Thursday, January 06, 2011

Don't get Cocky

I like this quote - can't remember who said it or where I heard it, but it stuck with me:
"As soon as you get a little cocky about your mothering, the principal will call and let you know that your son just drove a motorcycle through the gymnasium."

Sort of weird, yes - but it sticks with you, no?

I was a little cocky in my last post about routines.  I did do a good job getting the routines rolling and I was enjoying a good day that day.  But here's how our "routine" went this morning:

I got up 10 minutes late.  I used the snooze button on my new phone - thought it was a 5 minute snooze - nope - ten.  I dragged myself out of bed and headed upstairs to make sure the kids were up and going on the good old routine.

Nope.  Ashton was reading a book instead of taking a shower and the rest of the kids were asleep.

I sent Ashton into the shower and got the other kids up.  But I'd been tired the night before and forgot to set out their clothes - or go over what the schedule and routine was for the morning.  Ashton had no school shirts that could be found anywhere.  Isaac got dressed quickly and headed downstairs - I asked him to set out the bowls and make sure his homework was ready in his backpack.  I got the twins going on getting dressed and got myself ready.

Time for breakfast - just 10 minutes late - we'll still be OK.  I realized Ashton was still in the shower and headed upstairs to ask him nicely - again - to HURRY.  On the way back down I heard another shower and found that Eliza had decided to take a shower too even though it's not her shower day so I asked her to HURRY.

Got downstairs to find Isaac wandering around aimlessly, no bowls on the table, no homework ready - what had he been doing for the last precious 10 minutes?  He had no idea.

Got oatmeal whipped up and sat down to eat.  Ashton finally came downstairs demanding that I find him some shorts to wear for gym that day and that they needed to be shorts that went past his knees.  I explained that needs for things like new gym shorts should really be stated in advance of when you actually need them.  We have shorts that go to the middle of his knee but he said they would be too short.  I searched through his stuff and handed him the longest shorts I could find and asked him to put them in his backpack.

I finished everyone's hair, checked all the backpacks, reminded everyone to clear their places (somehow it's SO hard to remember), asked whoever was guilty - and I don't even care who - to PLEASE go flush the poo down the toilet in the powder room right off the kitchen (wondering what that smell was as I was getting breakfast), and asked everyone when their socks are supposed to go on their feet - "before we come downstairs for breakfast" they chorused back.  Well, no one remembered that little part of the routine so everyone went upstairs to the laundry room where we keep socks and got socks on, got coats on, got backpacks, got shoes on (some people strangely doing this in slow motion while I urged everyone along with increasingly less-nice urgings).  Then I realized Eliza didn't have her glasses on and had her go back upstairs and get them (much to her dismay - going ALL the way upstairs is so HARD.  Tell me about it - I've already done it like 10 times today myself...)

I sent the kids to hop in the car while I looked for the keys that I really thought I left on the window sill.  Turns out Ashton had taken the keys to the car.  I got in the car and saw that Ashton somehow had no coat on - even though I'm pretty darn sure I reminded each child to get their backpacks AND their coats when they headed to the closet.  Reminded Ashton for the hundreth time that we live in a cold place and we should always put on a coat when we go outside (St George habits die hard with that guy).  He said he was perfectly fine without a coat.  The temperature thing in the car said 11 degrees.  I sent him back in for the coat.

We headed out - just 8 minutes late.  In the car, we had a fun little quiz to see who could remember all the steps in the morning routine.  Eliza passed it off with flying colors.  Ashton passed it off too - but somehow KNOWING what he's supposed to do and actually remembering to do it are two different things.  We dropped Ashton off at school and then I asked Isaac to tell me the routine and he didn't answer.  We all realized he wasn't in the car.  Oops.  The kids in the back thought he was in the front seat by me and I assumed he was in the back.

