This post is part of a series titled, “A-B-Cs – What It’s Really Like”. Each week a new letter and its word will be revealed. Each word’s explanation will illustrate significant personal meaning, application and ultimately demonstrate, What It’s Really Like…
Back in 1998 MTV debuted the reality TV show Real World/Road Rules Challenge – better known as simply, “The Challenge”. In reflection of my current life I have found that much my own reality is impacted by challenges from the real world and the rules of the road.
BASED ON ACTUAL EVENTS:
4:30AM – the alarm rings out. The real world will begin after a few open handed smacks of the snooze button. Is it mommy or daddy’s turn to take the boys to school? Whoever’s turn it is has the first shower. I can’t remember what she said last night. Was it me or her? She’s not moving. Shit, I think it’s my day. Yep, it is. OK I’m up.
Ouch! How many times am I going to kick that laundry basket before somebody moves it? Where is the light? What’s the difference? I can’t see anything anyways. Toothbrush. Man, the lights are bright. I’ll try to rub my eyes a few times to clear my eyesight. Whoa, wish I could not see again. You look like crap. When is the last time you worked out? Ugh, I guess I’ll weigh myself. That might motivate me to run tonight after work. Please don’t be high. WOW. How is that possible? I feel 25 pounds heavier than that. I still feel like crap, though. Lucky. Probably still won’t run tonight, anyway.
Pounding sinus headache. Not a sip of alcohol last night and I feel like I’ve pulled an all-night bender and just stopped drinking an hour ago. Time for the shower. Don’t forget to turn the light on in Little room before you get into the shower. It is taking a lot longer for him to get out of bed lately. Maybe today I can get him dressed on his own without World War III breaking out. Doubt it.
What the hell do I wear today? This closet selection is so sad. God, I hate ironing my pants. Why don’t I do this the night before? Oh, Kathy’s up. I’m not going to say anything. She’s not a morning person. That’s ok. I feel like my head is going to explode and I don’t feel like talking either. Let’s see if Little B is up while I wait for the iron to warm up. Nope. He won’t even move. Why can’t he sleep this hard EARLIER in the night? I’ll shake him to get things going.
“Hey, buddy. Time to wake up. Rise and shine!”
“No, no, nonono, GO AWAY DADDY. Leave me ALONE!”
When did my toddler turn into a teenager?
“Five minute warning and we are going to get dressed.”
“No, no, NOOOOOOOO!”
I’m so glad he hasn’t learned any cuss words. I half expect him to use a few one of these mornings.
OK, I am dressed. Now let’s get him dressed. This has to be the worst part of the day. What is my strategy? He’s been terrible to wake and get ready lately. Sneak attack? No, that makes things worse. I can’t bribe him this early. Let him make the choice.
“Who do you want to get you dressed – Mommy or Daddy?” Classic line. He usually picks the opposite.
“Noooooo! I DON’T KNOW”
That didn’t work. Now what? Have to try the bribe.
“If you get up and get ready without crying we can go get donuts on Friday morning before school. Do you want donuts?”
“I don’t want donuts. I don’t want to go to school. Leave me alone, Daddy!”
This is turning into a hostage negotiation.
*15 minutes pass*
I can’t take this anymore. I am going to start yelling. Now I’m yelling louder. OK, now I am threatening to spank him. Should I spank him? He just woke up. That’s really not right. He is really pissing me off today. I’m going to be late. Enough is enough. Well, that didn’t work. He’s bawling now. Kathy just walked in. THANK GOD. He has everything but his socks on now. Good enough. She can brush his teeth and comb his hair. I’m out of here.
I am starving. It’s 6:25. SERIOUSLY?! I have not even eaten yet. Why are there no clean spoons? Cereal sucks when you ate the same exact meal as a snack before going to bed. ARRRGHHHH! I just remembered! I have to pack my lunch. Unreal. I have no time for this. I hear Little B coming down the stairs. How did she brush his teeth so fast? No wait, he’s at the top of the stairs refusing to come down. Awesome. He hasn’t eaten yet either. Let’s try the line again.
“What do you want for breakfast? Mommy or Daddy’s cereal?”
“I don’t want breakfast! I want NUFFING!”
I look at the clock. It is 6:29. Zero hour is 6:30. The commute is only 15 miles, but traffic is horrific. If I don’t leave before 6:30 I won’t make it to work until after 8:00. Screw it. Leftovers. Where is the ice pack for my lunch? Of course I forgot to put it back in the freezer yesterday. Good thing we have a backup. Cute, real cute. The backup ice packs are so fat that the Tupperware doesn’t fit in my lunch bag. Guess I’ll have to make a sandwich after all.
“WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR BREAKFAST?”
I’m pouring a bowl, I don’t care. At least I can say that I tried.
“Here’s your cereal”
“I DON’T WANT IT”
“OK, Daddy is going to eat it or throw it away”
“NONONO!” (crying ensues) “I want to eat it!!!”
“Sit down at your little table and eat it then.”
“Ok… I WANT A BIG SPOON! I DON’T WIKE THE GREEN BOWL! I WANT THE BLUE BOWL!!!!”
You’ve got to be freaking kidding me. You know what, I am not even going to fight him today. Where is that damn blue bowl? Dirty in the dishwasher. Figures. Well that’s out the window.
“EAT IT OR IT GETS THROWN AWAY!”
What time is it now? 6:34. I can still make decent time if I am in my truck by 6:45.
This can’t be happening. THERE IS NO COFFEE. I have no time to make coffee.
“Welp, there is no coffee!!!”
“I’m so sorry Brody, I can’t do everything around here!”
Oops. That wasn’t for her to hear. She did get Little B and Baby K ready without my help. Doesn’t matter anymore.
I light into everything in the kitchen. Little B, Kathy, the freezer, coffee maker. I’ll even cuss out my lunch bag while I’m at it. Shut up and get out before you ruin everyone’s day.
Truck keys. I’ve got to get out of here. I’m going to be late. I feel horrible for not helping Kathy. She won’t want my help now because I yelled back at her. Why do I do that?
*15 minutes pass*
We are all loaded up. Deep breath. We made it. Start the truck, garage door down, aaaand adjust radio. No Country this morning. I need to calm down. Where is the Jazz station? There that is better. Silence.
“Daddy, I hungie (hungry)”.
For me, reality comes in one giant cycle commencing and culminating with two massive countdowns for launching (departing the house) and landing (bedtime). The road rules quality time spent with my children during three hour commutes in which I stare at the rearview mirror into the backs of their little eyelids after they have passed out from a long day at school. The reality of “R” is a challenge that each of us faces every day.
Rise, retain, remain, retire.
Add to favorites