I start the morning with such a friendly disposition. I promise you, I do.

“Good morning, guys,” I say with my gentle morning voice. I scratch their backs as they stir and open their eyes. I even give them morning warnings: “You don’t have to get up quite yet, but pretty soon. You can sleep a little longer, lovey.”

I’m telling you: I do not wake up grumpy. I don’t even think I have “the wrong side of the bed.” Unless I am awakened to a screeching, buzzing alarm. Then all bets are off. But generally, I am of a fine disposition in the morning.

And then things like this happen.

“Buddy, could you get dressed before you have your breafast?”
“I see you have a shirt on, but I need you to wear pants also.”
“I put your milk on your Cocoa Pebbles, so it can start to get soggy.” (Never mind that it’s against human nature to like soggy cereal.)
“Would you like for me to pack your lunch today, or do you want to pack it?”
“Could you please come to the table?”
“Please don’t be silly at the table.”
“Stop picking fights with your brother.”
“No, your chocolate milk doesn’t taste like coffee. It’s not coffee. No, I’m promising you: it is not coffee.”
“We are leaving in 12 minutes. Have you packed your lunch? You said you wanted to.”
“Remember to brush your teeth, please.”
“Only two cookies in your lunch.”
“Only two cookies, I said.”
“Two cookies.”
“Your chocolate milk does not have coffee in it. Seriously. I promise.”
“I know you need a snack also, and you can choose grapes or goldfish crackers. No, the cookies are for your lunch – actually, you can eat the cookies any time you want throughout the day. But you are not taking more than two cookies to school in any part of your lunch or backpack.”
“Have you brushed your teeth?  No, we brush at night to keep our teeth.  We brush in the morning to keep our friends.”
“Shoes and socks, please.”
“We’re leaving in 7 minutes.”
“Shoes and socks, please.”
“Shoes. And socks. What is your job right now? That’s right. Do it.”
“Two cookies is the limit. I’m not changing my mind on this.”
“There is no.coffee.in.your.chocolate.milk.”
“Shoes.”
“We’re leaving in 2 minutes.”
“Don’t forget to fill your water bottle.”
“Buddy. Shoes.”
“We are leaving ten seconds ago.”

And then: Enough.

“You guys! Shoes and socks on! I told you – two cookies and only two cookies! And for crying out loud, I did not put coffee in your milk! Put your lunch in your backpack and get in the CAR!”

And then they look at me with weepy, hurting eyes. “Mom, why do you have to be so angry in the morning?”

Right.  I’m the big jerk around here.

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