They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. I always thought that was just because so much of family life revolves around the preparation and sharing of meals. But in looking back at pictures recently I realized how much of our life happens in this little kitchen. And particularly on our kitchen floor. My children spend a lot of time on this floor.
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a morning person. But I get up early anyway most days, now that I have all the small people who need so much from me.
I've learned, through trial and error (and error!), that those minutes in the early morning are the key to the rest of the day going smoothly. As much as I am loathe to admit it, getting up before my kids just works best.
Because let me tell you, I am NOT ready to greet my children with a smile on my face when I am first woken up in the morning. If they wake me up before I am ready, I am cranky. And it lasts throughout the day.
So as counterintuitive as it might seem, I've learned that getting up before the kids is even more important for someone who is not a morning person. I need that extra time to wake up, to have a cup of coffee, to get myself fully alert and moving around and ready to be in the moment with them. It is those mornings that I've been up for a while that I am most giving with the hugs, most willing to pause for extra snuggles, most likely to greet everyone with a smile, and the least stressed.
This child would prefer to remain in her birthday suit at all times. But that doesn't work so well for school when it's 38 degrees and raining. Every day it's a struggle for me to get her to get dressed. She comes up with every possible stall tactic in the book.
Getting ready for school on a rare sunny winter morning. It's early still, but we have light shining through the house that we haven't seen in a while - during this wettest winter on record.
Oh, just standing on a table, eating a lollipop.
Me: "Danny, get down from there!"
Him: "But you let Chopper do it!"
Me: "Yes, but you're not a cat."