6:00AM
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.

7:00AM
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.

7:06AM
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.

7:23AM
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.

7:38AM
Ione needs help finding her panties so she can get dressed.

7:42AM
Ione and I stand in the kitchen, arguing about the nutritional value of “sausage & syrup.”

8:03AM
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.”

8:11AM
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.

8:22AM
Drinking coffee. Listening to Undercover. Cuddling Momo. Blogging. All in an attempt to avoid the remaining 376 pages of “The Substance Abuse Handbook.”

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