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I’ve had a terrible morning. My morning really started last night: I was already exhausted, I had gotten some bad financial news, and then had a fight with The Ass over the bad financial news. And of course, as always happens, the fight moved off of the real subject and into “No, it was the WAY YOU SAID IT!” territory. Never a productive thing.
I thought that going to bed early would fix it. I left the dishes, I left the laundry, I left everything and went to bed early. Because if I’ve learned one thing since having kids, it’s that being tired turns me into a real bitch. But I plan and God laughs: I woke up at 2am and couldn’t get back to sleep.
So, completely tired and still cranky, I tried to make the best of the morning. But little things were chipping away at my tenuous hold on sanity. My daughter had done her nails last night, and left two bottles of nail polish open. All night. They were ruined, she got yelled at.
Then I asked my son if he had pants to wear. He said no. I believed him, and that was stupid. I should have at least asked if he had actually looked. But did I mention I was tired? So I grabbed a pair of his favorite sweatpants (casual Friday at school) and threw them in the washer for the 25-minute “quick wash” cycle. And then, 25 minutes later, forgot to put them in the dryer.
Then, I got online, checked email, and discovered that I had double-booked myself for two important events. Crap crap crap.
When I finally realized that the pants were still wet (my first clue was my son eating breakfast in his underwear), it was ten minutes before we were supposed to leave. Shit. I threw them in the dryer with some dry towels and put it on high. But 20-minutes later, they were still wet. I wandered upstairs, insanely pissed at myself for not checking for clean clothes last night. And then I decided to check my dear son’s pants drawer myself. There were three pairs of pants in it.
The next few minutes were a blur of yelling and listing punishments and hurrying the kids out the door, fifteen minutes late for school.
A slow walk home from school later, I knew that I had to get a grip. I don’t like yelling. Not only does it make me feel like a really shitty mother, but it doesn’t work. I can see the kids just shut off, just stare at me blankly until it’s over. But the look they get when I cooly and calmly hand out punishments? They get it.
I think the problem is that my brain works on the school-year calendar. At the beginning of the year, we start off with morning checklists and alarms and routines and calm, organized mornings. But as the year goes on, things slip. And that’s my fatal mistake, not keeping up with things that work. When things are going well I tend to think it’s “magic” and I don’t always recognize that I need to be at the helm and lead the way.
So, I came home and got out the checklists. I got some laundry going. I cleared the breakfast dishes and sent a few emails I had been putting off. And that’s what finally made me feel good: moving towards making sure that tomorrow morning will be better. Doing, not wallowing. Solving, not giving up and getting back in bed.