I like organization with no surprises or hitches in my daily routine. My days are prepared with military-like scheduling, complete with regimented unity by family members. They know when Sergeant Mom blows the whistle each morning, they had better get to the bathroom, gather books and lunches, and head out that door at exactly 8:22 AM, lest they suffer the consequences of scrubbing the latrine with their own toothbrush after school.
OK, I'm not THAT inflexible, but as a full-time mommy and wife, and part-time author and freelancer, time is a precious commodity. Deadlines must be met, clothes must be washed and available to wear upon demand of fussy teenagers, and meals must be ready to be consumed in Mom's Mess Hall before throngs of children head out for extracurricular activities ... with Mom driving them.
Timing is Everything
Everything must be timed with precision-like accuracy, even my own bathroom duties during the course of my day, or else one missed trip will end up costing me dearly.
Most days, things run pretty smoothly, and Mom is one happy camper as she lays her smiling head in satisfaction on her pillow each night. However, there is an enemy in the midst who threatens to throw a grenade into my well-planned days. I call her The Toddler, and she is a force to be reckoned with on a daily basis.
Oh, she looks innocent enough, what with her sticky, jelly-smeared face and Mr. Teddy tucked securely under her arm. But after lunchtime, this sweet, cutesy cherub transforms her arsenal of Barbies into a battalion of soldiers, prepared to do Naptime War with her arch enemy, the wicked Mommy.
Before the War
For half the morning, we are each other's best friends. We play Barney videos, dancing and singing like Fred and Ginger. Or we happily hold hands and skip to the park for a play-date gathering with other angelic rowdies in the hope of getting The Toddler to burn off as much energy as possible so naptime will not be a major battle. I marvel with a mother's heart at her creativity, her sweetness in sharing, her kind nature as she hugs her friends goodbye. And then we head home, chatting merrily about how much fun throwing pebbles down the slide is, as Mom fields the never-ending river of baffling questions like, "Why is the sky blue?" and "How come some doggies like to roll in their poo-poos?" We share a three-course lunch of apple slices, peanut butter sandwiches, and juice while we discuss the important issues of the day, like why Mommy's teeth are crooked and how much the cat weighs.