Workday mornings were always crazy busy at our house when our kids were little. It was hard to get everyone ready and out the door so I wouldn’t be late for work. I used to threaten our kids that my boss, Tom Olson, was going to spank me if I was late. They never took my threats seriously.
One morning when Corey was two, he took Mark’s toothbrush and swished around it in the toilet. I grabbed it from Corey, threw it in the garbage and left for work. Mark worked 3rd shift at the time and would get home after we left for the day. Mark called me at work and said, “You’ll never guess where I found my toothbrush this morning.” I said, “You didn’t use it, did you?” And he said, “Yes. I did.” I could hardly compose myself I was laughing so hard. Talk about potty mouth.
Another morning I hustled everyone into our minivan which was parked in our garage, started the car and then ran back into the house for something. Just as I was coming out of the house and walking towards the van, it starts moving backwards towards the wall and then all of a sudden it stopped abruptly. Baby Bryan had reached over and put the car in reverse. With Kelly’s quick thinking, she hurried to the front of the van, reach the steering column and put the car back into park. Kelly saved our kids and our van that morning.
One morning Kelly thought it would be nice to wake Corey up by putting her cute little hamster, Digger, on Corey’s face. Kelly’s hamster clamped onto Corey’s nose and he started to scream. I went running into his bedroom and Corey had two little bite marks on his nose. I asked Kelly why she put Digger on Corey’s face and she said, “I just wanted Corey to wake up to my cuddly little hamster.”
I must have been a crazy lady in the morning. Again I was in a hurry trying to get to work on time with all of the kids in the car and I backed out of the garage and hit the side of it with my passenger side mirror. The mirror was hanging by the wires and banging against the side of the car as I drove down the road. I called Mark at work and told him the news and he said, “Cut the mirror off with wire cutters.” I was wondering where I would get wire cutters when Bryan piped up and said, “I have a wire cutter in my backpack.” Now you’re probably thinking, ‘Why would we let Bryan bring wire cutters to school?’ Well, it turns out Bryan, who was probably in 2nd or 3rd grade, was working on a school project and happened to really have wire cutters on him. Needless to say, he saved our morning.
By now you can imagine that I was a mess in the morning, trying to get everyone fed and ready for school. Sometimes Bryan would get in the car with his pants on backwards, his clothes on inside out, his shirt untucked and his coat not zipped up on cold days. I would drive our kids to St. Michael’s every morning and as they would get out of the car, we would all notice that Bryan was a mess. Chad, Kelly and Corey would make fun of him for not being ready and looking so frazzled. I felt so responsible and bad for Bryan that I would whisper to him, “You are my favorite.” He would smile and everything seemed to be okay when he walked away from the car and into school. After saying this to Bryan, I started secretly telling all of my kids if they were upset or having a bad day that they were my favorite. Just recently, on Bryan’s 25th birthday, I had to break the news to him that Chad, Kelly and Corey are my favorites too.
Once in a while Mark was home in the morning to help me get the kids ready for school. Kelly loved getting her hair done and I was never very good at it but together Mark and I were able to French braid her hair. Kelly learned at a young age how to do her own hair because I just didn’t have it in me. It is hard to believe that I grew up in a family with six sisters, three of them who became hair stylists, and I can’t do my own hair. Sorry Kelly.
Chad was the smart one because in the morning he would quietly go to the living room, turn on the sports channel and keep out of our way. Thank you Chad for not causing more trouble.
I have to confess that I would resort to bribery after everything else failed in the morning. I started to bargain with our kids to get them out of the house a little bit early by promising them hash browns at Burger King. Some days it worked.
Those days were hectic but sometimes I miss our kids being little and living at home.