a hard time because I cannot abandon my swimming and biking but will need to cut down on them and focus on running this winter.

    Any advice or links to training plans would be great!


  7. All--I hope to God it gets easier.

    Danielle--I loosely followed 4 months to a 4 hour marathon for my first but by loose I mean kinda not all since I trained for 9 weeks. I just looked at a lot of plans and made up my own. Basically I try to get a 2 hour run, 3-6 miles run of speedwork, recovery run and a 3 + hour run a week. Then I can do crosstraining, weights or another run or 2. I also do better if I have mileage assignments for the week and let the miles fall where they may. Cross training is the first to go.