This morning I woke up to the sound of pitter patter in my bedroom. Thinking that it was already time to get up and get the kids ready for school, I looked at the clock only to realize it was not even 6am. Every day, I have to get three kids out the door by 7:15, and like most of the mom population that do this, it is like a task on Survivor meets the Amazing Race. I have talked about the steps to getting kids out the door, but I have not yet approached the subject of ACTING like your kids in order to do so.
Today, I decided to do that. I woke up from a surprisingly good night’s sleep, and after every morning starting with “MOMMY is DONE with this, NO more iphone, no more TV, no more fighting, no more dessert…or dessert for breakfast. I decided to sink to their level. I was now going to be a six year-old twin, and a three year-old drama queen.
Today, I decided to switch places.
First, I went into my son’s room and woke him up at 5:00 AM to tell him I could not sleep anymore and I proceeded to lay in his bed and toss and turn. Then I turned on my iPhone playlist in his ear, and tossed around in every way a sleeping child should do. He kept saying “Stop! Mommy.” I just kept going.
Then, I got out of his bed and decided it was time to lay still on the floor. He stared at me, but I did not budge. He said mommy – go get dressed. I said, “I am getting dressed”
I proceeded to wake up my two daughters the same way, except instead of telling them I could not sleep, I just started whining in their ear. They looked at me like I was insane, but they got up. I immediately started to demand orders, telling them they did my hair wrong, there was a bump by the bow, and that my leggings itched….and to FIX it now and cut out the tag in my shirt as it was bothering me when I walked.
My kids asked me to pick out their clothes, and I just stared at them. In Silence.
At breakfast time, with all three watching in awe….I opened up the fridge and stared inside as if I was an alien that landed on planet earth and never saw food choices before. They said they were hungry and asked me to make breakfast. I just stared and said nothing. Then shouted, WHAT DO WE HAAAAAAAVE?
I handed them their lunch boxes, empty, and turned away to walk out of the kitchen. They chased me asking….Mommy, can you pack our lunch…I turned…shrugged. and walked in my room and turned on the Real Housewives and just zoned out. Twirling my hair, chewing gum I took when they were not looking and just went to my special place called MOMMY…..I guess they go to similar place daily?
My Three Stooges stood in the doorway in disbelief wondering what was wrong with mommy?
NOTHING…It was 6:45 AM. and I decided that if I wanted to talk to my kids, I just needed to act like them.
I decided, when kids turn 6, a right of passage to have a birthday party should be, being able to answer the following questions:
DO you want strawberries with your pancakes?
DID you brush your teeth?
IS YOUR BED MADE? yes, I ask them to make their bed (as best they can until I tear it apart and make it again) but it is all part of responsibility.
DO you have your library books?
DO you have sneakers in your bag?
DO you have your water bottle?
THERE ARE ALL YES OR NO and do not require thinking like it is multiple choice on the SATs.
I AM NOT ASKING for much…just a ilttle help to manage the status of your morning activity, as I gather the chaos to get out the door.
My pack got nervous with no direction so before I knew it, they were in the mudroom, coats on….and ready to rock. There could be a method to the madness here? I do have to say that ACTING like them, did help me not to ACT at them…..and I remained calm.
TODAY….I decided to act like my kids and I made it out of the house, on time…and not aggravated. I am not saying this is the right method. BUT, it is one worth trying because if you can swing it — it is SO FUN to zone out for a morning and pretend you are 6.