Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Morning Shuffle

I did it! Hooray for me!! And it was all accomplished by 9:00.
Ok, maybe it isn't as big a feat as I am making it out to be. But what can I say, I'm proud of myself.
You're probably wondering what I did that was so great......um...well....ok.... don't laugh.....
I got all 3 kids out the door this morning. By myself!!!
Are you laughing?

Yes, I have been lucky and spoiled up until this point because Shauli has been home with me. Although the reason he is home is because he doesn't have a job so that's not good but I like to look at the up-side.
I generally deal with Kayla in the morning: feeding, changing, cuddling, etc. It's a tough job but someone's got to do it. Shauli usually gets the boys ready and takes them to school. Occasionally we change it up and I take them to school - but then he stays home with Kayla. Even the mornings that he goes into Jerusalem, he generally leaves after the boys are already gone.

However this morning, he left at about 6:30am to tremp (hitch-hike) to Jerusalem. And I was on my own. Luckily, no children were awake at 6:30am. They all woke up at the same time at 7:30. So we started off on the late side. Kayla woke first yelling about how hungry she was cuz she didn't eat all night long!!!(That's an approximate translation). Of course as soon as I start feeding her, Jonah calls out that he has to go to the bathroom really bad and needs help getting down from his bunkbed. Picturing an accident about to happen in the top bunk - I detach Kayla (who is NOT happy) and rush into the boys room. Sammy is sitting in his bed, face covered with boogers (as usual) and Jo is leaning over his railing. I ask him to go to the end of the bed, so I can lift him down from there - where the ladder is and voila, he climbs down himself. I take Sammy out of his bed and rush back to Kayla who is wailing away. I start nursing her again, Jonah goes to the bathroom and Sammy, unsure of what to do - starts twirling in circles in the hallway.
Kayla is now trying to decide whether she wants to eat or doesn't want to eat - can't make up her mind - is this a girl thing?? I think she is enjoying the fact that I can do nothing else while holding her.
I take this opportunity to get the boys to the table and give them cereal. Kayla decides she does in fact want to eat and so I sit on the couch and feed her while Jonah eats his half bowl of cereal and Sammy (who usually eats about a bowl and a half) puts Cheerios in his mouth and then shows them to Jonah, who cracks up, encouraging Sammy to do it again and again.
Fine. Whatever. No one is crying. And I know Sammy will eat when he gets to daycare anyway.
After I more or less finish with Kayla, who doesn't want to be put down, I bring her swing into the boys room and get them in there to get dressed. Sammy is attempting to push Kayla's swing for her - NOT a good idea. Jonah is jumping about yelling about how he doesn't want to take his PJ's off because he doesn't want Sammy to hit him. It's a valid concern because when Sammy sees skin (like a back, tummy, or legs), he likes to smack it!
I tell Sammy to go get me one of his new shirts from the living room (they are really hand-me downs from Jonah but we just brought out the newest size and were going through them in the other room). Of course, that means Jonah wants to wear a new shirt but the only new clothes he has are summer clothes. And today is not summer weather. But since I don't feel like battling a 4 1/2 year old, I let him as long as he wears a sweatshirt too. Ok, 1 kid dressed. 2 to go. Plus me.
Next up to bat, Sammy. Diaper change first - screams! I can't wait for him to be toilet trained. But I think we have about a year to go on that one!!! I put his clothes on and he is excited about his "new froggy shirt" even though Jonah is jealous and begs me to buy him a froggy shirt (with a blue frog on it) too. Jonah says he remembers this shirt from when he was 3 and it was one of his favorites. He keeps touching the blue frog on Sammy's shirt. Sammy doesn't like it and Jonah tells him that "everyone is allowed to touch the frogs - not just Sammy". Although I can only imagine what Jonah would do if the roles were reversed!
Ok, 2 kids dressed. Socks and shoes. Kippah. Check, check, check.
I try to send them back to finish their cereal so I can get dressed but of course bothering me is much more interesting. Sammy however, doesn't want to miss out on his cereal so he goes to get his bowl, comes into my room and proceeds to dump out the Cheerios onto the floor in the hallway and my bedroom. Ooh - cleaning for Pesach will be a blast!
Sammy and Jonah start running up and down the hallway screaming. It's giving me a headache and scaring Kayla a little but no one is crying so .....
Ok, now I'm dressed. Now we just have little Kayla. I decide not to change her entire outfit (no time for that) but add a few layers of clothing. If I don't, I know all those Israeli women will lecture me about how cold she is. That's why Israeli babies always look so puffy. So many layers!!! Ok, so she's got a lot of layers, and fuzzy ones on the outside and while I am sure someone will make a comment, it's the best I can do. I know someone will say something about bringing her out in this weather. But what is my alternative - to leave her at home? Alone?

