Friday, February 26, 2016

Green tea for me? There's no way... please make it a triple espresso!

Yesterday my friend proudly boasted that she had kicked the coffee habit and was now healthily enjoying green tea every morning. I was happy for her, wondering if I would ever be able to even contemplate such a drastic measure. She must have caught me rolling my eyes.

"What?" she laughed.

"It's just funny because there is no way I could even consider giving up morning caffeine until Senia Mae is about eighteen and I am retired. With the amount of effort I have to put into everyday and my lack of sleep over the past six years, a day without coffee would be physiologically impossible," I said. "I am certain I would drop dead before the end of twenty four hours." I'm not being overly dramatic, either. Some mornings it is all I can do to get the child dressed and out of the house.

The alarm buzzed the other morning as I slammed the snooze button for the third time. Please tell me I'm dreaming and it's still the middle of the night, I thought to myself. Although I tuck my daughter into her own bed every night, she often ends up pancaked to my side after spending most of the evening encroaching on my sleeping space, leaving me hot flashing and sandwiched into the 12 inch pocket between her and Kim. That is rarely a restful sleep. When it is time to gently nudge her awake all I hear is this squeaky little moan, "Momma, nooooooooooooooo," as she rolls over to face the other direction.

"It's time to get up for school."

"I don't want to go to school today," Senia Mae mumbles, barely moving her lips.

"Maybe if you stayed in your own bed you would sleep better," I joke.

"But I miss you so much in the night time," she says as she wraps her legs around my midriff, arms around my shoulders and covers my face in gentle kisses. I am trying to enjoy her innocent affection while being aware that we have to be dressed, ready, and out of the house in forty five minutes. Yes, that should be plenty of time, I know, but Senia Mae is very unfocused in the mornings. Some would even say we have a dilly dally-er.

After I sent her to her room to dress in the clothes that were already laid out, I had to check on her three times. The first time she was naked and back up in her bunk bed playing with her cat. I politely asked her to get dressed before I ran back to the kitchen to make her lunch. The second time I caught her sitting on the floor of her closet pulling out clothes for Naked Baby, her favorite doll. I demand a dressed child more firmly this time before I throw on something suitable to wear for the car ride to school. When I come in the third time and she is only wearing her underpants while looking through her bookshelf I raise my voice to get full attention.

"Senia Mae we're going to be late for school... get dressed NOW!" The power in my tone grabs her attention as I point my finger, feeling like the parent in Dr. Seuss' Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now? I really hate to have to use the Mom voice but sometimes it feels like its my only weapon. Eventually she is clothed and heads into the bathroom. As she is sitting on the potty I instruct her to make sure she brushes her teeth while she is still in the bathroom. At least we can attempt to multi-task.

"Well that should be edible," Senia Mae says as I am turning towards the door.

"Edible?" I ask, stifling a giggle. "Do you know what that means?"

"No," she says, completely straight faced.

"Edible means something you can eat." Senia Mae laughs at her misunderstanding. "Are you looking for a different word, like obvious?"

"Yes, Momma, it should be obvious that I am going to brush my teeth while I am still in the bathroom." She said the words with such conviction now that she had the right word. How, during this chaotic morning, could I possibly think she could get off target?

I laughed as I hurried her to the bathroom sink, placing the toothbrush in her hand as I quickly combed the snarls out of her hair. By some act of God we made it to school on time, pulling in as the last car in the parent drop off line. Could a few sips of green tea light enough fire under me to get this family moving in the right direction or any direction for that matter? I don't think so! I am going to stick to mind stimulating coffee until I can get just a little more control over my own crazy herd.