Thursday, November 5, 2009

Clean Underwear

I never imagined that I would leave the house in dirty underwear every morning once I started working from home, but, alas, that has become my fate.


Before you begin to judge me as being nasty or the queen of TMI, I have to preface the comment with the fact that I don't just work from home, but I parent, too. And I have a spouse, who, contrary to popular belief that two makes it easier, does not help the workload when it comes to getting ready for the morning rush.

In his mind, it's every man, woman and child for themselves when it comes to getting ready in the morning. And, so since our six year-old is unlikely to meet the challenge without me nudging her along, it's pretty much him getting only himself ready (including feeding himself) and lining our faces with quick pecks as he rolls out in the morning before our daughter has even finished her morning poop. Granted, he has to arrive at work by 7:30am while my daughter can get to school as late as 9am, my point is that he is of absolutely no help with mornings.

Which leads to my musings on dirty underwear. Who would have thought that I would have lost all inhibitions to leave the house wearing them? I surely didn't. If you knew me, you wouldn't either, particularly given my very overactive imagination. In my mind, every second is a potential for a worst case scenario:

Leave the house without locking the top lock just that one time and you come back to find your house empty. Decide to not wear a seatbelt that one time and that's when the snowplow hits you from behind causing you to tumble fifty times in your car. Walk in the street while rounding a corner and at that very moment, a wanton car will mow you down. You get it, I'm a bit morbid and paranoid at times. So, with all of that racing in my head, the possibility of having dirty underwear on when the stats are high that something can happen at any second which will require an ambulance to carry me away in unclean undergarments is disturbing.

But, it is very possible now given that I have no morning moments to call my own before I am required to leave the house to deliver my child to school. My daughter is very mom-needy in the morning and being a non-morning person, she requires me to be a coach, hugger, disciplinarian and alarm clock all -in- one that results in a two and- a -half hour non-stop morning of yells, tugs, hugs, jerks and scurries that hopefully end in us making it to the car.

None of this time includes me bathing or grooming myself, because after I am done with her, she has to be taken to school immediately or she will be sure to spill something on her clothes, lose something (like her homework) or cause a chain reaction (like accidentally feed the dog something she can't eat) that will totally get us off schedule and result in her being late to school. Believe me. I tried taking a shower once and it just wasn't happening. So, there it is.

Our morning routine seems like it should be simple enough, I mean, she's only six, a first-grader and a girl, sounds easy as pie, right? Wrong. It is rough when put to any standard.

To begin, she hates being awaken. No matter how it's done, she is going to whine and grumble and she is going to try to make as much noise as possible. The threat of a spanking doesn't stop her. The actual spanking just makes it louder. The choice to ignore it delays the getting-ready process, so it has to be responded to.

"Baby girl, I know you don't like waking up, but it's time for school. Today is going to be a great day."

"I don't waaaant to go to school. I want to sleep some more."

"Well you can nap when you come home but its time to get ready."


Yes, she is yelling. This takes place for about a good five minutes and then I start counting. I don't know what it is, but when I start counting, she will still continue yelling, but will get to doing whatever it is I am counting down for her to do. After waking up, its getting into the bathroom. Once she's in the bathroom, she uses the toilet and then gets to brushing teeth. By gargling time, she has stopped yelling because, based on past experience, yelling and gargling doesn't work quite well together. She hasn't mastered doing both without choking.

Please note that I am like a coach the whole time while she is doing all of this. If I were to leave for a moment to,say, let the dog out, or put a load of laundry in the washer, she would have gone back to sleep or forgotten what step three is.

So, after gargling, she then is put in the shower which allows me a few minutes to do the before mentioned of letting out our poor dog and putting a load in the washer. She is usually out of the shower by the time I'm done and then the tussle over clothes begins. She wears a uniform, so, its usually over whether she is going to wear tights and a skirt or her uniform pants. As petty as this is, it is necessary in her mind to have some influence over at least one item of clothing she is wearing. Not being a dummy, I forsee this and usually make the choice be two things I don't mind her wearing from the get-go. Her hair gripes, I wish were easier.

Nagging me from the beginning of me unbraiding her hair to the point where the last barrette is clipped on, she is making a demand of what she does NOT want her hair to look like. So far, buns, plaits that are thick and puffy, braided balls, and cornrows that go straight back are all out. The styles she prefers are thinner braids, side cornrows, side bangs and every style that requires extended use of the comb that she hates. So, a head tussle always ensues.

"Owwww, Mommy, that hurts!"

"I'm not trying to hurt you baby, you just have had these braids in for a week now and I'm combing out the tangles."

"You are trying to pull my head off. Why are you trying to pull my head off?"

"You're being dramatic."

"I'm not being dramatic. What does dramatic mean anyway?"

I can be faulted for even entertaining these conversations. I guess, since she is my only child, I don't have other kids in the house to use as distractions. Being the oldest of five kids, I've watched my mother do this with such finesse but the thought of an additional child for me to go through this morning routine with makes me shudder in fear. So, I pander a bit.

After hair, it's a quick dash downstairs and coats are pulled on and we're off to school. She-- beautiful coiffed, freshly groomed, sweet smelling, shoes polished and clothes neatly tucked. Me-- eye-browless, hair frizzed and sporting sweats or (often more attractive) the outfit from the day before.

Once she is delivered safely to her school, and I wave to her as she sits down and sweetly smiles as she is served school breakfast, I dash to the car and head back home. My mind then becomes a haven a peace as I envision how good a shower would feel at this very moment and the thought of clean underwear makes me smile.




Anonymous said...

This is an amazing post. Please consider submitting it to BlogHer 2010 Community Keynotes. Check for more information about the keynotes. My favorite part of your post is:

"Once she is delivered safely to her school, and I wave to her as she sits down and sweetly smiles as she is served school breakfast, I dash to the car and head back home. My mind then becomes a haven a peace as I envision how good a shower would feel at this very moment and the thought of clean underwear makes me smile."

I see you including this post in a wonderful book about the daily musings of a moon momma creative soul.

msladydeborah said...

The morning dash use to be a major production when my sons were at home. I was remembering what life was like while reading your post.

I enjoyed spending time with you and your daughter.

Sumayyah said...

Oh, my goodness! It's like you're living in my head, girl! I have 2 boys (aged 6 and 2) and while I'm running around in the morning to get them ready, my husband is usually sleep because, you know, he works OUTSIDE of the house and is tired. I feel you on this, big time. Often, I leave the house in my pajamas and long trench coat. :) Excellent piece.

African American Mom said...

Great post---I certainly relate.

@authoranandaleeke---That is my favorite part too.

Blogger said...

Thank you all so much for reading my harried tale with Miss Khari! I really appreciate it...

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