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It was a really big day… For me.
I was tired, too.
K had been up twice the night before.
She’s two.
She knows how to go back to sleep on her own but hey, so long as you’re up, Mommy, make me a snack.

My phone began to bark, signaling the beginning of my day at the ass crack of dawn.
J gets on the bus at 8:21 and K goes to preschool after that, but she goes 2 days a week. Today is not one of those days.
If you have children, you recognize the hours of preparation and servitude that happen on your part before the delivery of children at their given destinations.

I woke my children.
As usual, J stayed up far too late reading his books and is not at all inclined to get out of bed. Once I’ve dragged him out of bed, (legs work better than arms, btw, but make sure to stick a pillow on the floor so you don’t have anything to explain to child services) dressed the dead weight that is my son, dragged him out of the room to the kitchen (watch that bump between the rooms) and dumped him in his chair at the kitchen table, I ask:

“WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR BREAKFAST?”
You have to yell in order for his ears to function at such an obnoxious hour.

I leave him to ponder that question while I get his sister.
K is not so easy. Since she was up twice last night, she’s cranky.

Me: Morning K, come on out.

K: no

Me: It’s time to get up now. (I pick her up)

K: NO (translate: Get. Off. Me.)

I put her on the changing table and start dressing her.

K screams, alternating between the windmill (both arms AND legs) and the twisting dead fish, which K has perfected. It’s a science to her, she’s been working on her technique for all of her two years.
Once I have her dressed and ready, we go out to the kitchen where J slid from his chair to the floor and is sleeping peacefully with the dog under the table.
So I ask K:

“WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR BREAKFAST?”

J stirs.

“HOW ABOUT SOME EGGS?”

His interest is piqued.

“Cheesy eggs?” I hear from under the table.

“ONLY IF YOU CAN SIT IN YOUR CHAIR UNAIDED.”

“Okay.”

I cook breakfast and happily return to my inside voice.
Everyone is happy. Cheesy eggs all around, toast and jam. I finish cooking, pack a lunch, look back at the table, and J has eaten… Nothing.
I shouldn’t be surprised.
Every family has a kid that won’t eat.
We go back and forth a million and twelve times, J sit down, J eat your breakfast, J we have to leave… J Hey look! (I shove food in his mouth)

Then we get down to brass tacks.
How many bites.
I start off with the uncompromising
“All of them”

He has all the power, and he knows it. I’m on a timetable. If his tiny little ass isn’t on that bus in twenty minutes, I’m the neighborhood slacker. Not that it’s looking great for me in that department anyhow.

“Six bites” I say nervously.

“Five” is his far-too-quick reply.

“Five and a cliff bar on the bus” I was going for broke.

“No deal”

“K. Four and some goldfish”

“Deal.”

He’s a tough negotiator.

The bus, just before I took off after it.

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Finally I got him on the bus, and I hardly even cried. Much. Or ran onto the bus for one more hug and kiss. Much. They did have to drag me off the bus, a little… but I hardly even followed that bus all the way to J’s elementary school.
I was totally cool about the whole thing.

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