The Dangers of Gangsters and Chirdren In The Morning

Mornings with kids are beautiful and vulnerable, like an elegant land mine. If you step over it, there’s no problem. If you step on it you’ll  loose a leg.

My ego often times rides on morning success.  If the forty five minutes before the bus arrives goes well, I’m convinced everyone will have a bright and shiny day and I get to drive to work feeling like a successful mother.  If the morning is ugly, filled with tension or tears, I end up clutching the wheel, convinced  everyone will have a terrible, awful, no good, day really bad day

Mornings are like see-saws made out of Legos.   Too much pressure and the whole damn thing falls apart. When Mary was little she hated socks and having her hair brushed so mornings were really treacherous.

Now it’s Lexie, Sandor and me in the morning.  Lexie keeps herself on track. She’s sleepy but focused in the morning. She has a high school routine and it’s important not to derail her train.  Left alone she is excellent as long as there is hot water and cereal.  I just have to say the right things when she asks about belts, shoes, shirts and hair. Crimped or straight? Pony tail or crazy insane curls? Cowboy boots or Pumas?

I try not to give her jobs in the morning, instead I make a list and leave it on the kitchen table. At the end of the list there are lots of xxxooo  because I love her so much, especially when she unloads the dish washer.

At nine, Sandor is an entirely different creature. He’s a sloth like animal who doesn’t like to eat first thing in the morning. He doesn’t want to do anything except hug for the first hour.

In the morning, Sandor sees his clothes but I have to remind him to put them on.  He sits in front of his bowl of cereal but I have to remind him to eat. He finds his shoes but I have to insist he puts them on. 

One tactic I use on Sandor to wake his fuzzy brain up is silly, but works.  I set up goofy games on the kitchen table or leave a puzzle out with only two missing pieces. 

This morning  I sat on the edge of his bed. “There’s a secret message on the kitchen table for you.”

“What is it?” He opens his eyes.

“Not telling, you have to check it out yourself.”

“Who left it?”

“I don’t know.”

He staggers out and laughs when he sees my stupid message made with Scrabble letters. It says, “Yo Gangsa Face”.  I leaveextra letters out so he can add to the note.  He’s a nine year old boy so, of course, he adds the word “butt”.   The word “butt” makes everything funnier.

Mornings can be tricky but I have skills and sometimes manage to avoid the land mines.

*What’s your secret in the mroning?  Comment or e-mail me. I love that.

How To Raise A Happy Kid…Idea #439

Sometimes kids are grumpy in the morning, hell, who isn’t. Why? Well, they don’t want to wake up and start working, who does? Burrowing under the warm covers like a mole hiding from the blazing sunlight seems like a much better.

But here’s something that generally makes Sandor, who is a pretty typical eight year old, feel a little better in the mornings. We don’t talk about school, we talk about the good stuff that will happen after school. I give him a couple of choices for dinner, “What do we want tonight, spaghetti tacos or pork chops and apple sauce.” Making decisions makes him feel powerful.

Then I let him decide what game we’ll play. Today he had four choices, Uno, Five Card Stud, Trouble or Pictionary. He picked the last. “Ok, what prize does the winner get?” I asked. He thought about it, “Twenty bucks!”
“Wrong,’ I buzzed.
“How about two back rubs, one from me and somebody else.”
“Fair enough” I said, and my mission had been accomplished. He was friendlier and looking forward to the day.

I promise you I am not one of those moms who sits for hours playing board games or inventing craft projects. That’s not me at all, infact we generally play “Diana’s Super Short Version” most of the time. That means ever roll of the dice is doubled. And that knocks the playing time in half , but still give us a little silly time together.

So, next time you want to cheer your kid up in the morning let him make some  decisions. I promise it works better than a Happy Meal and it teaches him to make up his mind. Nobody likes an indecisive 8 year old.

You Can’t Handle The Truth or My Mornings

Every day I ask my husband, Alex,  how is day was. He says, “you have no idea”. Yeah yeah, I roll my eyes. Alex is the executive chef at a giant throughbred race track so, on a race day he may feed 15,000 people and walk 10 miles. Yes, he works hard, and he works long hours 50-60 a week, but I’m about ready to throw down. Because I don’t think he could handle my mornings for a week. So this blog is for every mom who gets it done.

This morning I tok a shower then woke Sandor up, who was grumpy. We found pants but he thought there was something wet in the pocket so I told him to find another pair.  When I came back he was staring at his hand, which was stuck inside Mr. Potato Head (I didnt’ ask why). He wasn’t happy.

“Please get your hand out of Mr. Potato Head” I said then I found more pants, put them on top of his head and told him to come eat breakfast.

Lex tried to cheer him up while they ate cereal and grapes but he wasn’t speaking. I sang something stupid but that didnt’ work so I turned on the radio. Right off the bat there was a song by Buck Cherry. Yikes “Yeah, you’re a crazy b*&#$ but you _________so good I’m on top of it,” what was that doing on my normally tame morning radio show? I moved like a “mom tsunami” across the kitchen to hit the stop button my baby toe hit the leg of the chair. Oh, my Lord, I started cursing worse than the song.
That cheered Sandor up. He started laughing so hard he spewed cereal milk on the clean laundry.

They went to the bathroom to brush their teeth and I stared making lunches. But the bread was moldy so they both got a sip lock full of sliced steak and a pop tart. That’s a decent lunch, right?

After feeding the dog, finding Sandor’s lost shoe and wiping butterscotch pudding out of his back pack I sent him off to find the lost library book.

Lexie needed ten dollars for something, then she needed my tennis shoes for PE, my camera and the necklace I got for Christmas…then she was ready for school but Sandor was crying. If we didnt’ find his library book he’d miss recess.

So Lexie and I went on red alert to find the lost book, which was next to the bathtub because he’d asked me to read to him while he was soaking. (Hey, he’s been sick, so yes, I’ve been babying the boy)

They both made it out the door and caught the bus and that was the first 30 minutes of my morning.

You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth or the reality of my mornings. Alex may be able to feed the masses and roll out 5,000 pounds of corned beef sandwiches but I don’t think he could get the kids on the bus by 7:14.