“I Had Plans to Be Calm and On Time!”

Posted by on Dec 18, 2010 in A Story, Blog | 0 comments

Funny how that works???? No matter the plans, no matter how much I plan appropriately, no matter how much I do the night before, we are still yelling in the morning and the last ones to arrive at school! Grrrrr…

I got up in the 5’s. That is a great step. I showered, stretched and sought out Father God and what was on his mind this morning. He gave me Psalm 27. I thought it was for the kids, but I think it was mostly for me.

“Light, space, zest – that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. . . . When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. . . .God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. . . . Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you’re on.” Psalm 27 in The Message

I just wish I remembered more of it in the heat of the battle. I guess I need to take that verse literally in Deuteronomy that says tape God’s words on your forehead or something. Where are my post-it notes?!

I am not sure how it began. First off, let’s talk advance prep work. All children had been bathed the night before; clothes had also been laid out ready to put on in the morning. Lunches had been made, snacks thought through and water bottles chilling in the fridge. What more can a mom do?! I had also made the decision that I wouldn’t work out nor make my daily veggie drink but do those things later after I got home from dropping them off at school. So I even have self-sacrifice in the mix!!!! The magic hour between 6:15 wake-up and 7:20 departure was cleared and ready for smooth sailing.

6:15 on the dot, I enter Carson’s dark room. I wake him up first, because he is my hardest person to get going in the morning, and this will give him some moments in his bed while I get the girls going. I was so proud of my advance thought; I was even using strategy on this much-anticipated first day of school!

I woke the girls up next, and I only got half-hearted stances to stay in bed. Soon, they were up and finding their clothes. And then the FIRST one started! Battle that is – Ada wanted to change her shirt from the new peach Grace Prep shirt we bought last week to the old, faded hot pink Grace Prep shirt from last year. I refused – wanting her to look new and fresh on her first day. “But Mommy, my new shoes will match better with my pink shirt.” AGH! Why did I mention that yesterday?! We were at Academy buying new athletic shoes all around yesterday. Ada picked out a crazy pair of shoes – black and hot pink. Not my favorite! In an attempt for her to see my side, I tried convincing her with the argument that the cute navy blue and light pink Addidas would be a better choice as they would match all other uniform wear. This argument proved worthless yesterday but now was a decidedly good one as Ada turned it and now directed it to me. Why is that???? Something that meant nothing to her yesterday when she insisted was now terribly important as she stared at the peach shirt. But alas, Mommy’s roar is louder and the peach shirt would be the chosen one for the first day of school!

Second battle coming! Maya then decided that she didn’t like the shorts she had put out the night before, because they had a button, and buttons are hard to undo at school. She prefers snaps. Well, the only snap shorts that we could agree on were in my bedroom under a pile of clean clothes. Thankfully, they were at least folded. But not for long, I realized, as she dashed off to my bedroom to retrieve the perfect denim shorts WITH A SNAP. Of course, she is demanding her brother go with her, because Daddy has already left for a business trip to San Antonio that morning and there would be no one on that side of the house. My children have some kind of hang-up about going places by themselves, maybe because they are always generally together but even in our own home!?!? It makes me crazy, and it was really making Carson crazy this morning. I think he roared at Maya the whole time she dragged him through the house.

Well, the next item on the agenda was HAIR – one of my favorite jobs!! With Maya and Carson wreaking havoc on my nicely folded laundry, Ada was the first one up for hair! She begrudgingly accepted this position; she and Maya had already worked out some system for hair and clearly it was not Ada’s turn to be first. But I convinced her, and we began brushing. Thankfully, it only took a few ideas before we agreed upon a hair-do. The hair always brings up my inadequacies to be a cute girl mom. I tend to be the low maintenance, once a week makeup kind of girl, and I unfortunately have somehow bred the same such women. They both want the same hair do every morning – clip on the side and ponytail. Easy, no chance of hair in the face and out of their way for the day, but not so cute!?! So on school days, I try my best to put my lack of a good idea for a cute hair-do and their resistance to anything with a bow on the back burner and create something spectacular. So, I was happy when Ada finally agreed on one braid down the side with it all pulled back in a ponytail. At least I got a cute braid in the mix!

