Thursday, September 18, 2003

The Morning Routine

I always thought of myself as a free spirit. A chick who can up and go at a moment's notice. Who never did the same thing twice.

Whether or not that was true, it doesn't matter. Once you have kids, you become the slave to the routine. Kids eat or sleep at precise times or all hell breaks loose. At first, I tried to resist. "Come on, Jonah, you can sleep in the stroller. Today, I feel like going to the museum." Ha! I learned the hard way that spontaneity had to be carefully planned out. (Yes, that's an oximoron.)

After Jonah broke me in, I slowly began to appreciate the predictable rhythms of the day. As he got older and needed less sleep, things loosened up slightly. Then Ian joined us, and I had to coordinate the two kids.

Now that Jonah started school, we adjusted to a new rhythm. Steve gets up at 6:15. The kids hear him padding around, so they get up too. Steve pours out bowls of Kixs and cups of juice. I get up soon after. At 7:30 on the dot, Steve walks out the door with his bag of subway reading material (The New Republic or the Atlantic) and the stroller to stash under the stairs in the lobby. Kisses.

The kids are quickly dressed. Today is "Blue Day" at school, so I put both kids in blue shirts and wrote the word "Blue" in magic marker on Jonah's arm. He thought that was cool.

At 8:15, we walked out of the apartment with Jonah's backpack and a travel mug of coffee for me. The school bus picked him up outside of our building. Ian practiced blowing kisses. As the bus pulled away, Ian started running up the block taking me to his favorite place, the subway.

We live in the highest point of Manhattan. The British and the Americans fought a bloody battle here two hundred years ago over this choice military point. Because it is so high up, we must take an elevator down a hundred yards or so to the subway. Ian loves the elevator. So, every morning, he steers me to the subway so that he can ride up and down the elevator along with the morning commuters. As the elevator is going down, he bounces happily. He looks up at the faces of the commuters to see if they are enjoying the ride, too.

On the way there, I wave to my friends taking their kids to school. Bob flies by on the M4 with Zoe. John and Julia shout at us from their bus stop.

After the ride, we walk over to the playground for a half an hour of swings and slides. I chat with the new parents. "Is your cutie talking yet?" "Is she taking a morning nap." "What are you going to do about school?"

Then we head back home for a morning nap. He sleeps for two hours, which gives me time to write on the blog and grab a shower, before we have to pick up Jonah from school.

Wrote the blog. Check. Shower next.

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