- Attempt to brush teeth.
- While remaining as still as possible for the baby who is attempting a daring rock climbing expedition. On a pair of pajamas.
- Convince the
toddlerkiddo* to brush his teeth with the toothpaste and not eat said toothpaste like it is a Viennese delicacy**.
- Head downstairs and sweep the kitchen floor.
- Sweep it again after the kiddo drops cheerios and the baby nose dives for it like it's the last remaining kernel of food on earth.
- Sweep once more when raw macaroni for the macaroni-lion the kiddo created scatters to the floor.
- Watch, with your duster full of macaroni bits, as the baby ferrets out a fleck-sized play dough stuck to the side of the toy-kitchen across the room and stuffs it in his mouth faster than you can blink.
- Give respect. Not desirable, but the determination? Admirable.
- Despite the fact that you are currently an inactive member of the bar, and most certainly were never a judge, mediate and arbitrate over who is the rightful owner of that yellow car, the monkey-shaped rattle, the plastic airplane [ insert every object within the space of the home].
- Proceed to closing statements as you explain to a jury of your
peersnine-month-old that while you appreciate the fact that he believes he can handle it, the chai simmering on the stove is not and will not be consumed him.
- Oh, yes. Make chai.
- One cup per age of child. Round up for the babes under one.
- Sip, smile, nod, and pretend that you did not wake up three times during the night by screams that the sky was falling if a hug was not administered posthaste and then for the day by a kiddo attempting to replicate on your bed the earthquake tremors he saw on Curious George the day before.
- Get clobbered by kisses from aforementioned kiddo who wants a cuddle while the baby yawns readying for his nap. And even though you know the cuddle is most likely a negotiation tactic for a forthcoming request for icecream/chocolate/candy/lollipop, savor that hug which in that moment makes you feel that while your greatest task that you accomplished before 8am might have been serving as a rock climbing wall for a toothless baby, my did you climb some mountains to get here with no promises to actually reach this promised land. And while you might not be exercising, and visualizing exactly like the article suggested the truly successful people do, my do you feel successful to have these little arms around your neck, a head resting on your shoulder. In that moment, you're not sure if you could ever be more successful than this.
Five Things I did before 8am pre-parenting: Sleep.
* Just realized that any child that can outpace me on his balance bike and do flips rivaling a circus acrobat is not exactly toddling anymore, and thus most definitely, not a toddler. Ouch.
**Have tried the non-kid-friendly-flavored toothpaste to avoid aforementioned attempts to consume toothpaste, but then have to corral the child to stand on his stool with about as much ease as one might wrangle a den full of koala bears. This would be what one would call the classic catch 22.