May 8, 2012

The damn pigeon that just won’t leave starts cooing at 6am, waking the little one, who walks into my room in order to tell me about “that annoying bird.”  I sit up in bed and sling my legs over; something has shifted in the night–instead of the big dark back of my husband next to me, I see a head of black curls and a Magic Treehouse Book.

I grab the little one’s hand and we step quietly down the stairs, especially on the third one, which is squeaky. My husband is already in his office, looking at x-rays and films.  The coffee machine is blessedly on.

I turn on Spongebob and the hear a loud “Argh!” and loud stomps down the stairs. Miss D.–the morning demon version–has arrived.

I immediately pour a cold glass of chocolate milk and hand it to her; she’s hypoglycemic in the morning and highly unpredictable. She grunts her thanks.

I pour myself a cup of coffee and realize that we’re almost out of milk. Shit.

The little one reminds me that we have to take a urine sample; there were traces of red blood cells in hers at yesterday’s doctor’s appointment, so we need to take another sample.

I grab the handly plastic “hat” and accompanying vial and follow the skinny body into the bathroom; she pees and then asks if she can poop in it too; I vehemently say “No!” and she quickly stands up. I remove the hat and attempt to cleanly pour the warm urine into the sterile jar.

As I do so, Miss D. yells from the other room, demanding french toast. “In a minute,” I yell and the pooper announces that she wants scrambled eggs, and that her tummy hurts because her “dump truck is empty.”

I wash my hands, label the urine sample,  and stash it in the refrigerator, which I’m not sure is the right thing to do but hubs doesn’t know either, so we just go for it.

I order D. to dress herself and make her bed while I make the french toast and that it’s jeans weather, so choose appropriately. Miss M. wants to crack her own eggs. I tell her to wash her hands again and then okay; she bungles it and I dig shells out of the bowl. The butter’s getting too hot; I lower the heat on the pan, dump the butter, wipe the skillet and plop another dollop in.

The toaster goes off; I remove the French toast sticks, cut add syrup and deliver them to D. I run back to the kitchen and check on the eggs.  I turn, remove, salt, and deliver.

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week; the students have been instructed to draw a personal picture with a message of appreciation for each teacher, including specials. Yesterday I bought five 10$ Starbucks cards and figure that if Miss D. can knock out one or two a day, we should be set for the week.

I grab paper and a colored pencils and tell her to get to work.  Hubs needs to leave; I grab his lunch from the refrigerator and then remind him that Miss D.’s moon project is due today and he needs to check it like he promised. He does so hurriedly but without irritation and I wonder how he does it, this evenness of temper.

D. announces that she, too, wants some scrambled egg, so I grab the mixing bowl again and turn on the stove. Stir, salt, deliver. Notice that Miss M. has taken zero bites of her plate of eggs, which are now cold. I take away the plate and dump the eggs in the sink. She demands cereal.

I look at the clock: 10 minutes until the bus arrives and there’s still D.’s bird’s nest hair to deal with.  I hack at her hair with smoothing creme and manage to wrangle it into a ponytail. I grab her finished card, stick it in an envelope with a Starbucks card and try to remember the name of her gym teacher. Is it “Jurgensen” or “Jurgenson?”  I decide to just label it: Mr. J.

I enter the bathroom, stick toothpaste on a toothbrush and hand it to D., who is twirling instead of getting her socks, shoes and jacket on as ordered.

Awesome Stepkid Ro. lurches down the steps, takes one look at my face and says he’ll take D. to the bus stop. As D. brushes her teeth, I wrestle her into a jacket. The shoes and socks go on.

She interrogates me: Did I sign her planner? Is her moon project in her backpack? Are her glasses in there? What did I pack for snack?

She gets her answers and is out the door.  Miss M. says she is bored.

It is 8:30 am. My hair is gray. My coffee is cold. I have urine to deliver. I am blessed.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa May 8, 2012 at 8:10 am

With only slight variation in the details (no urine samples necessary here–only doling out allergy meds), this is my morning, too. I guess some things are universal!


TKW May 8, 2012 at 10:41 am


Mornings=freakshow, right?


Kate May 8, 2012 at 8:15 am

Oh, the rush and rush and rush and ….

We are blessed.

You’re wonderful.


TKW May 8, 2012 at 10:42 am


Back atcha.


