Snapshot of a Morning

Sometimes, it feels like I’ve lived a thousand lives before 8 a.m., especially on days like today.

6 a.m.  Jolt up to see what time it is and get out of bed feeling tired from waking up with two babies during the night.

6:05 a.m.  Run-walk to the coffee maker.  Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee.  Hear all the babies talking as I walk by their room on the way to the coffee maker.  Good.  No crying.  Chug my coffee while making bottles.  Enjoy a few seconds of quiet. 

6:20a.m.  Tell biggies it’s time to wake up.  Wake up. 

6:21 a.m.  Go to babies’ room.  Good morning!  They’re all standing up except Libby, who looks disoriented when I put the lights on.  Ruby jumps up and shouts HI! and grins at me.  Abby starts whining for me to get her. It never gets old when three babies are so happy to see you.  They all stare and wait to see who I’ll take out first.  Go with Ruby, who’s looking so enthusiastic.  Thankfully she doesn’t cry when I put her down to get Abby.  Abby also doesn’t cry when I put her down to get Libby.  Alright!  It’s going to be a great day!  Try to get them to follow me into the living room but they decide to head to my bedroom instead.  Seth is off today so they are wildly excited to see him.  He is usually long gone by the time the morning chaos begins.  Ruby screeches with delight and holds out a headband to him, so he obliges in putting on her.  She is so thrilled with herself and her headband that she takes off down the hall.  Libby decides she needs something on her head.  She excitedly presents Seth with underwear, so he puts it on her head and she toddles off after Ruby.  Seth and I laugh at how they walk the same and follow each other around.  Abby sits and cries because she can’t quite climb on the bench at the end of our bed.  That Abby, she’s a climber.

6:30 a.m.  Tell the biggies they have to GET.  UP.  No one moves. 

6:31 a.m.  Start changing babies.  One baby.  Two babies.  Three babies.  No poopy diapers so I know this means I’ll be changing them again in an hour.  Find clothes to put on them.  Wrestle Ruby into dress and leggings since she’s suddenly decided she hates all clothes. 

6:35 a.m.  Start fishing shopkins out of the babies’ mouths.

6:37 a.m.  Biggies are awake.  Get moving, girls.    

6:38 a.m.  They aren’t getting dressed.  They’re fighting.  How can you fight when you’re not even fully awake?!  Realize it’s going to be a tough morning. 

6:40 a.m. Wipe all the babies’ noses and put them in their triplet table for breakfast.  Let’s start with veggie straws, there is some semblance of vegetable in them, right?  Or is that just a marketing ploy?  Cut up strawberries too and hope they don’t get the babies diaper rash again.  Fill up sippy cups and wait for babies to throw them on the ground.

6:45 a.m.  Tell the biggies once again to get dressed.  Now they’re half dressed and fighting over earrings.  They’re trying to reach some trade agreement.  Lucy says giving Molly all her money for the earrings is not a fair trade and I agree.  Tell her that’s not a fair trade and that I wouldn’t do it. 

6:46 a.m.  Where is Seth? 

6:50 a.m.  Get Ruby out of seat because she’s trying to climb out.  Realize the triplet table’s utility may be waning as they learn to climb.  Sigh and feel sad about that because it’s so easy to wipe down versus regular high chairs.

6:52 a.m.  Text my friend/neighbor who graciously brings them and tell her I will have to take them there’s no way they’ll be ready.

6:55 a.m.  No one is dressed.  Start yelling.  Wonder if they should’ve gone to bed earlier? Wonder if they should take vitamins? 

6:57 a.m.  Girls alternately fighting and discussing how fun it’ll be to attend their first swim team practice today.  Tell them there will be no swimming at all unless they get moving NOW RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND.  They begrudgingly start moving and Lucy helps me out by tying Molly’s shoes (or did Seth appear and do this I don’t know).

7:00 a.m.  All babies crying at my feet.  Big tears.  Not letting go.  Find bottles from earlier.  Wonder how I’ll ever wean them from bottles.  

7:10 a.m.  Make peanut butter toast for biggies.  Tell Em if she’s coming to drop off big girls she has to get dressed.  Magically, she does.  Hallelujah.  Tell her ten times to find a jacket.  Tell her twenty times to find her shoes.

