One of these days the other mother’s in the kindergarten drop off zone are going to just run me over. Every morning I am reminded of Fried Green Tomatoes and I imagine some scene unfolding where a frustrated young mom starts ramming my car over and over because I have taken too long in the drop off lane. I’m getting used to the nasty stares, the honks, and the over exaggerated braking of the little blue car that decided to just go around. Heaven forbid I get out of the car to hug one that’s having a bad morning; when I do that, these people actually pull up next to me, stop and stare, and wait for me to give my little apologetic wave. Every now and then I get a look of sympathy from a mom who uses her eyes to say “been there, done that!” But mostly, I meet with looks of impatience and aggravation, and guess what? I don’t care.
I can’t begin to explain why, but my kids simply will not get out of the car! It doesn’t matter how late we’re running, how many cars are piled up behind us, how many fruit snacks, hugs, and kisses I have already passed out, they move with the swiftness of snails when it’s time to get out of the car at school.I don’t know why Mary Poppins hasn’t showed up with her spoonful of sugar and turned our mornings into a well oiled machine that runs like clockwork, but she’s not here yet and my friends, I am just NOT a morning person. Still in all I think I do alright for someone who has to help 4 of the 7 kids get dressed. I have to remind 6 of the 7 to brush their teeth! And I have to get my mascara absolutely perfect, so I am amazed sometimes that we even make it to the car at all, and I would like to think these people know I am frustrated too when it takes 4 minutes for the kids to get out of the car. I don’t wanna spend my day in the drop off lane. Worse, I don’t want to be late to work. But sometimes, well, sometimes I have to forget that I’m being honked at, or that I am running behind, or that I’m running on fumes, and I have to get out of the car, give one more hug, and say “I love you, have a good day!” Because frankly, that’s my real job!
Ok, maybe they should allow me to use to bus loading and unloading zone. My car is almost a school bus and my kids almost make up a classroom, but they’re not going to unless I paint the big ugly van bright yellow and stick some stop signs on the side of it, and I’m thinking I can deal with ugly golden beige a lot better than I can deal with the stop signs, so if you’re stuck behind me, give up thinking that any minute I will be done and just pull on around, minus the horns or the fingers… we are mothers for goodness sake! The best way to teach our children patience is to model it.
It funny to me how many things we forget about as our kids grow up. We forget about how long it took to drop everyone off, or how important it was to get the yellow folder signed every day, or what a struggle it was to get them to tie their own shoes. Adopting the zoo crew has me reliving the days of classroom parties and “All About Me” posters. I find myself trying to dig out all of the routines that were once in place when Blondie and her brothers were the little ones around here. And now all of those little routines must be performed in quadruplicate, so forgive me if I sit too long in the drop off lane. I’m opening the box of emergency fruit snacks I keep hidden under the seat for those mornings when I forgot to pass out the granola bars!
Now I don’t mind telling people to stuff their aggravations and wait their turn, and I don’t mind ignoring dirty looks and fingers that should never be pointed around an elementary school. But there is one thing about all of this that leaves me completely and utterly baffled! Why is it that from Monday until Friday its a battle to get them out of bed? I start at 6:15 and by 6:45 a few feet are hitting the ground. Some of them I have to stand up 2 or 3 times before they acknowledge being awake. They roll through the mornings groggy and sluggish, as if just one more hour of sleep would have made all the difference, and I totally get that, it’s exactly how I feel when I step out of bed. But let it be a Saturday, and there they are, at 6am, pouring Cheerios everywhere except for the bowl they were aiming at…
In fact, this past Saturday, I even had a little rhyme for my mischeif makers! It went something like this:
Four little children creeped out of bed.
Four little children made a gigantic mess.
Four little children spilled cereal everywhere.
Four little children have Cheerios in their hair.
Then four little children snuck out to the trampoline,
And now four little children think I’m being very mean!
I meant to make it my Facebook status, but you know how that goes, no one ever says anything good on FB anymore!