The most wonderful days of the year—those during which your kids are at school—come with one rather unfortunate caveat: you actually have to get those kids up and out the door to go there. As much as our kids adore heading to those big brick boxes of learning to see their friends and share pathogens, it takes an intricate dance of preparation, optimism and flat-out threats to get them there before tardy slips are handed out. And it goes a little something like this:
1. You will need anywhere from 45-1,000 minutes to get your kids ready for school on time.
2. You will start your morning sounding like a Zen Mary Poppins.
3. You will end your morning sounding like an outraged drill sergeant.
4. Kids view the shrill call of alarm clocks as a mere suggestion to maybe get up but only if they are, by chance, in the mood to do so.
5. Despite having the same exact routine 180 days of the year every year, your kids will forget what they need to do to get ready. They will flail like blind baby birds trying to leave the nest for the first time, slowly pecking away your sanity.
6. Morning showers are not an option. This is why sinks and washcloths were invented.
7. Completed homework will have mysteriously fallen out of their backpacks and into the used litter box/hamper of wet towels/basement toy box overnight.
8. New homework will appear in its place and will be due upon entering the school.
9. Just kidding! It’s not just homework; it’s a series of dioramas representing Mesopotamian empires worth 90% of their final grade.
10. If it wasn’t for freezer breakfasts, your kids would have to survive on breakfasts of half-eaten granola bars from your purse and whatever crumbs they could find sprinkled around the minivan.
11. If tooth brushing isn’t monitored tooth brushing doesn’t really happen.
12. Toothpaste on the mirrors happens no matter what.
13. One clothing item will be put on inside-out.
14. One clothing item will be put on with obvious signs of a muddy struggle smeared on it.
15. One clothing item will be forgotten to be put on.
16. There is a 50-50 chance of any hair getting brushed. Unless it’s Crazy Hair Day, then this is the only thing that will happen for the first 45 minutes of that kid’s morning.
17. The daily shoe struggle is the most annoying of all the struggles.
18. At some point you will shout, “YOU CAN GO BAREFOOT FOR ALL I CARE.”
19. You’re incapable of following through on that proclamation.
20. Your kitchen will look like Mardi Gras just happened in there. Every. Time.
21. Kids do not walk out doors on school mornings. They stroll, saunter, meander, and sometimes crawl, but never anything as fast as walking unless you are threatening to change the Wi-fi password and take away TV privileges (which would hurt you as much as it would hurt them).