We headed back home and found a very sad Isaac sitting on the back steps (with no coat - and it was still 11 degrees).   He'd been in the bathroom when we left.  I'm not sure how he missed all the commotion of trying to find the socks and get the coats and shoes on.  I guess he was in the upstairs bathroom since the downstairs one was so stinky. We all felt bad.

We got Isaac's coat and headed out to school for the second time.

When I got back from dropping off the kids, I saw that Ashton's gym shorts were sitting on the kitchen counter.  Glad I spent that extra 5 minutes looking for them.

So yes, routines are beautiful.  But when the mom gets up 10 minutes late and the reminders of the routine didn't happen the night before and someone needs gym shorts, even the best routines just don't quite work out!

At least I haven't received any calls from the principal - yet!


Rosie said...

Totally made my day to see that I am not alone!

Most of my children are older than yours and the "routines" we have practiced and practiced are still forgotten every single day. I often wonder if they are going to need me to wake them up to go to college!

Rachelle said...

I LOVE it, what a morning to remember! You can do your best everyday and some days it's amazing and actually beautiful, others it is just down right ugly!! I can tell you're still smiling though!!

emily ballard said...

That was hilarious. Poor Isaac. I'll tell Steve to drive down your block on his way to school from now on to check for any forgotten children on your porch.

Rachel and Lucy were late to school today too. They are ALWAYS late on Thursdays. (Trash day.)

Pitterle Postings said...

Oh, that makes me feel soooo much better (I really am quite wicked that way!), We start our routine out with scripture study. It is something we started last year and it seems to make things go so much smoother. We get up at 5:30, read scriptures, than have one hour to get ready for school. Since we have all girls left at home, they need the entire hour to pick on each other and hog the bathroom. (we had to experiment to find exactly the right amount of time for our family). Loved hearing your scheduled morning. I was never good at schedules and so we were always running late and yelling and fighting until we started early morning study. Now, we all gather together and start the day off without that. Don't get me wrong, we still have the usual spats and tantrums, but it is better and I have an easier time not getting angry about the kid things. I think you are much more organized than I am. Love, love, love your post about your day.

Linda said...

Love it! Takes me right back to "our childhood"!

Garbage Guru's Wife said...

Thank you for this's nice to know it isn't just me who seems to struggle the juggle of getting out of the house!

Jen H. said...

I confess I was pretty impressed by your last post about routines. We're pretty routine-oriented, ourselves, but our routines generally only work with a lot of prodding from Mom. And sometimes they don't work at all.

Thanks for sharing.

Cath said...

Oh Saren - I love this post so much. Thanks for keeping it real. I feel so much better about our Monday morning this week when I got up late (details unnecessary) but wow - leaving Isaac - I just laughed out loud. You are awesome. And the quote about the motorcycle through the gymnasium? I'm writing that one down! xo

Sheila said...

Two things:

1) I live in Alaska and my 13yo son rarely remembers or bothers to wear a coat. I have to remind him that it is WINTER and we live in ALASKA (we always have--nothing new to him). My daughter once forgot her shoes--winter again! We do have a heated garage, but still...

2) I also left a kid at home once. We got a good laugh about it once I was done being irritated!

KT said...

I loved this post so much! I laughed and laughed. I was inspired by the last routines post and was ready to whip my kids into shape. At least I know that I'm not alone in "having" routines and "following" routines often being two separate ideas.

This reminded me of my son. A few weeks ago he got into the car for school with his socks and shoes in his hands, no coat, and no backpack. But he had his light saber!

brittanimae said...

I think the quote might be from Sister Hinckley--at least it's awfully similar to one I always keep in the back of my mind. You totally inspired me with your last post too--I sat my kids down that night at the dinner table and gave them a lovely lecture about the beds made when you stand up and teeth brushed when you use the bathroom (somehow despite the many many ideas I've tried that simple solution never occured to me) that they've actually latched on to (a little).

Anyway, your post had me laughing and feeling a little better about the crazy stress of the first few weeks after our move here. I totally got a call from the principal, so you're doing GREAT even if you lose a kid once in a while!!


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