I love kolaches.
What I have not been a huge fan of is getting my kids off to school during the week. For some time now, that process from waking up to getting out the door has been something just south of boiling oneself in a fiery vat of hot oil.
The plan seems simple enough though:
1. Each kid has a clock. Set it.
2. Alarm goes off and you get up. Get dressed, brush your teeth and hair, make your bed and get downstairs for a lovely hot breakfast.
3. Offer up a hug or two, ask each other how their night’s sleep was and skip off out the door organized and prepared to take on the world and spread joy.
Here is the painful reality:
1. My kids have been waking up with the disposition of a Grizzly Bear that has spent the entire night extracting his feet from a painful and bloodied trap.
2. Speaking of extraction, actually prying them from their covers had required skills this self-proclaimed motivator has sorely lacked.
3. Once up, I feel as if the household is part of the movie “The Matrix” as my kids are moving as some other-earthly slow-motioned speed. Putting on ones socks and shoes should not take 20 minutes, right?
Finally organic material hit the fan.
I had all I could take and I could take no more. But the bigger and more substantial issue was that Mom had had all she could take. Ever so often there is that look that overcomes my wife’s body. Perhaps it is the flaring of her nostrils, the formidable disposition of her eyebrows as they turn inward or flames that rise skyward from her once flowing locks of hair. The scorn was not something unrecognizable as
I had before seen it focused on me from time to time. But this time, she was done with the morning routine and her precious three bears.
The Phone Call
I answered my mobile phone later in the day. It was my wife. Judging from her voice, something earth shaking was going down.
“You’re on speaker phone. I have all three of the children on the couch and I want you to hear what I have to say”, she proceeded. “OMG”, I thought to myself. “This is going to be good
Suffice to say, Peggy had the attention of all three kids. Two days later, the proverbial ‘Family Meeting’ commenced at the dinner table. Among pulled pork tacos slow cooked to perfection thank you, we presented each of our three angels with a typed manifesto of sorts. Each customized and listing in exact detail what their responsibilities were for the morning and into the rest of the week. Each sheet was signed by the respective sibling and made public.
Our point to our three offspring was the following:
1. You are part of a family. This family is a team. Each team player has role and the team functions best when each person takes responsibility for that role.
2. When you don’t take care of your responsibilities, you let your teammates down and each other.
3. If you don’t learn to take responsibility for yourself now, good luck when you leave the house.
In addition to their ‘regular’ responsibilities, we gave them the option to perform something unexpected, over the top, or with great kindness and forethought. For that we would reward greatly. Giving them the opportunity for extending their contribution in any way they deemed important was also key.
To date, the mornings have gone much smoother, our kids are taking care of their stuff and the grizzlies have retreated to the woods. Just the other morning I awoke in bed to the sound of clanging pans and utensils. Upon my delightful surprise, my 11 year old boy was extracting the most beautiful golden brown kolaches from the oven I had ever seen (or smelled). He had woken himself up early, prepared them all by himself and by all accounts, were the best I had ever eaten (including his mother’s).
Man I love kolaches.
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