September 2, 2014

Apr 4, 201207:03 AMMinivan Diaries

The Morning Marathon

Apr 4, 2012 - 07:03 AM
The Morning Marathon

Waking up is hard to do.

My twins are not – how shall I put this? They are not morning people.

My daughter can make the phrase “I’m so tired” last for several minutes. She has given a lot of thought to the topic of just how exhausted she is, which she’ll get into once she’s logged a few more minutes on the way-station of the couch in her fuzzy robe and slippers.

While his sister dabbles in performance art in the morning, my son merely grunts.

He stumbles downstairs, his hair looking, as a visitor once said, like he combed it with a firecracker. On a recent morning, he curled up in the fetal position on the kitchen stool. Somehow he managed to fit, and somehow, he dozed back off. My mother-in-law, who was visiting, wryly remarked, “There’s a study in raw ambition.”

There is a lot of sighing (my daughter), fake sleeping (my son), outfit changing (my daughter) and outfit-avoiding (my son.)

Their shoes have disappeared in the night.

It all eventually gets done, but by the time I close the front door -- ever so gently, I swear – behind them, I have run a good risk of having my head explode.

On occasion, my patience has been known to break. I have, I suppose, screeched. But I am certain that when the neighborhood dogs burst into sudden, simultaneous howling, it is a reaction to something other than the cries of the damned emitting from our house.

A gust of wind, perhaps?

At any rate, my twins are wonderful children. They are just not in the mood for school these days.

It was not always thus.

At the beginning of the year, they were both brand-new school traffic patrols. My daughter was in charge of a group of kindergarteners, while my son had the patrol squad’s toughest assignment: the teachers’ parking lot.

His job was to keep wayward helicopter parents from driving in and endangering the children who are walking through. Although I had a flash of worry when he first started that he might turn into a mini Claude Raines, suavely winking at scofflaw goings-on in his blacktop Casablanca, he took his responsibilities seriously, as did his sister. They couldn’t wait to get to school each day and man the ramparts.

But winter came, and the appeal of standing between suburban serenity and the breakdown of the social order apparently waned along with the morning sun. Plus, it was cold out there, and the glow of authority given off by their little yellow belts and badges had nothing on the warmth of their blankets.

They usually get out the door on time, but the journey from their beds to their patrol posts is a long one.

I realize they are not alone. I know many children do not greet the day with enthusiasm. I know I often don’t, myself. I try to be understanding even as I try to keep them to the schedule.

And I know my son spoke for us all, when, on a recent Monday, he wailed upon being awakened, “But I could really use one more day to catch up!”

The good news is that the winter is over. Spring is finally here. And even better – so is spring break.

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About This Blog

“Minivan Diaries” will chronicle the adventures and misadventures of raising a family in the Bethesda area, as well as provide hot parenting tips such as how to survive your child’s birthday party and how to transcend summer carpool planning.

Maura Mahoney is a writer and editor who lives in Chevy Chase with her husband, three kids, and a mountain of laundry. Maura has worked in the publishing industry for more than twenty years, including stints at Reader’s Digest, Mother Jones, and CQ Weekly Report. She has been writing for the past two years on parenting topics for ExaminerDC and Chevy Chase Patch.

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