Before the days of “Social Distancing” and the latest, newest “Normal” (Can we please stop with “New Normal”?), my days were filled with overworking the Miracles of Christ, force-feeding, and violating inalienable rights. My responsibilities, of course, were nothing compared with the burdens of the cherubim.
As you sit in your home/office/bunker waiting for the pandemic to subside, I wish to give you a glimpse into our morning routine and show you what it was like before we were self-isolating.
5:30-6:00 – Wake up. Have coffee. Turn on laptop and do some writing.
7:00 – Wake The Oppressed, The Boy, and The Gaggle. Head to basement to get clothes out of dryer and load the washer or empty/fill the dishwasher.
7:15 – Return upstairs to check on Cherubim. The Oppressed wakes again and says she needs to sleep more because of the tough day she had at school. The Gaggle is brushing her hair and getting ready to head downstairs. The Boy wakes up saying, “I don’t like you.”
7:20 – The Gaggle comes downstairs and gives her order for breakfast. The Boy comes downstairs. When asked what he would like for breakfast, he smiles and says he needs to think. The Oppressed comes downstairs wrapped in a blanket and complains how cold it is.
7:25 – The Boy would like pancakes. I tell him it’s too late for pancakes and he will have to settle for cereal, toast, yogurt, or fruit. These are not acceptable options for a child growing up in a first-world country. The Oppressed concurs and, under protest, accepts a bowl of cold cereal. I ask the children what they would like for lunch, they all choose school lunch. The selections here (ham, cheese, roast beef, PB&J, Fluff) are more in line with a North Korean labor camp. I clearly don’t love my children.
7:30 – A bus arrives to take The older Gaggle to school. They are up, dressed, and fed. They made their lunch the night before and grab their coats and head out to the bus.
7:40 – Inform the Miracles of Christ we are leaving in 25 minutes. The Oppressed leaves a half-eaten bowl of cereal on the counter. I remind The Oppressed the bowl needs to go in the sink. The Oppresses hangs her head and groans. She has to do everything and threatens to tell her teacher I think she is my slave.
7:45 – We are leaving in 20 minutes. “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” the Miracles of Christ respond. Tell the children they need to brush their teeth. The Gaggle brushes her teeth, finds her shoes and makes sure her coat and bag are by the door when it’s “Go Time”. The Oppressed brushes for 20 seconds, maybe 30. The Boy needs help getting toothpaste on his toothbrush. The Gaggle and The Oppressed are upstairs but I am the only one who can help him. I am in the middle of doing dishes but I am told I have all day for that. Wife is on a conference call. A tantrum is welling up inside The Boy. I run upstairs to avoid a Polish hostage crisis.
7:55 – Ten minutes to “Go Time”. The Oppressed is furious at having to brush her teeth a third time. (It’s her second, but try telling her that.) The case against me is mounting when she finally gets a hold of Amnesty International. I remind her I’m a licensed foster parent and a Little League coach with multiple CORI’s run and passed. I like my chances.
8:05 – Kick the tires. Light the fires. I tell the children it’s time to make tracks. The Boy can’t find his shoes. The Oppressed can’t find her bag. I remind them everything is on the porch by the door. “Not those shoes.”
8:15 – Everyone in the car. Ready to go. The Boy needs to use the bathroom. I remind him we’ll be at the school soon. We arrive at the school. Children spill out of the car and run into the school. Can they beat the bell? They make it. I always pull up to the entrance. I leave the school giving signs of solidarity and support to other parents.
8:20 – Return home to fine various snacks and folders in the porch and kitchen. Round up the articles and head back to school to leave them with the secretary.