It's the mother's fault.
This is pretty much the message I’ve received from my own mother. I always thought she was being so dramatic and you know, oh so Asian, to take on this load of mother guilt whenever something didn’t go quite right. Whether my father’s cold was lasting longer than expected or my knitted scarf looked awful or my brother hadn’t called her in a whole two days, she accepted that it was somehow her doing.
Now, I’m starting to get it. It is the mother’s fault.
Every morning, I rustle my kids awake. 5:45, 6:30, 7:00 a.m. It’s like the schedule at Penn Station. And on schedule, I go back up stairs and call them to wake up again. And then I remind them to “hurry up – you do have somewhere to be this morning!” After enough time to have brushed every single tooth one-by-one (which I doubt they did) and try on every piece of clothing in their closet (which I believe they do) they saunter downstairs to the breakfast table, sans socks. On a good morning, we get through breakfast, including a glass of milk, and they go back for some socks. On a great morning, they comb and brush their hair. On an absolutely terrific morning, they know where their coats and backpacks and homework from last night and library books and shoes are, somewhere near the front door.
We rarely have an absolutely terrific morning.
One not so absolutely terrific morning, after the sixth “it’s raining, no you cannot wear your pink suede boots” (yes, that’s my child; yes, I helped her pick them out), a tear-filled search for rain boots and scampering off to the bus stop, I realized – this madness in the morning is my fault.
Although in my head I get the concept of checking the backpacks at night, laying out their clothes for the next day, and hanging the coats on the coatrack right by the door, by the end of the day, as we go through the bed routine, I’m too exhausted to think of the next morning. So I don’t insist that they pick out their next day’s outfit, mindful that they have P.E. or art. I don’t always make sure the lunchbox has been left on the counter, to be washed and dried, ready to fill with lunch in the morning. And I don’t always check the weather to know to look for the rainboots the night before. I intend to sign the homework assignment sheet and fill out the permission slip, but it gets mixed in the ple of other to-do’s.
And then, on schedule, our morning routine begins. 5:45, 6:30, 7:00 a.m. So who’s fault is that?