We have this routine.
Every morning, I wake up later than I mean to. Then, I stumble into the kitchen, where the boys are happily doodling. Within a few minutes I become a flurry of cereal pouring, last-night dishwashing, and last-minute bento packing. If I’m lucky, Cadence is still snoring away. If I’m not, she’s clinging onto my legs while I pour/dishwash/bento-pack. I forget all the parenting advice I read online the night prior and bark orders to get the boys ready for school. Hubbie’s helping out too of course, and Cadence has figured out that digging her fingernails into my legs gets my attention.
By now the boys are yelling that they can’t find matching socks and I either realize that 1) I forgot to rinse out and refill their water bottles or 2) I forgot to sign something. So now everyone’s yelling: brush your teeth, put away your lunchbox, get your water bottle, put the form in your folder, where’s my socks, we’re running late, do I need a jacket today, can I eat skittles because cereal wasn’t enough, maaaaaaaa! (+ fingernail dig).
Without fail. Every morning. Like I said: routine.
By the time I narrowly make it on time to school drop-off, I’m ready to crawl back into bed. Instead, though, I pull out the stroller and the little miss and I take a walk to the park.
And then we do this for about 30 minutes straight. At least.
It’s a moment of calm for both of us, a silent, steady and predictable pace to soothe the chaos of the past hour. She doesn’t need my attention anymore, just my help pushing while her senses soak in her surroundings. I can’t think of a better ritual to realign for the rest of the day.