On a school day, I typically get up at 6 with my oldest. At 14 years old, he technically doesn’t need me to facilitate his morning, but it’s a nice time for the two of us to connect. My husband and younger son are still asleep. While he inhales 3/4 of a box of Captain Crunch, my growing caveman may give me a snippet or two into the Secret Life of an American Teenager.
Except this morning I have a cold. And a cough. And a slight fever. So I get up for a few minutes to greet him and let him know I’m awake, but going back to bed. The only response is a half-hearted grunt. In teenager speak that means “Sorry you’re sick, don’t worry about me, I’d get you some tissue and cough drops if I weren’t so busy.” At least that’s what I hope he’d be saying. So I’m in bed, half drowsing, half snotting, for maybe 10 minutes, when I hear, “I can’t find my Honors Biology binder!” Crisp and clear. No grunting. Being the helicopter parent that I am, I vault out of bed for a frantic basement through 2nd floor search for the errant binder, trying not to wake up the Big Cheese and Littlest Cheese. My wheezy lungs protest the race up and down several staircases and despite trying to tiptoe, my hacking cough wakes up Prince #2. Five minutes later, we still have not found the binder, and Prince #1 has missed the bus. We race for the car, hoping to catch the bus so I don’t have to drive him all the way to school. Wrinkled jammies, lank hair, snot flying, I manage to flag it down a couple of stops ahead. As my dearest first born exits the car I think I hear him say, “Oh I remember leaving my binder at school on Friday. My Biology teacher will have it.”
Ok. Back home as cranky 2nd born is eating 1/4 of a box of Apple Jacks. He looks at me accusingly as I walk through the door. Prince #2 definitely needs his sleep. But we’re good. Plenty of time, I already have his clothes ready, snack packed (did I mention the helicopter Mom traits?) smile pasted and snot wiped. Mine, not his. We’re good. Until it’s time to find his shoes. “I can’t find my shoes! Mommy, where’d you put them?” As if. Once again, up and down several flights of stairs, a quick search of the back yard, groping under beds and couches. (Did you know dust bunnies have a strange attraction to snot?) No shoes. 3 minutes until the bus. And I am so not chasing it down this time. The only alternative is flip flops. He is thrilled. I am a rotten mother.