Howler Monkeys, Unwashed Hair, and Judgement

So the morning went like this:  

Wake up, work out, pranayam (fancy word for breathing fancily), meditate.  

Shower.  WASH MY HAIR (which in and of itself should earn me a medal.  I loathe having to do it.  I probably don't do it as often as I should.  If you've ever wondered why I look disheveled and rope-y and like I don't brush my hair: there's your answer.  It's my thing and honestly, I'm fine with it.  I'm maybe supposed to say #MomLife, or explain that it's because I'm so busy.  But, nope.  I have time to indulge in hot soaks in the tub- albeit interrupted every damn time by kids who have to poop or throw a tantrum.  So, if I have time for that, it's true that I have time to wash and comb my hair.  I just choose not to). 

Make coffee.  Make kids' lunches.  

Feel pretty badass for being so on top of it.  "God I am so badass.  Look at me.  Accomplishing more than most by 7 am."   

I was probably strutting at this point.  As in like-a-peacock.  All proud of having been on top of my day, fresh hair n' all. 

Then this is where it all started to slide out from under me.

Get kids up.  Discover lots of bedding needs to be washed.  

In the midst of getting everyone ready for school (which is basically like herding kittens in this household, if you're wondering)... duck into the bathroom to pee.

Glance at the washing machine.

NOOOOOOOOOO!  

(That's me, howling from the toilet like a peacock-turned-howler-monkey).

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In all of my badass good-mom-ness, (and admittedly flu-phobia-ness because it's been going around), I'd thrown the kids' winter coats, snow pants, and mittens into the wash the night before. 

And... DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN... forgotten to switch them to the dryer.

I race into the kitchen to check the time (not before washing my hands first though, of course).  Fifteen minutes 'til bus stop time.  

Of course.

I'm decidedly so mad now.

Because I'm feeling out of control, and I cannot speed the drying process up, I proceed to race about the house, ranting about the state of its cluttered-ness.  I decide to take on projects of moving piles of clutter to other piles.  A ridiculous, completely useless task that really only amps my feelings of frustration.

The kids miss their bus.  Obviously.  And the coats won't freaking dry!  It's like someone is spraying the inside of the dryer as its still spinning and blowing hot air.  I don't get it.  

At one point while I am upstairs with my youngest, she makes off with a tube of sunscreen from the bathroom.  I'm too busy still ranting about clutter and redepositing random items from place to place to notice.  When I find her, she's managed to hole herself up in her closet.  It's like the beginning moments of what could be an image from one of those memes you laugh at but never want to experience.  I'm laughing now as I type (her impish, mischievous face!).  I wasn't laughing in the moment.

Full disaster diverted and sunscreen confiscated.  I recognize my toddler's response as being similar to my toilet howler-monkey one.  A part of me empathizes.  

I finally pull everything out of the dryer and tell my son he'll "just have to make due with one damp arm.  It's fine, you'll be fine!  You're going to be late!  We ARE late!"  Lunatic status.

I should add here that the day previous to this, I'd dropped my one kid off at school late.  So, in all honesty, much of my anxiety about being late is more about the judgment I feel I'll receive from the staff at the school.  "There's that weird un-wed, vegan, non-hair-washing hippie mom Laura, dragging her unbaptized kids in here late again."  This image is not complete without disapproving clucks and sideways glances.  I'm not sure why this particular morning I care so much about what the staff of the school thinks, but I do.  I've completely made myself wrong- terribly terribly wrong- for making my kids a half an hour late for school...

...Because I washed their coats and forgot to dry them.

We load up and ship out.  My toddler is screaming something about leaving Baby Josie behind.  (It's her baby doll, relax).  

Pull into the school parking lot.  The kids spill out of the van like a bunch of kittens.  I ask my son where his sister's backpack is, "Did you not grab it at home?!"  He looks at me with a face that is half-blank-half-oh-f*ck.  His confusion isn't completely unfounded.  I mean, he's only eight and sometimes, I expect him to be his four year old sister's keeper.  It's not really all that fair.

And this is likely my least proud moment of the morning.

I actually sigh, "Oh for f*ck sakes!"

Okay, I don't sigh.  I half-exclaim.  (I say "half" because I feel the need to declare that I didn't literally scream it in my son's face).  

I tilted my head to the sky, arms thrown up, and I dropped an F Bomb at full volume in front of all three kids...

...In their Catholic school parking lot.

Because I didn't have enough judgment to worry about up until that point, apparently.

I hug my kids and apologize.  Flustered.  I send them in and head back home to grab my daughter's backpack.

As we wheel back into the school parking lot, I breathe deeply.  I unbuckle my toddler (who is now happy because while back at home I also grabbed Baby Josie, and she gets to go in the school.  I know this happiness is temporary and her howler-monkey will be back as we exit the building).

We walk in.  The familiar secretary greets me.  "I've had a morning," I say apologetically, holding up the backpack, blowing my hair out of my face.  "At least my hair is washed," I think.  The day before, I'd rushed in late with toddler-breakfast smeared on my glasses, and my teeth not even brushed, so this could be seen as an improvement. 

The secretary smiles warmly.  "Your kids just came in right?  I'll take care of the backpack.  No problem."  I can't tell if her tone is full of pity or kindness.  I decide it's kindness.

Turning to go, my toddler begins to howl as if on queue.  

I'll have you know that the morning did get infinitely better.  After just a couple more glitches, we grabbed coffee and a snack at a local coffee shop, where the barista complimented my hair with envy(!!!), and adding a free rocher chocolate to the ones I'd ordered, without telling me.  That, friends, was enough to set off a domino-effect of more awesomeness.

I'd decided I was just going to embrace the shit show of the day, and as I did that, my experiences completely flipped.  I laughed where I otherwise would have monkey-howled.  I put my fancy breathing to use.  And I flipped my washed hair around like a blessed goddess being worshipped.

"God I am so badass.  Taking what comes and moving through it.  Flipping my perspective and allowing what is."

Now, just ask me if I manage to keep this momentum going tonight in the tub, when the inevitable poop-party commences.


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Laura Biddle is a mom of three, partner to an incredible artist, and a vegan enthusiast.  She teaches kundalini yoga, is learning the harmonium, and accepting that she doesn't have to be exactly like her teachers to teach.  (Her teachers are AMAZING by the way- amazingly, gracefully neutral).  Laura is also blessed to connect to and channel powerful spiritual guidance.  For more on her and her offerings, find her at www.rootsforwingshealing.com