This is more or less how my mornings go: (for your sanity dear reader I only chronicle mornings with one of my two little people here)
“If you don’t take out your dummy to eat I’m switching off Cars. Ok, bye bye Cars”. (Switch off TV). “Give me the dummy. Please hide the dummy. Let’s see how well you can hide the dummy!! Well done, high five. Ok, now try this yummy (almost sugar free) oats”. Obviously I leave out the bit about it being sugar free. I am on a hectic health drive I will have you know. But his face says it all.
“Just one more bite, pleeeeaaase? If you don’t have your breakfast we are not going to play at Troy’s house this afternoon. Don’t you want to see Troy’s beeeeg jungle gym? Show me how high you will climb”. At this point we have had two mouthfuls, with about 13 to go. Just writing this I want to chew my keyboard out of sheer frustration, so let me skip ahead to the part where we brush teeth.
“If you don’t brush your teeth I am taking away your fan! (My boy child’s absolute favourite things are 1) his portable cd player, 2) a small fan, 3) an extension cord. Not necessarily in that order. He loves them so much that he would do nearly anything). He hops onto the bathroom counter, desperate to not lose the fan. But getting him to actually open his mouth is nearly as difficult as understanding why people watch Pawn Stars out of free will. He has rediscovered the tap and experiments with how fast he can open and close it. Then he sticks his head under it and gets his shirt wet. The shirt that took about 15 minutes to get on in the first place….
By now I feel as if I am climbing a mountain. I can see the top, we are so nearly there. But not yet. We have some way to go yet. Breathe. Focus. Pull yourself towards yourself. It is 7am and we are pressed for time.
After dressing him in a dry shirt I start the sunblock-dance. It is not a dance. It is more like a chase. A violent one. I pin him down and try to get as much on as big a body part in the least amount of time. This always backfires on me and I end up with mysterious white marks on my clothes that to an external observer can be anything from snot to my dinner from last night. “If you allow me to apply cream I will give you a chocolate”. I am so far beyond the point of explaining about Mr Sun scorching your precious skin right off. I resort to bribery. I always do. Yes I know my children will probably end up with bad teeth, but at least they won’t have skin cancer. You have to weigh your options and choose your battles.
Aaaaand we are done! Kind of. We now have to get down to the car. Down 21 stairs – the bane of my existence. But we are near the end; we are literally at the peak of this mountain. The summit is in sight and this gives me strength for the last exhausting bit. Boy child grips onto the security gate at the top of the stairs. A two year old can be surprisingly strong. Between my husband and I we pry his little fingers loose and embark on the treacherous descend. It is a real balancing act since you are carrying not only a screaming, wriggling toddler but also the fan, the cd player, his school bag and, just to test you, you have to drag the extension cord behind. Made it to the car. Breathe.
Have you ever tried to strap a toddler into a car seat while they do the pelvic thrust? It is the furthest removed from fun thing I have ever done. Slam the door shut, kind of hard to release a bit of the energy before you take your son’s life onto the road. Turn the music up loud and sing along to “wheels on the bus” in your best voice. Arrive at work and listen to your young co-workers complain about how hard it was to get up this morning.
Congratulations. You have made it.
Today I realised that this all relates back to the power of intent. My intent is to get my son to school. Scrap that – my real intent is to get him to a fun, stimulating environment on a daily basis. My son’s intent is to have fun while he experiences the world to its fullest with no time constraints. It sometimes feels like his intent is to turn me into a crazy person who drinks wine straight from the bottle at 10 in the morning. But it is not. And the only problem is that our intentions are not aligned.
In the book “The Intention Experiment” it is argued that for the last 400 years there was an unstated assumption that intention cannot affect physical reality and that this assumption has now been proven wrong. The authors believe that clarity of intent will shed light on the path ahead, even if the path is not yet clearly visible.
What I need is a bit of this light. And so I am going to try to align my intent a little more with that of my son. I have no idea yet how to do this, but I have a feeling it will involve having a little more fun in the mornings. It might also involve going a bit slower, even if it means perpetual bad hair for me. I think my colleagues are better equipped to deal with bad hair, than what my son is to deal with a mom in the crazy house.