Jennifer May 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

I don’t think mornings are fun for any mother. So much to do and so little time to do it in.


TKW May 8, 2012 at 10:42 am


Why is that? Even when I prepare the night before, lunches and everything, it’s chaos.


BigLittleWolf May 8, 2012 at 8:25 am

This is delightful… and so real.

That evenness of temper? (I used to wonder about that as well.)

Among other things, it comes from not being woken by pigeons, or worrying about urine in the refrigerator.


TKW May 8, 2012 at 10:43 am


You’re right. Maybe I should have let him handle the urine. :) Thanks for the tweet, sweet!


Mr TKW May 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Pediatric urine….ewww.


Abby May 8, 2012 at 8:33 am

“I grab the little one’s hand and we step quietly down the stairs.”
I don’t know why, but that whole paragraph melted my heart. Yes, there is chaos, but there’s also blessed love.

Great post. Good luck with urine.


TKW May 8, 2012 at 10:44 am


Our house isn’t the cleanest right now so I fear the urine results…


Erica@PLRH May 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

I love how youngest describes her hunger as her “dump truck being empty” so soon after she announced that she needed to poop!

Just like living with boys.


TKW May 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

I know! It took me a few seconds to figure out which dump truck she was referring to!


Sherri May 8, 2012 at 10:10 am

Love it (and am slightly surprised I did not bump into you this am as it sounds strikingly similar to my morning right down to having lunch packed for hubby, which I never do – though no urine for us today – maybe next week – who knows?).

Have a great day!


TKW May 8, 2012 at 10:46 am


Lunch for hubs is part of Le Regime. Ah, the joy.


Stacia May 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

At least nobody asked for ice-cold lemonade …


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm



Lyndsey@The TinySkillet May 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

:D Whew! Now I’m tired!! My mornings sound so calm compared to yours…except we have hawks and storks waking us up early. I get up first and my daughter is old enough to get up by herself and get ready and we better not tell her to hurry up or she’ll have a breakdown :) I have found out if you use one of those candle /coffee cup warmers will keep my coffee warm…as long as I am in one place that is! Maybe while I’m making lunches and breakfast! Hope your afternoon was good. Today we had breakfast for us at school for staff appreciation week, I wish I would get a Starbuck card!


Samantha Angela May 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Reading this makes me dread having kids. I like my morning routine of rolling out of bed and into my clothes ten minutes before I have to leave for the office.


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm


Definitely wait. Mornings change soooo much.


Alexandra May 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I remember reading an essay YEARS ago, from a woman who passed away after only 2 years with breast cancer. She was 32.

She said, “What do I want? I want the mundane. I want the mundane of the run to the grocery store, the never ending pile of laundry, the children with dirty mouths to wipe…this, this is what I’ll miss the most.”

Here’s to the mundane, lovely woman.

Clearly, we lead a charmed life.



TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm


That’s the perfect thing I needed today. Last night, Miss M. threw up every 30 minutes from 9pm-4am, and yesterday Miss D. ripped/scratched a 1/2-inch swatch of hair from the front of her head, and it freaked the shit out of me, so I had to take her to the dermatologist.

And wash bed linens riddled with vomit. But yes, I am trying to remember.


SuziCate May 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Mornings are busy. Most of us are rushed; reminds us we are indeed blessed with wonderful lives.


Absence of alternativrs May 8, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Just right.


katrina Kenison May 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Blessed, and funny, and wise. And an impressive multi-tasker. And, oh yeah, an amazing writer, too.


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm


Have you ever seen a man try to make breakfast? They cannot multi-task. They put the toast in, and then it doesn’t occur to them that while the bread is toasting, they could make the eggs. When the eggs are done, then they put in bacon. It’s hilarious–everything is cold because they only do one thing at a time. Well, MY husband doesn’t do this–he’s not a breakfast guy–but I have known many men who do it this way.


naptimewriting May 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Oh, pumpkin, this sounds so right. Frenetic and exasperating and perfect and right.


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm


And of course, someone steps on a stray Lego and screams, too.


Gabba Guy May 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Damn, I’m glad your healing and back to writing……I’m gonna miss my nightly with BAH…..


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm


I think she’ll be back ;)


Katybeth May 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Your a breakfast saint. I am certain I would have slashed my wrists or killed my kid if he had been a discerning eater. I do have pockets of feeling very blessed tho and usually those are during more trying times. I’m not sure about Miss M but Cole could play in the water, sink, and soap bubbles washing “at dishes” for a very long time which cured boredom for us on many a morning.


