Like every other day, today started at 6am. I’m just that disciplined. And, that’s what time Erika’s alarm goes off. It was right then that I said my first prayer of the day, “Thank God I don’t have to get up right now.” Then, I fell back to sleep. It’s kinda like praying the hours.

At 7, I got out of bed and put on the clothes that I wore the day before. I hate making decisions, especially before coffee. I get out of bed at 7 because that is when my kids’ alarms go off. This gives me precisely enough time to grab a cup of coffee (thanks for making that, Erika) before going downstairs to get them out of bed. Today, as I stepped out of my room, Thelonious was in the bathroom, brushing his teeth. “I got up at 6:47. All I have to do is put on my shoes and then I can play computer games!” I reminded him that he needed to eat breakfast, too. “Already did! I got up at 6:47 so I could play computer games. I had yogurt, now I can play computer games.” If I let my kids do something one time, they consider it a binding contract. One time, he got ready early and I let him play on the computer. Now, I have no choice. He fulfilled his obligations and I am required by family law to allow him to play computer games. He gets it from his mom, I don’t try to fight it.

From down the hall, I can hear the alarms going off in stereo. One from Thelonious’ room, the other from Ione’s – where she is still sound asleep. “Good morning, sweetieeeeeee.” “Hi, daddy. I don’t want to go to school.” I go to her closet to find as many different shades of pink as I can. I turn back around and she is back asleep. I have to carry her upstairs – and, give her a sip of coffee. OK, maybe it was more like a cup, but she is really tall for a kindergartner, so I don’t think it will have any negative impact.

Ione is still not dressed – but, the lunches are made. I packed yogurt for Ione because she informed me that she no longer likes sandwiches and if I give her a sandwich she will not eat it. Apparently, she’s not being stubborn, she’s just telling me how it is. She gets it from her mom, so I don’t try to fight it.

Ione needs help finding her panties so she can get dressed.

Ione and I stand in the kitchen, arguing about the nutritional value of “sausage & syrup.”

We’re in the van and Thelonious asks to listen to Norvanah (not a typo). At least it’s not the Dead Kennedys, yet. Ione says, “This music doesn’t sound good. I like Obama.”

The kids are getting out of the van. Thelonious hasn’t allowed me to hug or kiss him at school since kindergarten. We’ve settled on the high five. “High five! I love you, buddy!” “DaaaaAAAAaaaddddd.” Ione informs me I can no longer hug or kiss her, either, and I will have to settle for a simple high five. I told her to shut up and then smothered her with kisses all over her giggly little face.

Drinking coffee. Listening to Undercover. Cuddling Momo. Blogging. All in an attempt to avoid the remaining 376 pages of “The Substance Abuse Handbook.”