No two mornings are the same at my house, and this can be quite difficult to manage at times for a person, like me, who prefers routine and structure.
My boys typically wake up in the morning with anything but that on their minds. They are looking to wreak a little havoc before proceeding on the course I have in mind for them, particularly on school days.
That’s why on mornings when it’s just me and the boys their breakfast ends up getting re-heated several times throughout the course of the morning. They will start eating and then remember they left their favorite toy in their room or realize they don’t like the “boring” shirts their dad picked out for them.
In my house, the morning can start as early as 5, and it’s usually dependent on the day of the week.
Invariably, if it’s a weekend morning, the kids will be up and ready to roll no later than 6 in the morning.
If it’s a weekday morning, the kids almost always have to be awoken in time to get dressed, have their breakfast and do all that requires getting them ready to go to school in time. That usually requires at least one wardrobe change.
A recent morning sums up what the early parts of the day are like at my house.
It was a day when it was just me and the boys as Pam was out of the house early that day for work. As soon as Pam pulled out of the driveway, Beckett stormed down the stairs in a fit because I didn’t wake him up to say goodbye to his mother. He was a bit irritable from that point on.
When I tried to change the subject and encouraged him to eat his breakfast, he actually turned to me and said, “How come it always has to be what you want me to do?”
I laughed at the absurdity of that comment, and he didn’t like that one bit. It was 6:30 in the morning.
While Carson was still sleeping and since breakfast was not going to happen at that time, I began the process of trying to get him dressed. It was one of those mornings when none of the clothes I picked out for him were suitable. Actually, anything other than his Captain America suit and mask was going to be met with jeers on this particular morning.
He even fought the whole underwear concept on this particular morning. The end result of some father-son combat was a compromise involving a superhero shirt and jeans with the Captain America outfit left out so he could put it on as soon as he got home.
Once Beckett was finally dressed, Carson, 3, was awake from all the commotion in the neighboring room. He, too, did not like my choice of clothes on this particular day, leading me to at one point lead him to his closest and make his own selection. He, of course, picked out an Elmo pajama top with dress pants and had a meltdown when I would not allow it to be worn.
Once he accepted what I had selected for him, it was off to the bathroom for the morning teeth brushing session. Since problems usually arise when the kids share the sink, I find it’s best to do it separately. Beckett demands to be first, saying, “I was here first.” I don’t know if he means that in general or if it’s specific to this particular morning.
While Beckett was brushing his teeth, Carson was having a grand time walking in and out of the shower before turning his attention to his mom’s cabinet and quickly began pulling out items. By the time I got to him, he had a decent pile of creams and lotions in a pile on the floor.
It was 7:05 a.m. at that point.
Introducing sports to my kids at a young age seems like such a good idea until it’s time to actually do it.
While Beckett, 4, is now a fairly seasoned soccer player, having played in four leagues over the last several couple years, he has been a little cool to tackle lacrosse.
In all fairness, Beckett is the youngest player on our “Scooper” team in Beach Lacrosse and his level of interest is sporadic at best and minimal at worst.
One thing that is consistent is his disdain for wearing the equipment in general and specifically his gloves, which he absolutely refuses to wear at this point. This was quite a surprise for me because I thought suiting up and wearing his gear would be his favorite part.
Once I have successfully wrestled his equipment on him, one aspect of the game that does interest him is colliding with people and using his stick to crack his fellow players atop the helmet. There are a few players who share this affinity, which frustrates us coaches to no end.
That sort of behavior is fitting for my little meathead who at this young age is not too interested in learning the fundamentals of the sport. It’s “too boring to practice”, he often reminds me.
Instead, he would rather run around and participate in drills that involve him getting some action than actually take the time to learn how to throw and catch and scoop ground balls.
Even at that, there are times when he gets bored and prefers playing with smaller kids on the sidelines or in the case of the other day’s practice trying to pull my shorts down, for whatever reason.
At this point, I’m just happy when he will keep his helmet on and generally participate in the practice.
I hate to lower expectations, but being realistic helps to keep the frustration level to a mild roar.