How is it that our kids went to bed at 10:30 last night?

One more. One sec. And it’s 10 p.m. Peeling them out of the house in the morning is like pulling four pieces of chewing gum off the bottom of my shoe. Only it’s accompanied by growls.

One shower lasted 15 minutes. “One sec.” “One sec.” “One sec.” Consequently, I put away the cereal, bowl, spoon, and milk. I knew it would be a granola-bar-in-the-car morning. Or no breakfast at all because, after all, how can one eat anything with the taste of toothpaste in one’s mouth? It ruins the taste of all food.

I’m a morning person. My candle burns low after 8 p.m., which is when I begin as the caller of this square dance, calling each move four times – finish your homework, put your homework in your backpack, put the books on the shelf, put your Bakugans away, brush your teeth, floss your teeth, wash your face, go to the bathroom, pick up your clothes, give me the book and the light under the sheets. Then, I just want to lie in peace for an hour. Until 11:00. And that makes me a night person. Unhappy when my alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. to be a morning person.

When I try my “Good morning, hun, your alarm went off. It’s time to get up,” it falls on ears of children that went to bed at 10:30. The utterance of these words fall harshly on non-morning children. I’m ignored or grunted and growled at. One grunts a pained “mmmmmm.” The other growls a guttural “rrrrrrrrr.”

While I goaded Liam this morning with ten minutes to get to school and a multitude of tasks undone, Liam leisurely explained that “it doesn’t take that long to get to school.” Yes, yes. So true. Wait right here – let me just warm up the Mom-mobile and get my super cape on so that I can fly you there.” Honestly, I want to be late enough one day that we don’t make it on time. I want him to explain to the teacher why we are late. I want him to give MY explanation (15-minute shower) NOT his (Mom). A broken strategy.

Perhaps I need a reward system, for my words fail me. Before I embark on another one of those, I’m going with two-word utterances in the morning. Directives. Unarguable. Because I’m the Mom. “Shower. Now.” “Dress. Now.” “Eat. Now.”

My attempt at pleasantries with supporting reasons “why” are lost.  The words of reason are swallowed on the sound waves like those of Charlie Brown’s teacher, even though there are only two feet between me and those young ears.

My gut says this two-word strategy may work. This morning, I landed at school with the other Mom-mobiles double-parked – their capes flying out their windows. Rather than saying “have a great day,” “we are here,” “put the book down” and other niceties, I used two words briskly spaced. “Get. Out.” Immediate action. “Backpack. Lunch bag.” And out the door he went. Two minutes after the bell had rung, but 30 seconds before the last kid entered the school.

Happy Hump Day.