Every morning I turn into the Hulk before we make it out the door for school. By the Hulk, I mean the witless giant with raggedy clothes and violent frustration that compels him to speak in single syllables. Here we are, just under two months before school ends and my boys manage to botch our morning routine every - single - day.
Honestly, I give up. An hour is more than enough time to have breakfast, get brushed, cleaned, dressed and out the door, wouldn't you agree? But no, thirty minutes are spent engaged in the breakfast battle with my four-year old.
"Eat breakfast!" I say, while my mind is pleading, "need coffee."
He scrutinizes his food and decides it's time to smell his toes.
No matter what I give him, he acts as if I've just served him poop on a plate. The only other people I've known to get so violently repulsed by breakfast have been chain smoking alcoholics. I should see if my four-year old would enjoy a Bloody Mary and a Winston instead of chocolate Cheerios. Why not, after all everything else he ever asked for is inappropriate breakfast food anyway: lollipops, cookies, a slice of American cheese. Really, that's the breakfast of champions - with ADHD.
The event that follows our Guantanamo Bay breakfast special is washing up. By the time I check in on their teeth brushing progress, they've had ten minutes. I walk in on this: two boys making funny faces in the mirror while the water is running like a geyser. Knowing that the New York Water Board just approved another water bill hike, I turned off the faucet and cried over spilled HO2.
"Brush teeth!" I ordered. Of course, they interpreted it as "En Garde" and start their toothbrush joust.
But truly, the most difficult task is getting dressed. Something about the male testosterone loses every ounce of intelligence and restraint when he's in his underwear. My guys go ape. After seven months of getting dressed for school, you'd think they could do it in their sleep. Instead I find PJ's strewn across the room, one guy mid-leap off his bed targeting to land on the other, followed by a mad chase to retaliate by smacking the leaper's butt - it looks like a Congress meeting.
"Pants! Shirt! Go!" I boom.
Inevitably, they get one or all of their clothing on backwards or inside out. Whether they do this as a joke or because they're genuinely inane, who knows. All it means is more time off the clock to get re-dressed and not a chance in hell for me to steal another sip of my tepid coffee.
Socks, shoes and jackets round off our preparation but by this time, my boys are spent. They actually lie down on the daybed like they just got home from a night shift. Five minutes putting on shoes and then putting them on the correct foot plus ten minutes tying the laces and finally...finally, finally we're out the door.