Here's an example:
6:30am- My alarm goes off. The first time. And then again ten minutes later and then five minutes after that. I finally drag my butt out of bed. This is a HUGE improvement over even a few weeks ago, when I would hit snooze up to six times. That's because I moved my alarm clock onto my dresser, which means that I actually have to get up to turn it off. I only crawl back into bed twice now before it's just not worth it anymore.
6:45- I have a shower, and walk out of the bathroom in my towel hollering for kids to get up (they have hit snooze at least once by this point as well). Then I go start getting ready for work.
7:00- The seven year old (aka. General Racket) gets up first, and goes into the kitchen. She pulls a box of cereal out of the cupboard, and then pulls the bag all the way out of the box. She pours cereal in her bowl. And by in her bowl, I mean EVERYWHERE. Normally, she is in a good mood in the morning, and eats her cereal while humming, kicking her feet against the island counter, and making a general racket.
I put makeup on and do my hair, and then prod the eleven year old (aka. Sluggish And Highly Touchy) until he finally begins to writhe. Then I go back to finish getting dressed.
7:10- General Racket meets Sluggish And Highly Touchy, and the riot begins. "PUT THE BAG BACK IN THE CERAL BOX!" "QUIT MAKING THAT NOISE!" "CHEW WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED!" And then of course comes the "MOOOOOOOOM!!!"
I go into the kitchen and remind everyone in a not-so-quiet way that they need to be QUIET, because the teenagers are still sleeping downstairs ( the 18 year old works at night, and the 17 year old simply doesn't need to be up quite yet).
Arguments, stomping, and constant redirection to the task at hand (finishing breakfast as quickly and as peacefully as possible) ensue for about twenty minutes.
7:30- General Racket finishes her breakfast. I tell her to go get dressed for school, to which the response is almost guaranteed to be "NO!" We actually have a "No saying no" sticker book reward system set up. More on that later.
7:35- At this point, Sluggish And Highly Touchy has either melted down because there is no more Nutella in the house, or is slowly picking apart his food, talking at whoever will listen, and yelling at his sister for not listening or leaving a mess or not flushing the toilet, or all of the above.
And so, I un-gently remind the boy to get busy and eat before he runs out of time, I un-gently remind the girl to stop whining and go get dressed, and I make myself breakfast while tossing stuff on the island for lunches.
7:40- I make three neat piles of food for each child to grab and toss in their bag. Then I throw whatever is left into my lunch bag. All the while, stomping, hollering, and general mayhem continue around me. This one can't get her pajamas off, that one still hasn't finished his breakfast, and the last one never set his alarm.
I run downstairs and remind the 17 year old that he needs to get up NOW, run back up to argue with the girl that it's way too hot of a day to wear a long sleeved heavy knit sweater, remind the boy once again to finish eating or risk grounding and/ or no computer time and/ or being strung up by his toes, dispense meds, finish my own breakfast, start making coffee for the road, and tell the boy that breakfast is officially over and take his food away.
And then all hell breaks loose. I bet you thought it already had, didn't you?
7:50- Now it's time for everyone to get their shoes on and get out the door. At least one lunch pile is still sitting on the island waiting to be packed up. General Racket has a rats nest the size of a basketball at the back of her head, and still hasn't found socks to wear. Sluggish and Highly Touchy is melting down in his room because he's being rushed and he can't find something (seriously, it's something different every day), and 17 year old is bossing kids around as if he doesn't have his own crap to get together. My coffee is sitting in its travel mug with no sugar or cream in it yet.
7:55- I'm looking for a brush for the girl. She is STILL wearing the damn heavy sweater, and then I discover that she HAS HER PAJAMAS ON UNDER HER CLOTHES AGAIN.
7:56- The boy is finally calm but refusing to leave his room. Apparently he thinks that school is an option today.
7:57- Brush General Racket's hair (if you didn't whine so much it would hurt less!).
7:59- Get socks in General Racket's feet (stop kicking and put your foot in!).
8:00- Get Sluggish and Highly Touchy motivated to go to school (if you're not out yet door in three seconds, I'm going to ground you until the end of time!).
8:01- Make sure everyone remembered to take their meds (it's not going to take itself!).
8:02- Get 17 year old into the vehicle (stop bossing and GO).
8:03- Get General Racket out the door (no you can't ride your bike!).
8:04- Get Sluggish and Highly Touchy out the door (seriously. Just get out).
8:05- Get myself out the door.
8:05:10- Forgot my coffee.
8:05:15- Go back in and get my coffee.
8:05:30- Get in the car and back out of the driveway.
8:06- The garage door won't close.
8:06:30- Run into the garage, close the door, and leave through the side.
8:07- I don't care if anyone or anything was forgotten. We're officially done for another day.
Whew. Now to begin preparations for the evening routine...