7:15 a.m.  Remember I need to pack school snacks for biggies.   They want hummus and veggie straws.   Look at us, we’re packing a healthy snack today!  Mentally pat myself on the back for at least getting this right.

7:18 a.m.  Put on my clothes and realize we’re late.  Crap.  Holler that there will be no swimming unless you get your clothes on, hair brushed and get in the car.

7:20 a.m.  Molly comes hobbling in the house, saying that she fell down the stairs on the way out.  Feel slightly less than sympathetic since the stairs didn’t sprout up there overnight.  How did she miss the stairs that she goes down every day?  Feel slightly bad for not being more sympathetic but remain convinced she’s actually not hurt.  Confirm she’s not hurt.

7:22 a.m.  Babies all crying.  Notice Em has found jacket but no shoes.  Find her cowboy boots.  Notice the shoe closet is a disaster but there’s no time to deal with it.

7:25 a.m.  Now crossing in to very late territory.  Announce to Seth I have to go, and all babies cling to my legs like static-y socks.  Try to peel them off.  Still crying.  They were happy earlier, do they know I’m leaving?  What is going on?  Babies don’t cry.

7:30 a.m.  Ok biggies in car.  But where is Molly’s backpack.  MOLLY!  BACKPACK.  You are in charge of your things!  She apologizes and scurries to find it.

7:45 a.m.  Quiz girls on ride to school about how we can make mornings smoother and how they will work on getting along.  Lucy suggests dividing the living room in half and she gets one side and Molly gets the other.  I note that they can still look at each other and sometimes that starts fights.  She agrees and says they have to agree not to look at each other.  I note that they can still talk to each other.  NO solution.

7:46 a.m.  Pull into school.  Do their hair in the parking lot.

7:48 a.m.  Get to morning assembly.  Stop.  Pause.  Focus.  I love you.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  You are going to have a great day.  Notice how tall Lucy has gotten as she walks away.  Notice how poised she is.  How is she growing so fast?

7:50 a.m.  Walk Molly to her classroom.  Stop.  Pause.  Focus.  I love you.  Think about how much I love her freckles and how I don’t want her to be frazzled and sad about crazy morning.  She hugs me back, not as hard as Lucy because she’s hurrying into class, but she agrees that the rest of the day will be better.  Stare at her through the doorway as she unloads her backpack and gets her journal set up.  When her teacher’s aide notices me, I tell her we’ve had a hard morning and I just want to make sure she’s doing ok.  She tells me not to worry, that she’ll be fine, and that she’s a sweet girl.  Agree with teacher’s aide.  Slink away with Emily, who’s wearing a blanket instead of a jacket because somehow she lost her jacket when she went from the house to the car.  She prefers the blanket, I think. 

7:55 a.m.  Have hard-morning regret.  Regret being short tempered and frustrated.  Wonder how else I can make things go more smoothly.  Call my mom and ask her.  Did we do this?  What did you do?  What else can I do?  Chalk it up to a hard day after a three day weekend that included Emily’s birthday party yesterday. 

8:00 a.m.  Feel hopeful that tomorrow will be better.  Wonder whether the girls have settled into their classrooms and are having a good morning.  Hoping they are. 

8:01 a.m.  Wonder if all the babies are still crying.  Feel nervous for the state of things at home and Seth’s patience.

8:08 a.m.  Walk in the door.  Don’t hear crying.  Winning.  Where are they?

8:09 a.m.  They all climb up me. 

8:15 a.m.  Realize it’s time to pack Emily’s lunch for preschool.  Pause.  Try to catch my breath. Realize I can’t drink anymore coffee because I’ve already had a lot.  Remind myself that today was at least better than that day when we were late and then I discovered a raccoon had gotten in my car during the night.  Remind myself that no tears were shed by biggies. 

8:16 a.m.  Miss the biggies.  Think ahead to the afternoon and whether everyone will be happy.

8:17 a.m.  Take a deep breath, and continue the day.  There’s always work to be done.  And tomorrow?  Tomorrow will be a better morning.  

Post script--I wrote the above yesterday and today WAS infinitely better!  It just goes to show that predicting mornings is like predicting the path of hurricanes.  There's just no telling when the mornings will veer off their anticipated course.  Today, the girls were ready to go well before 7, all the babies were happy, and everything went off without a hitch.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring though....

Finally, I'm curious to hear what helps your mornings go more smoothly?