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm


I often give Miss M. a bucket of soapy water and a sponge and let her clean all the tables and chairs in the house. Damned if it doesn’t work!


idiosyncratic eye May 9, 2012 at 3:19 am

I love how you’ve written this so matter of factly yet when I think back through your account, at least a billion things happened within those two short hours. You are a very amazing woman to be able to deal with all that before breakfast. Is Teacher Appreciation Week like a way for them to get bonuses or something? It used to be common for us to give a card or gift at the end of the school year to our teacher in junior school but by senior school no one really did anymore, maybe because it wasn’t ‘cool’, maybe because we no longer had a single teacher. Saying thank you is important but not under compulsion! Gifting/bribing my Irish head of year with a large bottle of whiskey always went down well though in senior school! ;)


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm


I don’t know? I taught high school English for several years and never heard a peep about Teacher Appreciation Week. Not that they don’t deserve it–I just kind of was miffed that they ordered us what to do. That said; I’d have loved to have been your teacher!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes May 9, 2012 at 6:20 am

Since I resemble a banshee from hell with a foul temper most mornings I thought it wiser to let my husband handle the morning routine. I have evening duty, by then my banshee sleeps and I can handle most urine related problems.


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm


I am not a lilac in the morning, but I am worse at night, so this is survival, baby.


alita May 9, 2012 at 11:00 am

Oh you summed it up perfectly. My morning zoo is more than I can handle some days. My hubbster is at work by time the kiddos wake up so I’m a solo chef/checker/cleaner/time keeper/ etc… Oh you know what I mean.

I like “the morning demon version” … I get that. Sometimes that even describes me.

And you are so right, it is SUCH a blessing.


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm


A blessing. Especially when you see that yellow bus ride away. :)


Jane May 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Ah yes, the before-school-dance. And in a few weeks, the summer morning dance will commence. Sigh.

(And I’m with Katybeth – you are a breakfast saint! My kids are lucky if I “cook” peanut butter toast!)


TKW May 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm


Even *I* am pissed off at myself at my willingness to serve them in the morning. Who is the dummy, here?


elizabeth May 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I will never complain about any of former morning routines again, and will instead be extra-thankful that for the first time ever I have the time to do yoga in the mornings now.


Arnebya May 10, 2012 at 7:29 am

Smiled and nodded all the way through this. But that last line, that sneaky little “blessed” part…that’s the kicker.


Jenna May 10, 2012 at 9:19 am

You ARE a breakfast saint indeed!
And bless your husband for that evenness of temper–it sounds like you can find your eye of the storm in him.


TKW May 15, 2012 at 10:14 am


Yes, my hubs is the unflappable one and I’m the nervous wreck. Thank goodness there’s some balance there.


Dawn May 12, 2012 at 4:41 am

You are a saint for sure. My mother would have told us (4 of us) to sit down, eat our cereal and if we didn’t like that we could go to school without. Which we did. We would never have dreamed asking for anything different. Ever. Sometimes she made us pancakes shaped like rabbits or turtles. Sometimes she made us homemade coffee cake or sticky buns. But no way would we each get our own special and/or different breakfast. Your girls are lucky! :)


TKW May 15, 2012 at 10:15 am


Your mother was smart. I am the dummy in the breakfast situation. I swore, before I had kids, I’d never do the short-order cook kind of thing. *sigh*


Tiffany May 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Mornings are my nemesis. How did you make a regular and weird morning sound so pretty?


TKW May 15, 2012 at 10:16 am


If that morning sounds pretty, I can’t wait to hear what yours are like?


Annie May 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

This is the perfect description of a morning with two kids. Unfortunately most days my job requires me to be out of the house before I even see either of my babies, and that’s a different kind of sucky. Every time I do get to experience the two kids on one tired momma morning routine, my mind boggles at the prospect of another…but then the wonderful craziness of it all makes me long for the time for baby #3 to come along. Maybe when that time does come the chaos of three will scare me out of four :)


TKW May 18, 2012 at 9:55 am


That’s why I think you are so amazing. Career woman (doctor, right?), amazing photographer, blogger, and mama. I don’t know how you do it, but I’m in awe.


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