Back to School – Morning Woes…
With the end of the holidays and the beginning of the new school year, starts the morning grind again- getting sleepy heads out of bed, into the shower…(this of-course depends on the age); if they are older children getting them to get out of the shower, yelling to get them to the breakfast table …(No matter what time they get out of bed, they invariably reach the breakfast table just minutes before they need to be pushed through the door to catch the bus or walk to school).My heart so goes out to those parents whose troubles don’t end here and need to drop their kids to school. Their struggles continue a little longer, with having to manoeuvre through rush hour traffic (though like Robin Williams rightly said,” I don’t know why call it rush hour because nothing moves during this hour”), bear irate drivers and manage speed limits while ensuring they get their wards in time at the school gates…
School mornings provide an opportunity to all parents to test the efficacy of their vocal chords while also testing their agility against a ticking clock; in being able to set the breakfast on the table, pack the lunches, water bottles, put on sunscreen and braid their hair ( if they are blessed with long tresses which get knotted). In this respect, every mom is a “Usain Bolt” in action and every morning is a race to get to the finishing line. In homes like ours, where dad helps equally, it’s a relay race, a team event to test our skills in synchronization without actual delegation.
Amidst this daily marathon, which after a time, you may have excelled at, there are surprise hurdles that are thrown your way in the form of the word “lost”, as a higher test of your ability. ” I can’t seem to find my planner, please help me or else I’ll get detention”, ” I had kept my swimming goggles right here and now it’s missing. Gosh somebody’s taking my things”, ” I so remember putting my book in my bag but now it’s not there” or “I have lost my scarf. Mom do you know where it is?”. Accompanying this, is the characteristic puppy look, like they have been deserted when they need you the most, if you don’t help. Against your will and having read all the books on raising children which tell you that you mustn’t help them and if they get punished once in school, they will understand, you start running around the house looking for the missing things in places, where you are most certain to find them. The strange thing is you do! And when you do, you get a hug and kiss and a thank you and a promise to be careful next time on.
For a school-going kid (including middle and high school), the word “lost” simply means ” I can’t see it in the only place I have looked”. The usage of the word obviously does not require a complete search for the missing item before being used and certainly does not require one to retrace their steps to identify where it was placed last. It requires the entire household to be on the run to find the missing item while the little miscreant stands at the door waiting impatiently like you are the reason for that extra minute of delay.
And then, after the run, you still manage to smile and see them off at the door, kissing them “good bye” and wishing them a great day at school.
If any of the above is what happens in your house, then you might as well pat yourself on the back for you have qualities that you are probably unaware of- You are an optimist (every night you go to bed, hoping there are no surprises the next morning), You are a multi-tasker (you cook, you yell, you feed, you pack, you find missing items), You are great at time-management (no matter what happens, you ensure they get to school in time) and most importantly, You are resilient ( you do it day after day and don’t break down). So next time, you make your resume’ or talk about yourself, please know you have these inherent qualities and you prove them every morning.
While I have decided this year (it’s besides the point that it’s a decision that I take every year, every day and yet believe the next year will be better) to ensure school bags are packed the night before, uniforms, socks, ties, hair accessories are all kept in the appropriate place the previous night, so that we can avoid playing the “Lost and Found” game in the morning, it’s a far cry from reality because the players in this game sincerely believe that there’s no real issue that requires a decision. ” Mom, we’ve never really lost anything, you know” (of-course I know, I am the one finding it), “We always find it in the end, just in time” (“we”, it’s more like “I found it”), “Mom, you’re freaking us out. Relax. Please don’t add any more rules” (Excuse me, I’m the one freaked out here)!
THE PARENTS OATH
So, we the torch-bearers of the future will continue being the brave soldiers we are in the daily battle-field of life and carry on our morning struggle and hope tomorrow will be a easier day while continuing to love and cherish and trust…the little tyrants!