Jackets on the boys. Jacket on me. Jonah wants an umbrella because it looks like rain (great!) but our 10 NIS umbrella broke and hasn't been replaced so I convince him that wearing his hood will be good enough - and pray that the rain holds off.
Now - how do we transport all the kids? I put on this funny little front-carrier that makes me feel like a kangaroo. But since I can't push 2 strollers by myself, the front carrier it is for Kayla. It has a LOT of straps. And one of them goes on the upper back. The spot that is just out of reach of my hands.... And Jonah doesn't quite have the coordination to snap it by himself. So I snap it before I put it on and then put the backpack on like I am putting on a sweater. I get Kayla's arms and legs in all the right holes and we are just about ready.
We head out the door and then remember Jonah's backpack. I send him back inside while Sammy, Kayla, and I start the journey down the steps. Sammy still takes a while going up and down stairs. He wants to be held but that is just not going to happen. Jonah is worried we are going to "win" but I reassure him that he has plenty of time.
We mosey on down the stairs, make it to the bottom and I get out Sammy's stroller. He looks at it and announces "WALK". Oh great. He doesn't walk that much faster than he goes down stairs. My original plan was to take Sammy to daycare first, thereby avoiding a bunch of stairs with Sammy. But since it's already about 8:20 and Jonah's Gan gate gets locked at 8:30, change of plan. We'll take Jonah first because the lecture from Jonah's Gannenet is much worse than the one I would get at the daycare. It's too early in the morning to be scolded. :) We somehow make it to Gan, before the gate is locked. And there I get my first comment about taking the baby out in this weather. I tell her my husband isn't home and the kids have to get to school - Mah La'asot? (What to do?).
Sammy wants to stay at Jonah's Gan but luckily that doesn't turn into a huge fight. I keep reminding him that when we get to Ma'on (daycare) he will see his little friends, Maya and Etai. He constantly says their names whenever we are home. He loves them! So with promises of Maya and Etai, we head to Ma'on. There is a shortcut which we take through the park, the only problem with it is that there are about 50 steps to climb. They aren't 50 steps straight but it's like 4 steps and then a "landing", 4 more steps, then a "landing", etc. Sammy tries to make it up by himself (remember he was not interested in the stroller) but gets tired halfway through. So there I am, with my kangaroo baby on my front. I first take the stroller up the 5 steps, then kinda lift Sammy up the steps. I can't really carry him or even get a very good grip because of Kayla but we manage. Although we look ridiculous.
We make it to Ma'on in time for breakfast. I love watching all those little kids sitting at the itty bitty tables with their plates and big tablespoons eating up their yogurts or whatever it is all by themselves. Making a huge mess all over themselves. But so proud for being so independent. Sammy walks in, glad to be with his crew and is not phased when I say goodbye and leave. It is still harder for me to leave him than it is for him to stay. I think he enjoys being there now.
I see the lady in charge as I am leaving and she sees that I have Kayla so she comes over for a quick look. I brace myself for a comment about Kayla not being warm enough or something but she doesn't say anything!! She tells me how her "baby" is now 17 1/2 and it seems like just yesterday he was this small. We talk about how time flies - although my oldest is 4 1/2 and hers is 25. But when it comes to kids, time flies - no matter how old or young they are.
It is a nice feeling that I am starting to get more comfortable with the language and the people. There has definitely been a big language barrier issue. But I'm getting off the subject.
Ok, so Sammy's at Gan. Kayla and I start heading home and only get rained on (drizzled really) at the end of our trip.
Kayla then spends the next hour and a half wide awake and fussy!! Maybe she was mad at me for taking her out.
So I started work a bit late this morning. But I must say I am proud of myself and relieved that we survived.
However, I can also say that I do NOT look forward to a lot of mornings like this if/when Shauli starts working.

Ma La'asot?

1 comment:

josh said...

Au contraire! Enjoy it, every second.

I went through with this for over two years or so and I now miss it a lot. Cohav would leave at 6:30 for work and I had two, then three, kids to get to gan and Tziona. Ok, the challenge is really tough. I learnt the hard way that it is impossible to daven with the kids around.

No day is like the previous one, and there are these bonus days when the kids are perfect and cooperate entirely.

The walk is the best. 15minutes + a day of quality time to talk, educate, and brainwash with ideaology. (Frankly though, they seem to pick up their politics from somewhere else). I taught them the ABCs and 123s during these walks.

Now that Cohav is out of work and I have 'my' car back, it's just a short drive to distribute them and I'm off to work. And since I rarely see them in the evening, my time with them is short.

BTW, it sounds like you are just getting used to it.