Yesterday, between negotiating school outfits and burning the toast, it occurred to me that this is all some kind of a misunderstanding. Parental demands are unachievable. Plain and simple. Someone, somewhere has made a horrible mistake. That's all there is to it.
I started to wonder what a graceful morning would look like...
An alarm clock beeps. 6:00 am.
A woman, mid 30s (looks 28), rolls over in bed. Her breath smells great. She turns off the alarm with a smile and hops out of bed with a stretch and a yawn. She gets dressed in her exercise clothes which are easy to find because they're neatly folded where they're supposed to be. She exercises for the requisite 30 minutes, and wipes her brow. No children have woken up and interrupted her.
Once done, she and her natural glow take a relaxed shower. She has time to shave whatever needs shaving.
While toweling off, her children wake up well rested. She presses a magical button in the bathroom and there are now toilets for everyone. Everyone is so pleased to be awake and happy to start their days. Her husband whistles a Disney theme song.
In a blink of an eye, her hair is frizz free and her concealer is working so well. "This was worth $60," she thinks. Not a dark circle for miles.
She uses the latest technique from the parenting book she's had time to read, so the children are cooperating beautifully. Everyone can find two socks and the shirts she's laid out the night before are to everyone's liking. She herself is dressed in something that the bus stop ladies will surely comment on; "Oooo cute, top!" (Little do they know, she found it on sale at Target for $7.99. The tag is itchy and it digs into her skin a little, but she doesn't mind because she knows she looks terrific).
With time to spare, she blows her enchanted flute and her children go down stairs to sit in their proper spots with their hands to themselves. The little one doesn't even ask to be carried. He's such a big boy!
"Who wants breakfast?!" she sings gleefully. She snaps her fingers and the blinds open up. Sunlight streams in as the coffee brews automatically.
"Yes, please!" her children shout. "Mommy, we want whatever you would like to make."
Perfect!" she cries.
She spins around 3 times quickly, and when she stops (a little dizzy) she has sprouted 3 additional pairs of hands. She giggles lightly. Now, with all 8 hands ready to work, she hums a Motown ditty, as she begins.
While one pair of hands makes lunch, another heats up the griddle, ready for eggs and bacon. Her 3rd pair of hands, pours juice - Oops (!) someone spilled! - no big deal, that's what the 4th pair of hands is for! Crisis averted.
The school bus is still miles away as the children eat their breakfast, crumb free. Pair of Hands Number 2 makes sure their shoes are tied while Hands 3 comb their tangle-free hair.
Her husband has come down stairs chipper as all get out. He has several pairs of legs you see, so while he unloads the dishwasher, it's no problem for him to take out the trash - and, is it (?) oh yes (!) it is recycling day too (!) - while starting a load of laundry.
In the back of Mom's head, an extra set of eyes have opened wide and she notices some lingering unfinished homework. With a gentle, pleasant reminder, her son is keen to do his best work yet. Finishing it up with a flourish and toothy grin.
All this time, Pair Of Hands 1 has been prepping a kale and cantaloupe smoothie in the corner. A special treat for Mom. She loves it so much. It tastes, refreshing, she thinks. A lot like a chocolate milkshake.
Just then, Mom's internal alarm clock tickles her tummy and she knows without a doubt that it's time to meet the bus.
Her kids beam at her from the front door where they stand awaiting her with clean faces and hands. They're zipped up in their jackets they're glad to be wearing, with back packs and lunch boxes they wouldn't dare forget.
While she opens the door for them with one pair of hands, the rest of her hands remain in the kitchen, helping her husband clean up.
"Goodbye, Boys!" she smiles, kissing them both at the exact same time so that everyone feels equally adored. (She has two mouths of course).
"Oooo cute, top!" the bus stop ladies remark.
"Thank you," she says. "It's so comfortable!"
She waves goodbye as the bus pulls away, dabbing a tear from one of her many eyes.
"Ahhh," she laments. "What, oh what, will I do while they're gone?"