So. Ella goes to this school, this school that we LOVE with all of our hearts and to which we will one day send Charlie. Way back in September when the school year started I noticed Hmmm, about 95% of the moms are really dressed up and have perfectly styled hair and makeup, and they all amazingly lack the presence of spit-up or peanut butter on their perfectly put together ensembles. Hmmm. I chalked it up to a First-Week-Let's-Make-A-Good-Impression kinda thing. But now, as we round the bend into the end of November, they are still at it. Still with the hair that has been freshly curled, and the crisply ironed button down shirts, and Oh My God if I see one more pair of jeans tucked into a pair of Uggs I am going to vomit. We got to school a minute early this morning and while we were waiting for the doors to open, I sat in my car and watched a group of these moms stand outside and talk. I was amazed! Not a wrinkle or stain or sweatshirt among them. Which got me to thinking they must all either have A) live-in nannies who entertain the kid(s) while they are primping and preening and shoving those blue jean hems into their Uggs, or B) children who actually sit contentedly by themselves for the three hours it takes them to get ready in the morning. I could possibly understand all of this if we were rolling up to the school at, oh, 10:00 in the morning. But people!!! We get there at 9am, which means we leave the house no later than 8:40am, maybe 8:30 if Mama has had a particularly rough morning and needs to space out in the car with Laurie Berkner blasting from the radio to keep the kiddies quiet. So from wake-up time to 8:30 am, these Made Up Moms need to fit in the following (or at least *I* do): diaper changes (2), breakfast prep, actual feeding of the breakfast, teeth brushing, dressing two wiggly kids, hair brushing, hair putting-up for the girl, one bottle feeding, a shoe reconnaissance mission, lunch packing, backpack finding, breaking-up-of-the-sibling-rivalry squabbles, basic Child Safety measures which include, but are not limited to, making sure Baby does not crawl into the slippery shower, rescuing stray Barbie shoe from the throat of Baby, and protecting all lamps, laptops, fireplace screens, power cords, and dvds from the wrath of Baby. All between the hours of 6ish-o-clock and 8:30. Also noteworthy is that the above list does not, in fact, include anything whatsoever pertaining to ME. Always up for a challenge, I decided to give this whole Stepford Wife look a go. What follows should be read as a How To Not Look Like You Stepped Out Of The Pages Of A Magazine Before 9am kind of a guide. Enjoy.
1. I prepared the night before by packing whatever items could be pre-packed into the lunchbox. Set out clothes for both kids. Picked out my own clothes and set them aside. I. WAS. PREPARED. Piece of cake, this was going to be.
2. Wake up a smidge earlier than my normal 5:15am to give me time to take a full-on shower, rather than the usual Oh, crap, there's still a little bit of shampoo left in my hair because the Baby was going to chew on the bottle of Pine Sol so I had to jump out of the shower early. Accomplish task #1, hooray! Both legs fully shaved with no prickly stripes left behind. Actual facial exfoliation went on in there, people. And moisturizing afterward! I felt like a new woman. Was smug and beginning to think that this was actually do-able. Was about to get knocked on my ass (literally) as a reward for smugishness. Throw hair in wet ponytail and get on with this charade.
3. Aaand, Go Time. The natives wake up, and the race is on. Bottle feeding: check. Coffee refill #3: check. Breakfast prep, fresh pot of coffee made, diaper change: check. Bonus points for me that breakfast included actual scrambled eggs cooked by me, because you just wouldn't be a TRUE Stepford Wife if you slapped a pop tart and juice box in front of the kids. Mad dash to finish lunch packing. Is 7:15.
4. Downstairs we go, to get everyone dressed and presentable. Tugging and crying commence. Time spent on kids: 782. Time spent on me: big fat pajama-wearing ZERO. Is 7:45.
5. Into the bathroom I go, armed with a make-up bag, blow dryer, and straightening iron. Step One: blow dry hair as straight as possible while keeping one eye on the Baby who is crawling dangerously close to the toilet. Stop blow drying nineteen times to remove him from a situation including the toilet brush and his mouth. Notice that as a result of Stop And Go Blow Drying, hair has dried in a style not unlike Carrot Top's. Sigh and move on to the straightening portion of this bullshit. Like a good Stepford Wife, actually TRY to get it right, meaning clipping tiny chunks of hair up on top of your head while straightening minuscule amounts of hair at one time. Get through three pencil-thin sections before actual toilet-brush-to-mouth contact is made and calls for a thorough wiping down of the baby with Wet Ones. Back to the hair. While flipping hair around to cool it off from scorching heat of the iron, Baby somehow crawls between me and the cabinets, somehow culminating in a fantastical flailing arms and hair brushes dance that ends with my foot tangled in the cord to the blow dryer, and me on my ass. And Baby screaming because I almost fell on him and oh yeah, there are fifty clips in my hair and I probably look like Medusa to him. Comfort screaming child. Is 8:15.
6. Throw on pre-selected clothes. Massive Pooping Up The Back occurs (Baby, not me), screaming and a bath are necessitated. Clothes are ruined, clothes are changed, Preschooler is crying because I don't have time to build a block castle for the Barbies with her. Vodka on the rocks is looking good right now. Is 8:25.
7. Definitely one of the previously discussed Zone Out In The Car mornings. Load up both kids in the car, throw in lunchbox, backpack, blankies and pacis and a very large coffee for me. And we're off.
Stepford Wife status: Jeans (and NOT the cute ones that now have poop on the leg), a tshirt, and SURPRISE! a sweatshirt and Birkenstock clog-y things in lieu of the cute brown suede loafers that would have been soooo Stepford of me if I had been able to wear the shirt I had planned on. Halfway straightened hair, with the leftovers twisted into a knot on top of my head. No makeup made its way onto this here face.
So in other words? I looked just like I do every other morning at 8:30am, except I may have suffered a stroke or two. And my kids had no playtime with mom like they usually do, which made them crabbier. Which did not help with my need to iron and bursh and lacquer myself beyond recognition.
Hats off to you, Oh Wearer Of The Stain-Free Button Down Shirt, Perfectly Curled Hair At 8am Lady, and Holy Hell Did She IRON HER JEANS? Woman. You are better women than I. Either that, or you wake up at 3am to accomplish these ungodly feats. And in that case? No thank you.