“Let’s Call It A Win: Getting a pre-schooler out the door,” a play in one act.
::: Parent runs into a childless friend. :::
“Hey, Parent! How are you?”
“Good! You?” ::: realizes there’s an Elmo sticker stuck to her shirt and removes sticker ::: “Um. It was a little rough getting out of the house this morning.”
“Oh, really? Did you sleep late or something?”
“No. It’s just hard to get my kid out the door these days.”
::: FLASHBACK 90 MINUTES :::
Pre-schooler bounces out of bed at 8a full of energy and rearing to go, “Oh hai, Mom!”
::: blink, blink ::: “Oh. Good morning, baby.” ::: yawn ::: “Are you ready to start doing your morning stuff? We’ve got to be out the door in 45 minutes to go to pre-school. Remember you’ve got to hustle.”
“Noooooooooo. I’m too tired.”
“Ok. Let me rephrase this. You need to go get dressed right now. And Mommy needs coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. So you go get dressed, I’ll go make coffee. This is not an auspicious start to the day. Let’s hurry up and try to put a better foot forward.” ::: heads off to kitchen :::
“Okay. I guess.” ::: stomps off to room :::
Parent cradles much needed cup of coffee. “How’s it going in there, baby?” Pre-schooler jumps into kitchen wearing a tanktop and no pants. “No, baby. It’s 32 degrees out. You need a long sleeve shirt. Also pants. Please apply pants.”
“Pants. NOW. Hurry up!”
::: Pre-schooler stomps back into kitchen wearing the rattiest shirt still left in her dresser and pants that are short enough to count as highwaters. :::
Parent sighs. “Okay. Pants and a long sleeve shirt. Let’s call that a win. Also let me make a note to go through your dresser again tomorrow. All right. Hustle up and make your bed.”
Parent gets purse and supplies for the day in order. Pre-schooler runs through kitchen singing theme song from “Fresh Beat Band.” Parent re-directs pre-schooler.
Parent notices lump in preschoolers bed, investigates and discovers pile of 17 books and a sock that’s been missing for two weeks. Sighs. “Okay. The bed is made. Whatever. Let’s call this a win.”
Parent heads back into kitchen only to collide with pre-schooler who is pantsless again and screaming, “Kitty hissed me! And looked at me WITH HIS EYES!” Parent re-directs pre-schooler thinking, “Hey. At least she used the potty. Let’s call that a win.”
Parent looks at self in mirror and realizes some kind of cosmetic self-help is in order, begins to wash face and brush hair. “MOMMY! Can you get the Daddy toothpaste for me? I don’t wanna use kid’s toothpaste. I only like it in the summer.”
Parent thinks, “You know what? I’m not even going to ask follow up questions about that one. I’m pretty sure it’s a trap. And, hey. She’s brushing her teeth. Let’s call this a win.”
Parent hands over toothpaste. “Good job, Mom! You did such a good job you get an Elmo sticker! Yaaaay!”
“Yaaaaaay!” Longingly eyes make-up bag and glances at clock. Nope. 8.40a. Ponytail, mascara, and lip gloss it is.
Parent hears mysterious banging noise coming from bedroom, investigates and discovers pre-schooler pounding on easel with hammer because, “I’m fixing it! See? I’m helping!” Warns pre-schooler that anymore getting off task will result in a time out and silently prays that she does not have to follow through with that threat because it’s 8.43a.
“Okay! Let’s get on our shoes and socks, pick out a jacket, and get out the door! We don’t have time for breakfast here so I’ve got some cut up apples, dry cheerios, and milk for you to eat in the car.”
“NOOOOOOOOOO! I want my gummy vitamins. I want wet cheerios. I don’t like apples anymore. ::: cat walks by ::: Ooooh! What’s kitty doing?” ::: starts to wander off after cat. :::
“No. Absolutely not. Focus up. Socks. Shoes. Jacket. Now.”
“Can I wear my crocs?”
“No. It’s 32 degrees. It snowed yesterday.”
“That thing I just said.”
Pre-schooler gestures towards oldest, rattiest pair of sneakers on the shoe rack, “How about my running shoes?”
Parent sighs. “Fine. Hurry up.” Thinks, “Hey. She’s wearing shoes. Let’s call that a win.”
Pre-schooler starts putting on socks. “Hey, Mom? I’ve got a very important question to ask you.”
“Okay. Ask me in the car.”
“Is tomorrow gonna be Thursday?”
Parent becomes visibly exasperated and adopting the “SERENITY NOW!” face. “Put. On. Your. Shoes. Now. It’s 8.50a. We need to go. HURRY UP!”
Get in car, drive to school with parent taking deep, calming breaths the whole way while answering numerous questions such as, “So *is* tomorrow gonna be Thursday?”, “Why did kitty hiss me?”, and “Why do some mans where earrings and some mans don’t?”
Pre-schooler happily waltzes into school at 9.10a. Parent signs in pre-schooler and pauses to catch breath. “All right. She’s here. She’s clothed, fed, and watered. Let’s call this a win. VICTORY IS MINE!” Gives pre-schooler good-bye hug and walks out the door.
::: END FLASHBACK :::
“Uh-huh. I’ll be sure to give that whole “hurry up!” idea a try.”