"Why do I keep hearing screaming? Aaron, are you bugging Sammy? PLEASE STOP IT."
I smear some cream cheese on two bagels, bag them up and wash two apples. I find a stack of Thin Mints and pry away two groups of two and wrap them in left-over Christmas saran wrap. As I search the pantry for two juice boxes, I hear it again: Thump. Thump. Scream. A blood curdling, almost predictable, I-am-being-tortured scream. I barely flinch.
"Are you guys dressed yet? C'mon! We're gonna be late!" I race up the stairs, two steps at at time and find both of them putting on their shirts, still without shoes and socks.
"Aaon's being mean to me!"
"C'MON! Let's get going! Get your shoes on! C'MON!
"I can't find my shoes! I don't have any socks! I don't have any underwear! I don't have any..."
Finally, everything is found. They may be wearing yesterday's jeans fished out of the laundry, or their brother's underwear, but they are dressed. Climbing into the car, they both trip over Sammy's favorite shoes (the ones he spent the morning searching for) and settle down into their car seats.
"Everyone have their seatbelts on? Yes? Good."
I back out of the driveway, check the car clock, and sigh. It will be a miracle if we make make it on time. Turning my focus to the road, I start the softly mumbled but urgent tirade of frustrated comments at the oblivious drivers in front of me. "Move it, will ya? Could ya go any slower? Geez!"
BAM from the backseat.
Blood curdling scream.
"He hit me with his lightsaber!"
"But he hit me with his sword!."
I lean back, careful not to take my eyes off the road, and hold my breath, hoping they will comply without too much persuading. I extend one arm into the back seat, palm up.
"Give me the weapons. NOW."
With slight hesitation, and perhaps a little protest, they hand 'em over.
"What now!?" I yell over my
"He is singing THAT song. Over and over and over again! Ahhhh!!! make him stop!
And, he is.
"Sammy is a poopoo Sammy is a poopoo Sammy is a poopoo"...and so the song continues.
I try a calm, pleading approach: "Please stop singing that song. You are driving us bonkers."
"Sammy is a poopoo..."
(Do you find it hard to effectively discipline from the front seat? I DO!)
"Just ignore him, Sammy."
"I don't know how to do that!!' he screeches.
I breathe a small sigh of relief as we pull into the school parking lot. Right. on. time... That is, IF the cars in front of me will just hurry! I make an almost U-turn and maneuver my way
"Get out! Get out!" I urge, desperately. Aaron climbs over the back seat and pushes his way through his brothers' legs. As the door opens and he prepares to exit, I touch his arm and smile. "Have a great day! I love you. Bye, Sweetie." He hops out and runs to class. whew.
I pull forward (thump, thump) over the curb and keep driving. Next stop, preschool.
As we arrive in the parking lot, I am grateful for the ten minutes we have before school starts. Ahhhh...time for a little mascara (without it, my eyelashes are blonde, and invisible) and a deep, cleansing breath.
"Get me out of my seatbelt Mommy! Get me out!" Andrew cries as he wiggles in vain to escape his straps.
I reach back with one arm and release him. Soon, both boys are doing somersaults over the seats waiting for me to finish up. "C'mon Mom!! My friends are out there!!!"
I finish up with the mascara, open the door, and release the captives. They sprint for the scooters and I sit down at a child-size picnic bench by the classroom door. When the teachers are ready, I sign Sammy in, drop off his lunch, and kiss him goodbye.
Another morning drop-off complete!
Andrew and I head for home.
I was deprived of this routine for a while. And I missed it.
I am so thankful that I get to participate in this daily chaos.
I am thankful for:
#7 The mundane
#10 Screaming children
#11 Lost shoes
#12 Teasing brothers
#14 Lightsabers and plastic swords
#16 Flexible teachers who give grace for well-deserved tardies.