Tucker is tapping on my forehead. "Up, Mommy. Wake up." I sent him back to his room, for quiet time. That's the parenting equivalent of a snooze button.
t: Mommy, up.
m: Tucker, please go have quiet time.
t: I did.
I give Tucker a sippy cup of milk, a warm and toasty blanket, and I access a pre-recorded episode of Sesame Street on the DVR. (It's called the Texas Telly and the Golden Triangle... a spoof on Indiana Jones. Very funny, you know, the first 300 times.)
I'm in the shower. It's blessedly warm and cozy.
I hear Tyler. Enough with the shower. The younger native is restless. I'm blasted with the post-shower chilliness, and I'm so thankful for my plush robe from Christmas last year... it's my good friend on winter mornings.
I walk into Tyler's room, expecting to find him snuggled with his beloved blanket. Instead, he is perched on top of the crib rail, straddling it.
I gasped, loudly. My audible presence startled him to flip into the crib - which I was thankful for. He could have flipped the other way, which his brother did around this age, which launched us into a month's worth of cast after cast. We had quite a conversation about the do's and don'ts in a crib, and I made a mental note to ask Robb to make sure it's on its lowest setting. After all, we don't need any broken bones, but we certainly don't need this boy sleeping in anything other than his crib, either.
Time for breakfast. Fruit bars and raisin bran for everyone. (Except mommy. I'll have coffee and a chocolate chip muffin. The usual. I save the healthy stuff for the kids...) Tucker learns to use his placemat to catapult his fruit bar to Tyler's half of the table, and then he complains that Tyler took it. Ah. Deception, at an early age. But his wise mother cannot be fooled. Nor entertained by his attempts to parent his younger brother.
Tucker tries to eat his fruit bar like Cookie Monster, mashing it into his face with both hands. I've had about enough of the impersonations of characters with poor table manners.
Tucker is finished with his breakfast. He climbs down from his booster seat, carries his dishes to the sink, and stops just short of the counter... to pour his milk on to the rug. Are you kidding me?? We briefly discuss the merits of not experimenting with liquids outside the bathtub, and I hand him a towel to clean up the mess.
I am drinking my coffee. Tyler is finishing his fruit bar... with sticky fingers that keep wandering to my side of the table. I love a lot of things about my kids... but sticky fingers I can do without, especially on the inside of my elbow. Always a hot button for me.
Tucker announces that he needs to go potty - at skill at which he is making great strides. While he is in the bathroom, I hear him saying, "Mommy! Toilet paper!" Repeatedly. Upon investigation, I find heaps of toilet paper mounded into the toilet bowl. I have allowed him one square for a target (instead of the Cheerios), but he couldn't seem to get it to tear off. Awesome. I'm pretty sure that's a flushing hazard.
As I'm weighing the physiscal and yet teachable consequences of flushing it all, another moment passes...
Tyler is shouting, "Uh-oh, Mommy. Uh-oh." Upon investigation, I find that he has followed Tucker's lead and poured his remaining cereal and milk onto his placemat. Are you kidding me???
Who said, "No use crying over spilled milk?" Hmmm? Who was it? Because their milk didn't spill on a morning like this. That's all there is too it.
I didn't cry. But I didn't smile. I ushered everyone - and their sticky fingers and their toilet paper hands - to the bathtub.
And it wasn't even 8:00.