Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Motherhood

(Mothering)

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A typical winter morning in the Belliston household goes something like this:
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“Do you have a coat? Do you have gloves? How about a hat? Did you remember a hat, because it’s cold out there and you’re going to want a hat? You do? Good. Did you pack your lunch? Okay. How about breakfast then?—and remember, chocolate-chip cookies don’t count! Wait, wait, wait.
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(I grab the nearest child rushing by.)
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You have to wear long pants to school. Do you have any idea how freezing it is out there? This is Michigan for cryin’ out loud! You can’t wear shorts in January!”
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(Child runs to change and comes back.)
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“Okay, how about the hair?” I say, inspecting. I’m not sure why I bother with this one because the second the hat goes on, all properly-styled hairdos are finished, demolished, obliterated. Don’t believe me? Walk into any elementary school in the Northern US during any winter month and you’ll see millions of kids who had previously been called ‘adorable’ now look like they’ve stuck a finger in a wall socket. Darn hats! But I still ask. And I comb, because somewhere in the back of my mind, I think teachers can actually decipher between kids who had their hair brushed pre-wall sockets versus those who didn’t.
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(If there are any teachers out there, would you please let me know if you can tell or not? I could be wasting valuable time every morning on this one item alone!)
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“What about your teeth?” I continue to fret. “Did you remember to brush your teeth?”

Anyway, this is how our house runs pretty much any morning that requires us to go into public. And winters are horrible, just horrible, for all the extra things it makes me add to the list.

5 kids=10 gloves (matching preferably)=50 fingers I’m required to keep warm. 

And that doesn’t even include my own. 

 
So this morning went pretty well. I don’t think either of my elementary kids remembered their boots, but I told myself not to worry about it because there’s just a skiff of snow out there and they have those darn hats to keep them warm. They’ll be just fine.
.
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Just a skiff of snow, but the garbages got out

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Then…

As I’m driving them to school feeling like an okay mother because we’re only running 3 minutes late and their charter school doesn’t count 3 minutes late as being tardy, I suddenly glance down. This is what I see:
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  • I don’t have on a coat. I couldn’t find mine in the rush to get out the door. Instead I’m wearing a jacket that barely keeps me warm in the Spring.
  • I don’t have gloves either because they’re in the coat pockets.
  • I’m not wearing a hat and let’s face it, there’s no way I’m ever wearing a hat. But sadly, this is not because I have brushed my hair. I haven’t even though I’ve been awake for three hours. Or my teeth, I realize. I haven’t done that either yet. Gross. Plus, I haven’t put my contacts in which means I’m wearing my old glasses that literally have been super-glued together at the nose.

But it gets worse.

  • Under my Spring jacket, I’m wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Shorts! And not even regular, respectable shorts. No. I’m wearing gray sweat shorts. And I haven’t shaved my legs in a few days. TMI, I know. But it’s true.
  • And shoes? I grabbed the closest pair to the door which means I’m sporting my teen daughter’s bright blue, fuzzy, BYU flip-flops. And as if that isn’t hideous enough, I’m wearing socks with them, because let’s face it folks, it’s cold out there! I’d hate to freeze.
  • And to top it all off, care to guess what I’ve had for breakfast? A half-eaten, broken cookie. That’s it.
So…yeah.
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“Do as I say, not as I do.”

..

Anyone else have these issues or is it just me? Please tell me it’s not just me.

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In case you didn’t believe me

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PS, if my neighbor Kim is reading this, I apologize if you happened to glance out your window around 9:00 this morning. Troy forgot to get all the garbage cans out and as consequence, I was still wearing this hideous little get-up when I took the rest of them out. In my defense, we still have leftover Christmas wrapping and boxes and it wasn’t worth risking a shower first and missing the garbage man. So I’m really, really, really sorry. I’m also really hoping/praying nobody else saw me. Kim’s nice enough to laugh instead of call the cops. Or worse…my mom.

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Author: Rebecca Belliston @rlbelliston

Hopeless romantic and author of CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND, SADIE and AUGUSTINA. Music nerd and composer of RELIGIOUS and CLASSICAL-STYLE music. I live in Michigan with my husband and five kids.

12 thoughts on “Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Motherhood”

  1. Lol, oh man. Needed a laugh this morning! This was great :)I'm usually the one yelling at Hubs for not wearing a coat or a hat or any of that other very wintery stuff. And there have been several days when I don't do my hair at all. I've actually gone to Walmart and shopped in my pjs and didn't realize it till I checked out.Guess auto-pilot was broken that day. :)

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  2. I just read your blog to my mom. we were both laughing histerically. I remember some mornings that were pretty crazy with the 5 of us getting off to school when we were young. thanks for the laughs!!

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  3. Hey, you!! I didn't know you had a blog, or I would've been on here LONG ago! And, a BOOK?! You really ARE my hero. I can't wait to peek in often. Katie (Snow) and I also have blogs. Swing on over to mine and find her link, too! http://www.60toes.blogspot.com. Can't wait to get my hands on that book of yours:).

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  4. @Lucy, it's comforting to know someone normal who survived these fun times. It gives me hope. :)@Lanette, Hey!!! Thanks for finding me. It was so fun to see your pics of your cute fam over on you blog. We miss you guys. 5 kids? You, too? So much fun, right? Tell your parents hello from us.

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  5. ROFLOL! I can't believe you admitted to all of this. As for teachers knowing if hair is brushed or not, yes you can tell…well I can tell. My sixth grade girls are the worst. They mostly show up to class still wearing their hats and see how long they can keep their hats on before they start sweating. Sometimes I wonder if they realize changing bodies smell when they sweat. Socket hair or stench…Most of them choose socket hair but it's usually too late and they get both.

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  6. LOVE this! I so relate. After dropping my kids at the school bus stop, I often run to the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner before Brad takes the car to work. Let's just say Germans frown on people wearing pajama pants in public. Literally.

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  7. @Matt, there aren't many things that can make me laugh at 5:30 in the morning. Thanks for the laugh. I totally can picture the 6th grade thing, although I always thought the boys were bad. :) And I guess this means I still have to brush their hair?@Jill I love that you have mornings like this too, although I picture you much more graceful in your PJs than I could ever be. I saw a woman at the gas station this morning in her slippers and PJs. I laughed. I guess that's I'm not very German. Glad you aren't either.

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  8. I am so glad to hear it is not just at the Wharton house. Heaven help me if I ever get pulled over in the morning because the cop may very well have me committed. What is it with kids and wearing hats and gloves? Why don't they believe me when I say it's only 17 this morning please put on a hat? I have a nifty trick to putting on a hat and Jeremy has rarely had shocking hair. Thanks for keeping it real.

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  9. @Michelle, :) I had the same thought while I was driving. If I get pulled over, some cop is gonna end up choking on his morning coffee. So what's this trick with the hat? You must teach me sometime.

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