We ran out of decaf, and even though I knew I should stay away from caffeine, the smell of a freshly brewed pot of coffee at 5:30 a.m. was too strong to resist.
"You know that's caffeine," my husband asked.
I nodded and poured myself a cup. "A little won't hurt me." I gulped it down with a shot of peppermint-chocolate soy milk, feeling my taste-buds shout to my brain, Wake up! Then I began the task of getting Queen Teen ready for school.
Can someone please explain to me why her Jr High thinks it's a good idea to start school at 7:20 am, which means the bus comes at 7:00, which means we have to get up at 5:30 am?
The morning was uneventful. Queen Teen was her usual sleepy self, eating her breakfast with half closed eyes, brushing her teeth, getting dressed with some assistance from me. I was zooming around getting her school snack ready, cleaning her glasses and hearing aids, finding her shoes, all while noshing on a piece of toast. Then I poured more coffee into my tepid cup.
At 7:00, everything went wrong. The battery door of her left hearing aid fell off completely (it's been broken for a while and only stayed on through careful balancing of the hinge). I had to tape it shut to keep the battery in place. Then I shoved Queen Teen's gloves on while the bus pulled up to the curve.
"Mommy, we have to put my coat on first," Queen Teen said.
"No we don't. Hold still. The bus is here." Yanking the sleeve of her rain coat, I fought to pull her gloved hand through.
Queen Teen jerked away. "It won't work."
"Hold still!" I snapped. Then I jerked the jacket off, pulled off her gloves, shoved the jacket back on, and started yelling at her gloves as I tried to force her fingers into them. "Why does this have to be so frickin hard?"
Queen Teen just stared at me with wide eyes, her lips pressed tightly together.
Finally I got her gloves on and then I yelled, "Come on! The bus is waiting!"
I grabbed her arm and pulled the walker toward her, then practically dragged her and the walker out the door. "Move! We're late." The dog met us at the door, blocking our way, eager to dash outside and say hello to the bus driver.
"Get out of the way!" I shouted. The dog just froze. As soon as Queen Teen had a hold of the door frame I jerked the walker away and swung it toward the dog. "I said get the hell out of the way!" The dog ducked.
Whoa... what am I doing? I took a deep breath, carried the walker down the steps, then turned to help Queen Teen out of the house and to the bus. After buckling her in I kissed her forehead and said, "Have a good day."
She just looked at me with big eyes.
The dog stayed out of my way as I walked into the house and shut the door. Damn! I lost it. Again. "Come here, Boo," I said, leaning down and stroking the dog's head. "Good girl."
What happened? Why did I lose it over a broken battery door and a tangled glove? Usually this kind of thing is so normal I just go on auto-pilot. There's always something to slow us down as Queen Teen gets ready for school.
Then I remembered 1-and-a-half-cups of real, caffeinated coffee on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, something I know makes me jittery and anxious, even after lunch. That's why I switched to decaf.
No more caffeine. Some people suffer a personality change on alcohol; I obviously become psycho-agro mom on a cup of jo.
When Queen Teen came home from school I said, "I'm sorry I got so grumpy this morning. I was mad at the hearing aids and got frustrated. I shouldn't have yelled at you. It wasn't your fault."
She smiled and hugged me. "That's okay, Mommy. I get frustrated too sometimes."