Friday, January 9, 2009

Sex and Suburbia, The Morning Rule

Sex and Suburbia, The Morning Rule
By Julie Stankowski

Do you know the Morning Rule? You may not, since I made it up, but here is the rule: Any person with access to a phone is prohibited from calling any mom who has school-age children before 9:30 a.m.

The Morning Rule applies unless it is an absolute emergency. An emergency means there is either blood spurting out of somebody’s body or there is a terrorist attack happening within a 10 mile radius of the mom who you are calling. If neither of these events is occurring, do not call! We moms do not have time to chit chat at 8 O’clock in the morning. Can you not picture what we’re doing? For those of you who do not yet know this rule, let me explain to you what it looks and sounds like in a typical suburban house at this time of day.

6:00 a.m. Mom’s alarm clock goes off and sounds like the Titanic pulling into port. Mom feels like someone is blasting a bad Led Zeppelin song in her ears and the room is spinning. Perhaps this is because she got so little sleep last night. The dog threw up, her son had an accident in his bed and her daughter had a bad dream. Or perhaps it’s because she drank a whole bottle of cabernet and ate a whole bag of pistachio nuts while watching her Tivo’d soap operas until 2:00 a.m. In any event, she gathers herself enough to decide it would be much better to sleep a little longer and to do drop-off in her pajamas and maybe smell a little badly than to be freshly showered but miserably tired. She hits the snooze button and rolls over. Her finger gets a great workout, hitting that snooze button over and over and over again until about 7:00 a.m. when she has to get up and start getting her kids ready for school. Mom rolls out of bed and goes to the kids’ rooms.

7:05 a.m. Mom tries to wake up her beautiful 7-year-old daughter first. A beautiful girl, but like her mom, not a morning person. Her mom refers to her as a morning crankmeister, but she insists she is not that, she is a morning crabapple. Why she feels that is a nicer description, who knows. Maybe she thinks it refers to a fabulous dinner of Alaskan king crab legs followed by apple pie a la mode and she thinks it’s a good thing. Anyway, mom starts the wake-up process with some hugs and kisses and sweet toned sentences about having to get ready for school. No response other than a few grunts. Mom turns on the light and opens the window blinds and in a regular voice tells her daughter she has to get up. Mom lays out her daughter’s clothes for the day and starts making her way to her son’s room and, using a little louder voice, tells her daughter she has to get out of bed.

7:15 a.m. Mom goes to wake up her 4-year-old son. Unlike mom and daughter, son happily gets out of bed in the morning, always with a smile on his face. The smile can be deceiving, however, because you don’t know whether it is just a happy smile or a mischievous smile and you’re not quite sure what he will do when you leave the room. But that’s okay. At least he counterbalances the morning crabapple. Mom lays out his clothes for the day, asks him to get dressed and tells him she’ll be back in a few minutes to do his teeth and hair. No argument. He says he’ll get dressed. Mom’s happy.

7:25 a.m. Mom goes back to see if her daughter is getting dressed, but finds her daughter still sleeping. Now, mom is a little peeved. Mom tells her daughter to GET UP! They all have to be ready to go soon. Mom walks out to deal with the dog.

7:30 a.m. Mom is about to open the crate and let the puppy out, but some weird noises start coming out the dog and the next thing mom sees is the dog vomiting all over her crate bed. Mom sighs deeply, trying to stay calm, and tries to get the dog out of the crate before she rolls around in her own throw-up. While mom is still in her pajamas trying to do this, the first fighting of the morning gets under way. “Mommmmmmmm! Jack’s in my room and I don’t want him in here. Mommmmmmm! Jack’s bothering me and he won’t leave me alone!” Mom screams from her bedroom telling the kids to go to their own rooms, ignore each other and get dressed for school. Mom has got to get the dog outside to go potty before she ends up having to clean pee and poop off the carpet in addition to the vomit on the dog’s bed. Mom somehow manages to get the dog outside and goes back upstairs to check on the kids.

7:45 a.m. Both kids are still in their pajamas. By now, mom is a little irritated and sternly tells her children to GET DRESSED! She goes back to her room so she can get dressed. She throws a jacket on over her pajamas and brushes her teeth. She stands in her bathroom hoping to get a quick comb through her hair, but her daughter is screaming from her bedroom at the top of her lungs, “Mommmmmmm. Jack just called me a dumb poopoo head meanie and he really hurt my feelings! Mommmmmmmmmm. Get him out of my room!” Mom tries to stay calm and goes back to the kids. Her daughter is in her pajamas crying. Her son is in his pajamas playing with toys. She tells them again to knock it off and GET DRESSED! They both start crying and explaining that they can’t get dressed by themselves. They need mom to do it. So, feeling like she has little choice, mom starts getting them dressed and all the while they are fighting and whining and crying over who mom is dressing first and how unfair it is that mom brushed Jack’s teeth before Ally’s teeth and did Ally’s hair before Jack’s hair. Mom is losing it.

8:00 a.m. Mom goes to grab a hat to cover her bed head. It’s one thing to do drop-off in your pajamas. It’s quite another to show up at school with your hair sticking up in so many different directions that you look like a monster which will really scare all of the other little kids. While mom is looking for a hat, she hears her daughter’s screams, “Mommmmmmmmm! Jack hit me!” Mom is standing there ready to kill someone and wondering whether she is the only mom feeling like a murderer at this moment.

8:05 a.m. Mom tells the kids she will grab some pop tarts and bottled water for the car ride to school because now, there is no time for breakfast. She also tells the kids that they will be having “hot lunch” at school today because she has no time left to make their lunches. They both start crying that they do not want hot lunches. Mom is ignoring the crying for the moment and trying to find her daughter’s homework folder. What she finds is unfinished homework and at this point is ready to explode at both of her children. The phone rings. Are you kidding me? You think I can have a conversation right now?

8:15 a.m. In the car driving to school, the kids are fighting over which pop tart is theirs. Mom is exhausted already and all she can think about is holding back her tears and when happy hour will arrive.

8:25 a.m. Daughter is dropped off at school. Lots of hugs, kisses and I love you’s, as if it had been a Leave it to Beaver morning.

9:00 a.m. Son is dropped off at school. More hugs, kisses and I love you’s.

9:05 a.m. Mom gets in her car and breathes the biggest sigh of relief that she is finally alone and that she didn’t commit a murder this morning.

9:15 a.m. Mom has had a chance to take a few more breaths and calm down.

9:30 a.m. The time at which it is acceptable to start calling mommies.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

Hahaha- sounds like mornings at my house!