Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Crunch Time and Football Analogies

Like the night before the paper is due or minutes prior to your presentation, a mom faces equally critical and slightly, nerve-wracking moments every day.

1. First Crucial Moment: Morning.   My house begins humming around 6:45 a.m. during the week. Light switches on.  Toilets flushing.  Little feet and big feet shuffling across wooden floors. One last pre-dawn sip of coffee...

Bro. 2011
You can call it "go time" or "crunch time."  This next hour can make or break the day. Everything hinges upon each person doing as they're told at the approved pace without any interference.  The team players must remember their part, or the rest of us pay.  For all of you football fans out there, when a kid is still barefooted as we walk out the door, blow the whistle: "Flag on the play!"  Since it already requires a blessed miracle for us to get anywhere on time, this may result in at least a ten minute penalty (My husband is going to love this post).  Everybody steer clear of the coach!

2. Next Do or Die Time: High Noon/Afternoon. I'm going to just a lump a few scheduled priorities here.  Picking up my preschooler on time and feeding him lunch before he falls asleep definitely fits into this cram session. How much can I squeeze into small windows of opportunity without jacking up our routine?

Also, waking up said preschooler from nap with enough minutes on the clock to collect the older kids from school could go either way- with amazing ease or with "Oh-my-gosh-I-should-have-left-ten-minutes-ago" anxiety! Steady now. If I pass this important test, supplying snack and a change of clothes for dance/soccer practice really feels like earning some extra credit.  A++
Boone. Circa 2011.

Arriving to after-school activities precisely at the beginning of practice with the right shoes and gear is just as vital during our afternoon as making sure everyone is feeling confident and prepared in the morning.  It can ruin a kid's whole outlook on life if I'm the only mom that forgot to bring his water bottle or made her miss the chat fest before practice begins. Of course, this is a very narrow view on the greater worldview, but they don't know that.  And you better be sure that the mom will hear about it the rest of the evening.

3. The Final Moment of Truth: Dinner/Bedtime. It's been called the "witching hour."  From about 5:00p.m. until dinner, if we're home, this mother of three somehow has to juggle several tasks at once without fail (and without a wand).  I must patiently help each child with their homework without showing my frustration.  While the toddler loudly asks me questions and repeatedly begs brother and sister to please play trucks with him, I attempt to distract and simultaneously focus on a math problem by deflecting interruptions by another. *Heisman pose (That's for my husband again)* My brain almost self-destructs in this phase of the game every time. If my face doesn't turn red with steam blowing out of my ears, I consider it a success.  We all win.

After the papers are signed and put away, I direct the posse upstairs so I can cast a magic spell over the kitchen and conjure up dinner, with or without a plan.  And possibly with or without groceries. This is really when things can get exciting/terrifying.  While I try to cook the final meal of the day, everyone goes wild. No matter how many times I ask the boys not to wrestle, they will.  I tell them to stop jumping off of furniture, but they do.  They run, yell, and throw almost all of my happy house rules out of the window. And every single day someone comes to me sobbing and blaming the other for another injury.  The water is boiling.  Doors are slamming. The table needs to be set. Feet are stomping and voices are yelling.  The oven timer is beeping. 

"I can do this." Daddy's almost home!

I don't know how it is possible, but we all somehow survive each of these pivotal moments- A little battle weary but alive. There may have been a few outbursts, tears even, but we came through.

Around 8:00p.m. Mom officially punches her time card, and any other crises is deferred to the other parent. 

Touchdown. Extra point. Field goal!

***** P.S.- Don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post to enter a drawing for my first every giveaway!  The winner will be announced this Friday :-) *****

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