How (Not) to Start Your Morning Off Right

If you just started following my chaotic life, you may not know that mornings are not my friend. Oh, I don’t mind the getting up part—if I could be totally alone and be only responsible for getting myself out the door. But that is not the case; thus my anxiety-riddled starts to every day.

Last week proved no exception to the rule. But instead of focusing on the negative, I decided to turn my frown upside-down (or make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear; whichever idiom you’d like to insert here) and use my experience as a How-(N0t)-To Guide for you, my dear readers. So here goes.

How (Not) To Start Your Morning Off Right
*Based on an independent study conducted by pjmomof3boys

1. Make sure that not only is your alarm clock set to the wrong time, but your husband/wife/partner/child/dog/nanny’s alarm clock is not set at all. This will cause everyone to wake up late, creating a chain reaction of delayed showers and generally setting up your day for disaster.

2. When you first make your way downstairs in the morning to look for a clean towel in the pile of folded clothes in the living room (Of course; where else would they be?), be sure to do so in your bare feet. Oh, and don’t bother turning on the light either. That way, you are sure to step in the poop your dog has kindly left you on the kitchen floor. There’s nothing like poop squishing between your toes to wake you right up.

3. Do not make any attempt to lay clothes out the night before. It is especially helpful if the dressers are empty as well and the clean clothes are in various laundry baskets throughout the house. This will result in a fun game we like to call, “The Great Sock Match-Up,” in where you will make a frantic dash around the house searching for two socks that even remotely match. Points are earned if the socks are the same color; bonus points if they are the same size as well.

4. Train your middle child to leave every single sweatshirt, jacket, coat, glove, and hat in his locker at school. That way when it’s 20 degrees out your choices are to either send him out of the house in his little brother’s hooded sweatshirt that makes him look like Peewee Herman because the sleeves only go down as far as his elbows, or send him out in only a short-sleeved T-shirt when there’s frost on the ground. Either way, it makes you look like Parent of the Year.

5. Hire a surly preteen to sit on your couch in the mornings and growl at you when you remind him the rule about “no video games before school.” Make sure he also argues with you about brushing his teeth, which apparently comes after killing zombies on the priority scale.

6. Repeat the following phrase 10 times in a row: “Okay, listen up; there’s Raisin Bran, Froot Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Special K, Frosted Mini Wheats, Cheerios, and Rice Krispies.” Increase your volume with each consecutive recitation after your kids ask, “What is there again?”

7. Play another game, similar to “The Great Sock Match-Up” called “Shoe Hide and Seek.” In this game, you ransack the house for your middle son’s shoes, which are never in the closet where he’s told to put them every day. A couple hints about this game: You should always check the bathrooms, and you’ll rarely find both shoes on the same level of the house.

8. Try a three-foot-high stack of shirts and pants before you find ones that your youngest child won’t deem “scratchy,” “stiff,” “too big,” “tight,” or “fuzzy,” (which apparently makes his eyes hurt). Chances are he’ll end up wearing the same thing he had on yesterday.

9. Realize as you’re leaving the house that no one has put his cereal bowls or spoons in the sink or (Heaven forbid) the dishwasher, and in fact one bowl has been knocked over, creating a steady drip of milk from the table to the floor. Let ‘er drip because, of course, you’re running late. (See number 10.)

10. Think back to the letter which just arrived from the school addressing the high number of tardies so far this year and emphasizing the importance of getting your kids to school on time. Then look at the clock as your kid climbs out of the minivan—and sigh as you realize that the tardy bell rang one minute ago. And then try not to think evil thoughts about your husband, who got to wake up and leave the house while everyone else was still in bed.

There you have it. If you’d like to incorporate just one or two of these tips, your morning will likely be mildly irritating. However if, like us, you want to challenge yourself to accomplish all 10 of these tips, you’re pretty much guaranteed to need a shot of whiskeycoffee and ValiumTylenol by 8 a.m. Good luck!


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