Early Monday morning, just before sunrise. A moment before, the sky had been a beautiful blaze of color. It faded away in the 90 seconds it took to get the camera…
A fitting metaphor for the last two weeks around here – always a moment behind.
Angel’s school year began the day after Labor Day (September 3rd). She goes Monday through Thursday mornings, 8:15 to 11:30. Auntie Sarah has to leave for work by 8:30, so most mornings go kind of like this (or we hope they do):
5 am, Grandmom is up and in the shower. 20 minutes later, pour coffee and let Sweet Cleo out (Grandad has been up since 3:30 or 4, but she waits at the foot of the bed until I get up.) Drink coffee, watch local morning news. Read newspaper. Enjoy the silence.
6 am, put away last night’s dinner dishes to clear the drainboard. Wash dogs’ bowls. Make Cleo come back in the house and eat breakfast. Let Cleo back out the second she finishes so she doesn’t make a pest of herself asking. Get breakfast together for the kiddoes. Begin to hear the first rumblings from Upstairs, where Niko, Sarah and Rufus are getting up and around. Wonder if Angel is going to wake up on her own. Go in at 6:45 and wake her. Again.
7 am, Grandad and Cleo go for a walk. Angel is at the table. Niko, Sarah and Rufus spill down the stairs. Sarah makes breakfast for all of them, and sits with the kids while I take her dog on a walk around the yard. Enjoy another 15 minutes of peace. Breakfast for everyone finished by 7:30, then off to get dressed, shod, pottied, tooth- and hairbrushed. If all goes well, there will be a few minutes of tv-time before we leave the house. If not, there will be a few minutes of loud complaining before we leave the house.
8 am, and the daily discussion of whether or not a jacket is necessary begins, usually followed by why it isn’t cold enough to wear the fuzzy purple coat yet. At 8:10, we’re in the car, having kissed Mommy/Auntie Sarah goodbye and waved her car out of the driveway. 8:15 is drop-off time. Niko loudly voices his displeasure at leaving his cousin at school (or not being allowed to go to school himself – it’s not quite clear what his complaint is).
From this point, the schedule diverges according to the day of the week. Mondays and Thursdays, we go back home to play. Tuesdays are Grocery Days. Wednesday, Miss Sophie the babysitter arrives at 9 so I can (in theory) have some time for myself. She’s very sweet, but not terribly authoritative. I try to make lists for myself for those days, and prioritize the chores. Doesn’t always work.
So the first half of the day has a routine of sorts now…but it’s tenuous. One gear (read: child) breaks down, and the whole thing can be thrown into chaos. Our weak point appears to be breakfast. Sarah and I have tried all sorts of things, but very few are working. Banana muffins were a hit for a few days. Yogurt has lost its appeal. No one will TOUCH oatmeal, even with copious amounts of honey or maple syrup….
I’m running out of new ideas, and I need your help. What are some healthy, easy-to-eat morning meals that don’t involve cooking in the morning? Batches of baked goods that can be done ahead, things with fruit? I don’t want to go the Cold Cereal route again…
Maybe, just maybe, I can get back to blogging soon….