I smash the alarm off at 6 a.m., pull a hoodie over my unfettered boobs, and knock on three doors. “Hey, sweetie, good morning! Time to get up! School time!” I project perky excitement about the day through a haze of decaffeination, with a lisp from the mouth-guard that keeps me from grinding my teeth into oblivion. My voice is not connected to my brain and my emotions are still sleeping.
Shuffling back into my room, I let my hand slide under the covers to feel the warmth where my body was seconds ago, fight the urge to crawl back in, and do some sun salutations instead. Hello, heartbeat. Hello, middle-aged lower back pain. I crack open Proverbs and read some ancient wisdom. It’s too early for good decisions but I give it a go.
I walk back into the hallway, listening for sounds of movement and hearing nothing. I knock again on three doors. “It’s time! Get up! Up! Up!” I brave their rooms this time, tripping over a cardboard box-turned-doll crib, stepping on a Lego, and getting my ankle caught in a training bra. I hobble to their bedsides, rubbing backs and pulling sheets down to let in the morning air. “Heyyy, lovelyyyy, gotta go to schooooolll,” I purr in soothing tones.
Plodding downstairs, I brew coffee, pop last night’s dirty plates in the dishwasher (don’t judge me), and start a load of laundry. I pack snacks in backpacks, sign permission slips, fill water bottles, and fold a load of clean towels.
The dog has wandered into the kitchen and peed. I discover this by stepping in it, the warm liquid soaking my fuzzy sock. Why does his pee smell like pancake syrup? I still haven’t had my coffee, so my first instinct is to give up and cry.
Instead, I mom-swear. The kind that’s not particularly cathartic but also won’t garner a call from the principal if your child teaches her fellow first-graders. Frick.