I thought we were finally back to smooth sailing when I hear Maya behind me WITH SNAP SHORTS ON realizing she has been dumped for hair first. Believing that it was all Ada’s doing, she quickly began her own roaring at Ada. I finally roared back that it was I, the mother, who had usurped their agreement and made Ada do her hair first. It was my entire fault in an attempt to keep the bus moving at a steady pace. And it was about this same time that Carson realized there was a line up for this hair deal, and he had surely missed out on the sign-ups. Third roar, fourth battle. “I want to do hair first. My hair is the shortest, and Mommy can do my hair faster than she can do ‘girl hair.'” Though true, Maya had already secured her second position and Carson sat glumly on the toilet seat waiting his turn. I first tried for pigtails, always a cute choice. And Maya was in agreement up until I had finally secured the perfect part and was ready to begin the first tail. AGH!!!! Why does she change her mind halfway through the hair-do? Do I insist on the pig tails and send Maya to school with red, swollen eyes from Battle #5 that is about to explode from her mouth if I hold fast on this one or do I take a deep breath with a bothered sigh and begin the braid the she now wants as well? Why can’t I avoid the bothered sigh? Why must I make them realize how they inconvenience me? It never makes me feel any better, but yet the sighs continue and of course I had to slide a comment in there about her indecisiveness. It is sure to be a hot topic on her counseling docket as dear Mom did not fail to remind her of this annoying tendency. Now I am just being hard on myself, but after Battle #4, I am weak and can’t help beginning the lines of condemnation that race around my head.

Just as I am putting the finishing touches on Maya’s hair, Ada realizes that Maya has chosen the same hair-do. Battle #5 or 6 – I am losing count now! Ada doesn’t go for the whole twin deal – looking alike, dressing alike. She wants no part of it and now begins her own roaring about the fact that Maya has knowingly chosen the same look. Grrrrrr . . . . I just ignore this latest battle in hopes that it will just go away without too much of a fight. I do in fact get Carson’s hair done in the blink of an eye, and off we go to the kitchen to get a quick bite to eat. Did I say quick? Oh how I wish?! All three of them get their wheeled backpacks in position and roll them on out to the kitchen. Unfortunately, it was now time to get out all of their school supplies instead of focusing on breakfast. After some roars of my own, they all three found the table and rested their jumpy bottoms. They were full of excitement now, as the sleepiness had worn off. If only their hunger could kick in at the same time. They are disinterested in my choices for breakfast and would much rather dig in their backpacks.

As we are finally deciding on cereal, Maya spots the lunch bags and quickly demands she gets the Camp Rock bag. This is always a losing battle, but Maya faithfully tries every time. Ada bought the Camp Rock lunch bag at the Disney store with a gift card that she had been given by Grammy Honeys. At the time of purchase, I gave Maya every chance to get a lunch bag of her own. She instead chose something else that I can’t for the life of me remember, and it would really make this battle easier if I had the thing in my mind every time she tries this argument. Battle #?????????? “I never get the Camp Rock lunch bag. You always get it. It’s not fair.” I look around for my tape recorder to play response #4 for this battle that Maya won’t let go of. In a monotone voice, I say once again, “Maya, you didn’t choose a lunch bag at the Disney store. You could have got a lunch bag, but you chose another toy. Ada chose this lunch bag, so she gets first choice on using it. I tell you this every time. Why is it an issue?” I finally get a bowl of cereal down Carson and Ada even though the strawberries that I so lovingly cut for them were too sour for Ada. After a mild roar from Mommy Lion and one of those raised eyebrow “don’t mess with me” looks, she swallowed them down. Maya found her way with a smoothie, and I caught first glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, though faint, I was sure it was just such a light.

Thankfully, everyone agreed to brush his or her teeth while I sought to make some sense of my morning and begin the mind numbing experience of trying to make sure we had everything. I quickly packed their lunch bags, placed their sweet notes from Mommy and Daddy in the front and retrieved their water bottles from the fridge as well. I tried to get them zipped as fast as I could. If the bags were open when they came back in the kitchen, I was sure to have some opinions as to what I made and packed, and I couldn’t handle any more opinions at this point. It was nearing close to 7:20.

