This morning was a doozy!
It started off OK, with both boys getting up on their own, but things quickly rolled downhill. J got into a unique naughty space, which led him to being quite contrary about getting dressed, and brushing teeth. And S thought it would be fun to goad is little brother into ore bad behavior.
The big brother instinct seems to vacillate between prompting more bad behavior, and helping fix badness. This morning the first instinct was winning.
Frustrated, I got J dressed, and put toothpaste on his brush, and left him to brush his teeth while I took my shower. Partway through, I heard the most awful squealing coming from downstairs, which was unmistakably the voice of S. He rarely tantrums, but when he does, it’s always a doozy!
By the time I came downstairs, all was calm, and both boys were sitting at the kitchen table, eying breakfast. Until…
J asked, “Mommy, are you dropping me off at school today?”
Dad replied (before I could stop his honest response) “No, Mommy has to go to work early today, so I’m taking you to school today, and Mommy will take S”.
And the floodgates opened!
Now, I was running around the house, trying to collect my glasses, keys, pager, purse, and jacket, with a distraught and screaming 4-year-old clinging to my leg.
S launched into his helpful mode, and tried to distract J with a toy – no luck (although I was certainly applauding his creativity).
S and I finally made it into the car, leaving Dad behind with the screaming J.
And I had to ask S: “What were you screaming about this morning while I was in the shower?”
He said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
I said, “But, I want to know how we can manage to have mornings that aren’t like this one, again.”
He described, “I jumped on Dad’s back, and he told me to get down, and I didn’t want to, but he dropped me down, and I bumped my back, and it hurt. That’s why I was crying.”
So I suggested, “You know that Dad tends to be grumpy in the morning, so why don’t you hold off on jumping on him in the morning. You can jump on him in the afternoon.”
S agreed that this ought be a useful strategy.
I dropped S off at his school, and got on the highway to work. At 9:30am, thirty minutes after J was supposed to be at school, the phone in my car rang. It was Dad. When I got on the phone, he said, “J, do you want to talk to Mommy?”
I hear J’s voice, “Mommy, tomorrow will you drop me off at school?”
Me, “Yes, I promise.”
J, “OK, bye.”
And, so, my day finally started.