Sunlight filters in through a window over a kitchen sink. Smiling and well-groomed faces sit around a clean and beautifully laid out breakfast bar. Fresh fruit, a decanter of orange juice, whole grain toast, and cloth napkins adorn the table. A father enjoys his mug of coffee while reading the newspaper. A mother, wearing a pressed shirt and slacks, lip gloss, and neatly combed hair, flips another round of fluffy pancakes onto a plate. As she places the stack onto the table for her bright-eyed children she announces is a cheery voice, “Okay kids, almost time for school. We don’t want to be late.”
This scene makes me wonder: Who the hell are these people?
I have yet to have a morning so awake, so put together, so relaxed. I am pretty sure most parents out there will agree. It is tiresome to watch movies and television shows portray the above ridiculously off the mark family morning. The sun does not shine at 5:45 in the a.m. people. Why pretend that it does? Is it to save on lighting?
In order to be of some service to the motion picture industry, I thought I would depict a more realistic picture of what a school/work day morning looks like:
6:15a.m. – The alarm goes off. I smack it like a dirty fly. Thank God for the snooze button.
6:38a.m. – I jump out of bed. Crap! I snoozed too long. I am probably confused and think it is 11:30 p.m. because it’s still dark outside. What a bullsh*t trick.
6:43a.m. – I wash my face and brush my teeth. I do this with cold water so I wake up. Actually, the hot water has not had time to heat up yet, so I really don’t have a choice. There is absolutely no make-up involved. Nor a brush. I do rustle up an old sweater and throw it on over my pjs.
6:48a.m. – Still dark. I nudge our old dog to go outside and do her business. She looks at me clearly confused by the dark morning. She lies down and falls asleep on the patio. She does not pee.
6:49a.m. – I pre-set the coffee maker (thank you Jesus), so I guzzle as much coffee, water, and juice as I can while watching the news. House fire, police chase, rain. Extremely uplifting. I make breakfast and lunch for my child. I drink more coffee. I am now ready to wake the beast.
6:55a.m. – I tip toe into my daughter’s room, turn off the night light, give her a kiss, and say, “It’s time to wake up.” She ignores me. I try again to wake her. Success! She welcomes the day with a, “No! Leave me alone!” I open the binds, which does nothing since it is all black outside. I turn on the bathroom light and try to coax her out of bed with, “It’s library day.” This also does nothing.
7:04 a.m. – A disgruntled seven year old sits at the table in her Hello Kitty pjs. Her hair looks as if she attended a Grateful Dead concert…in a tornado. As she licks the Nutella off her toast she glares at me and lets me know that I have ruined her day because I interrupted her sleep. Awesome. I drink more coffee, fill the dog bowls with food and water, empty the dishwasher, and turn up the volume on the TV to drown out her moaning. Oh good, it’s Matt Lauer on the Today Show. He is talking about a car bombing and a mall shooting. Also, it is still dark outside.
7:22 a.m. – I clean up the kitchen and cattle prod my child into her room to get ready. I go to the bathroom and quickly throw on some clothes. Again, there is absolutely no hair brushing involved.
7:35 a.m. – It is time to leave for school. I find my daughter in her room wearing only a shirt and underpants. Apparently she has been busy reading a book while dressing her pink bear in a purple sundress. I say in a calm voice to my child, “What are you doing? We are going to be late!!!! We are leaving in one minute!” My yelling wakes the neighbor’s dog.
Our dog sleeps peacefully outside. In the dark.
7:42 a.m. – We let in our dog and head out to the car. Dawn has finally broken, so we do not need flashlights to see where we are going.
7:44 a.m. – My husband is still asleep in bed.
The only people I know who have on pressed clothing and make up at that time of day are the working parents and teachers. I’m pretty sure even they would not brush their teeth if they did not have to.
So Dear Hollywood: I am begging you, for once show a frantic parent losing their sh*t in the a.m. because their kids are refusing to put on socks.
I know, it is not as sexy as a fake mom making French toast for her clean kids, but at least it’s real.
All the early morning un-caffeinated parents will thank you.