So, yesterday I challenged myself to be patient with the kids this morning. I know I am not alone when I say that getting children up, dressed, fed, and out of the house on weekdays is perhaps one of the least pleasant aspects of parenting. But I know that, like all things, my attitude can shape the way things feel, however unpleasant things can be.
And I did it. I went into this morning promising myself (and you) not to become irately impatient when getting Coen and Lucy out the door. And I did not. Yay!
And it was not without its challenges. Lucy took her time getting out of bed, laying there and telling me all of her dreams and claiming that she was "much too tired to get up yet". Coen too was taking his time.
I went in his room and rubbed his head and said, "Why don't you get dressed and go on down stairs and see what Daddy's doing."
To my surprise, Coen was up and dressed in the time it takes him on the weekend when we're going sledding. I was impressed.
"Wow!" I said, "You were such a good listener."
"What's Daddy doing?" Coen said with excitement.
Then I realized, he thought that I was sending him down to see Tad doing something out of the ordinary.
"Oh..." I said. "He's just getting breakfast ready. I thought you'd like to go down there."
"Awwwww" Coen groaned. "I thought Daddy was doing something exciting."
"Well..." I said, "It is February. You could watch him change the calendar!"
Meanwhile, Lucy was now out of one layer of pajamas but still had more to go and dragged her half undressed self into the hallway by Coen.
"Wanna hear about my dreams?"
"Lucy..." I said, "Why don't you finish getting dressed and we'll tell him about it at breakfast.
Finally we were downstairs and the kids ate surprisingly fast.
Then it was time to go.
Coen first put on his boots and coat and then I reminded him about his snow pants and he took everything off and then suddenly was sitting on the floor, reading a book, making no attempt to get his stuff on again.
Lucy hid under couch cushions until I found her, then hid under the art easel until I found her and then finally began the arduous process of getting her snow pants on. After they were on, she went in the playroom and began drawing.
"Lucy, it's time to go, honey. Come on." (I say a similar phrase each morning, but today I said it with kindness in my voice)
She brought a doll with her and said, "Can I kiss my baby goodbye?"
"Yes" I said, "But get your coat on first.
She did put her coat on and then proceeded to sit on the stairs with her baby, giving her a long and drawn out series of kisses and hugs.
Meanwhile, Coen, now in his snow pants and boots, had found a book on the china cabinet and was reading it.
"Coen. It's time to get going."
"Mommy?" Lucy piped in. "Can you find the crown for my baby?"
I sighed. "I will look in one spot for the crown, but you need to get your hat and mittens on while I do."
I found it and she crowned her baby, gave her some more goodbye love and placed her on the steps. "Can I bring a stuffed animal for school today?"
Coen came in, all dressed and ready to go. "Oh! And I need a book!"
Both of them tromped upstairs, snow pants swishing and boots clomping. I waited. And breathed. Deeply.
Finally they came down. We got in the car. I looked at the clock. It had been exactly twenty minutes since I uttered the phrase, "Okay guys, it's time to go."
In the car I said, "Well this is exciting! Now I know that it takes exactly twenty minutes for you guys to get in the car! And now I know that every day I take you, I have to tell you that its time to go twenty minutes before its actually time to go. Isn't that exciting?"
I looked at them in the rear view mirror. They looked at each other and said in unison, "No."
Ah, but we made it.