Battle #8 and #9 occurred, no kidding, in a matter of seconds. Carson remembered that Grace Prep sells snacks upstairs after school. Little did I know last year that when I let Maya and Ada go up there and buy a snack with their allowance money, that it would now be a “given” to do this every school day. As Carson flashed his coins around, Maya and Ada quickly started screaming for their coins as well. As I impatiently reminded them that I don’t buy snacks, and they need to get their own money, the clock started ticking louder and louder. It was now 7:22, and Ada could not find her wallet. With foot firmly planted on my rule that I was not going to give her money, I told her that she would have to make some other plans. Surprisingly Maya spotted her some money only to begin screaming at her the next minute, because she wanted to open the door first and didn’t want to wait on Ada. With a near knockdown right at the back door, we actually did make it a few steps out on the deck when I realized that I had not taken one picture.

Why must I do these things to myself?!

I should go ahead and wave the white flag and surrender to another morning of craziness and just not add anything else to the equation, but I was going to get some smiling face shots even if it killed us. We would all at least have a few smiling though fake pictures to mark the debacle. I did get a few before my memory card in my camera was full and my battery was about to die. Now this is just adding insult to injury!!!!!!!!

By the time we all get in the car, it is now 7:37. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE????????? We were going to leave at 7:20!!!!!!!!! Thankfully, in the midst of that time warp between 7:20 and 7:37, I turned around twice from the deck and saw Maya and Ada’s summer reading program sheets that they needed to turn in today, and Carson’s bag of tissue and wet wipes. That would have caused some later stress, so I celebrated these “look-backs.” There was also an unforced makeup between Maya and Ada with hugs and all. It was quick and to the point, but it was awesome. All of the sudden, I noticed them sitting next to each other on the deck unable to go any further without first humbling themselves and seeking harmony over rights! I heard some “I’m sorry’s” coupled with some eye contact to show they really meant it and a hug at the end. WOW! In the face of the details of the morning, this was a miracle moment! Thank you Father for drawing near to them!

I tried my best to control my angst in the car, as I knew we would now be one of the last to arrive at school. Hopefully, there will be some lingering moms in the classrooms, so our late entrance would not be so glaring. To no avail, by the time we got through the mass of moms and dads in the hallway and said our hellos, we were the last to arrive and no one was in the classrooms except busy little bees already working on their assignment and the smiling teachers accepting me with such grace!!!!! If only they knew my last hour!!!!! And surely somebody else had the same kind of hour???????? I had to make a dash for the Boo Hoo breakfast in hopes of finding some other frazzled moms with one too many battles in their morning as well. I wish we could all just wear a running tally of battles and roars. Oh yea, remember that post-it note I needed to wear on my forehead, that would be a good place for a tally count, but I think there was something else that was supposed to go on that post-it note?!?!?! Now what was that? It seemed like so long ago! Oh yea, wisdom from Psalm 27 for the battle – I definitely need to hear it again.

“Light, space, zest – that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. . . . When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. . . . God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. . . . Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you’re on.”

Even though I feel like I failed miserably, I rest in these words and his grace. The battles will always come. Sure, I can respond differently, and I hope to do so next time. I will look again at advance prep and see what else I can add to the “night before” workload, but as hard as I think and plan, and even with the best of strategy, the battles will come. People are messy, and we live in a messy world. Though I love them dearly, my precious angels will roar once again, and Mommy Lion is sure to want to respond with a louder roar. But today I will celebrate the place I have in Father God to run, find rest and remember, “He is on my side.” He has offered me a place “to live with him in his house” and “beauty” to focus on. It is “quiet” there without the “noisy world.” So, with the memory of my mess-ups, I “offer anthems that will raise the roof; I am singing God-songs.” I can be “sure I’ll see his goodness in the exuberant earth.” That means here and now, not later once I get to heaven. Though “exuberant” is a very nice way to put it, on this earth crazy with people, issues, rights, needs, wants and time, there is a promise waiting for me each day. This promise is an opportunity as well. – “Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: stay with God.” Thank you, Father God, for your words in Psalm 27. Thank you that there is more beyond the roar! There is more than my feelings of failure. There is more than the never-ending battles. There is more; there is you, and I am so grateful!

Check out Psalm 27 today!

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