20 Things I Do Before 7:30 A.M. That Should Allow Me to Go Back to Bed at Noon

Mornings have never been my favorite. I'm a big sleeper whose kids seem to be intent on keeping me in a sleep-deprived state. Left to my own devices, I would snooze until at least 8 every morning, then spend a leisurely hour drinking coffee and getting ready for my day, and for years, that's exactly what I did. Then I had kids . . .

These days, I have a first grader and a preschooler to get out the door every morning, and my daughter's bus arrives exactly at at 7:29 a.m., meaning I have to be out of bed and on my game so freaking early. My mornings are bananas, and not just because I feed them to my kids because they're quicker than cutting up other types of fruit. Here's everything I did this morning, all before a time when, in an ideal world, I'd still be unconscious.

  • 6:30 a.m. — Wake up to internal alarm. Check the clock and decide to close my eyes for another five minutes.
  • 6:36 a.m. — Get myself out of bed, throw on my slippers, and brush my teeth.
  • 6:39 a.m. — Head into 6-year-old daughter's room to try to rouse the beast. Much moaning, whining, and playing dead ensues. Gentle appeals to get out of bed quickly turn to angry threats of losing iPad time and play dates. Eventually she rolls herself out of bed and onto the floor.
  • 6:42 a.m. — Make daughter's bed while she rolls around the floor and claims she's too tired to go to school.
  • 6:43 a.m. — Start dressing her like a baby to motivate some forward motion.
  • 6:48 a.m. — Daughter is finally dressed and brushing her teeth, giving me a few minutes to make my own bed, throw on gym clothes, and rinse my face, while occasionally reminding her that teeth brushing involves actually moving the brush back and forth, not just staring at herself in the mirror.
  • 6:55 a.m. — Attempt to do daughter's hair. She requests two small braids that join to become one big braid. Huh? We settle on a small half-back ponytail, the same style we do almost every day. She reminds me again that I am the worst hair brusher of all time, adding in the occasional yelp.
  • 6:58 a.m. — I remind daughter for the 10th time to get some socks so we can move downstairs for breakfast. Just as we're heading down, my 4-year-old son emerges from his room.
  • 6:59 a.m. — Shuttle son to the bathroom while I make his bed (that's number three, if you're counting), tidy up his room, and grab some clothes to change him into later.
  • 7:03 a.m. — Make one more loop upstairs to grab dirty clothes and last night's water glasses, then shuttle the kids down the stairs.
  • 7:05 a.m. — Pour both kids a bowl of cereal while I start a load of laundry and grab their lunch bags to pack. Remember to turn on coffee maker.
  • 7:08 a.m. — Add cut-up bananas and strawberries and glasses of juice to their breakfast while I start packing lunches and snacks.
  • 7:10 a.m. — Daughter's lunch — PB&J, grapes, baby carrots, granola bar, and juice box — packed, along with her popcorn and clementine snack. Son's lunch — turkey corn dog, Pringles, Jell-O, and juice box (he's my picky eater) — also packed.
  • 7:15 a.m. — Pour coffee and milk and take a quick sip.
  • 7:16 a.m. — Unload the dishwasher while I quiz daughter on this week's spelling words, break up fights between my kids, and remind them to eat their blueberries instead of throwing them at each other.
  • 7:20 a.m. — Remember to add a note to daughter's teacher about her postschool Girl Scouts meeting and her Daisy uniform to her backpack, along with her lunch bag, gym shoes, and the snow pants she'll need to go out to recess.
  • 7:22 a.m. — Start telling my daughter to get her shoes and coat on while I get her brother's clothes on and put on a cartoon to entertain him.
  • 7:25 a.m. — Two minutes before she needs to get out the door to make her bus, daughter has managed to get one sock on. Help her get her boots, coat, hat, gloves, and backpack on her body in record time.
  • 7:27 a.m. — Give daughter a kiss goodbye, remind her to make good choices, and watch her walk to the bus (it's not cool for me to walk with her anymore, and because it's 20 degrees out, I'm totally fine with that).
  • 7:30 a.m. — Wave to her bus as it drives by, take a deep breath, then go back in to reheat my coffee.