As I run around like a lunatic looking for my keys, my daughter is literally sitting on the kitchen floor, calmly deciding which pair of shoes to wear.

Um, no I don’t like these, she says to herself. Nope, not these.

Why? I ask calmly, looking at the clock. Has someone pushed it forward, I think? How can it possibly be this late? It was just a half an hour ago, and I was doing her hair for Crazy Hair Day. I now realize we have exactly two minutes before the first school bell rings, and here she is calmly trying on shoes. (Are you kidding me?)

Pick one, put your coat on and where is your lunch, I ask with urgency.

I am sure my eyes are beginning to bulge out of my head.

She shrugs, and continues to try on shoes to jazz up her outfit, she explains.

I thought it was Crazy Hair Day, who cares what shoes you wear? I ask.

Mommmmm, she says, it’s very important.

I am quite sure my patience is being tested. I am also quite sure my neighbor Eileen (who lives about ten houses away and on another street) will hear the next words which will be coming out of my mouth.

Patience has always been one of my strengths. One of my characteristics. A skill I had sharpened overtime. Working in the United States Senate, I was used to chaos, and was successful in navigating around it. But since I’ve become a mom, I’ve discovered it’s an easy thing to loose. Especially on a Tuesday at 8:23 a.m.

Like most parents, getting their child out the door in the morning, can be a challenge.  Throw in Crazy Hair Day and can’t find the right shoes, and really, I should just throw in the towel now.

And then, just as they decide they will wear the brown boots (the exact pair I suggested 20 minutes ago), they decide they are hungry. Starving. And ask for pancakes.

Patience, I think. Don’t yell, I think. Deep breaths. I can do this!

I ask my daughter if she has finished her cereal. Apparently she has but decides she is still hungry. My first thought is maybe if she was up earlier, she could have had time to eat a hot meal. The kind I make on the weekends, when I have time, and am not running around like a lunatic. The kind my mom would make me and my sisters.

My second thought is what am I thinking? Like I would ever have time to make a hot meal on a Tuesday?! Then the mom-guilt creep in.

Why don’t I make you some hot cereal ? I suggest.

Nope, doesn’t like that. One minute left.

And mom, how can I learn things if my stomach is hurting she asks. I suggest a quick bathroom run, but nope. She doesn’t have to go, but thinks pancakes will do the trick. She is an actress this one. She loves drama, and this is a scene for her, I’m sure of it.

Then it happens. Full blown mom guilt starts to creeps in. It goes something like this…

My baby could truly be hungry, and how could she concentrate at school, if her tummy is hurting her?

My final thought is what can she eat while eat running out to the car? Quickly followed by WHAT WAS I THINKING GOING BACK TO WORK and MY BABY IS GOING TO STARVE, and HOW THE HECK DO OTHER MOMS DO THIS AND DON”T YELL. And finally, WHY IS SHE STILL SITTING ON THE FLOOR?

Then I remember the granola bars we bought the other day. She loves them, and they are a quick and healthy option! (Well maybe not so much the ones we buy- covered in chocolate) but they contain oats, and honey, and she loves them. So they will work, and we will make it before the final bell rings! And I am not yelling! (at all very much.)

More and more I find that I am loosing my patience in the morning and end up yelling at one or both of the girls, and well let’s just throw in the hubby, too. Truly I do not start out this way. But when the bell is going to ring and she is sitting on the floor deciding what shoes to wear, while placing a meal order, complete with chocolate chips, how can this NOT happen? (Never mind, the scene which typically happens with 12 and her hair most mornings.) Let’s just say if Eileen doesn’t hear me yelling at 12, she definitely hears it with 10. (My guess is her entire side of the street hears it.)

Honey, I begin again, digging deep inside to find one last ounce of patience. (Boots are on and almost zipped.)

You and I can make pancakes for dinner, I say, trying to move the conversation towards to door.

Yum! she exclaims, and then what are we doing this weekend? Proceeding to ask if she can have a friend over, as she opens the pantry door looking for a granola bar.Crazy Hair Day

One minute until the bell rings. (Thank goodness we live about a minute away from school.)

LET’S GO! I exclaim, my head starting to hurt.

As she grabs a granola bar, and we run to the car, she stops, turns, and looks at me.

Mom, she asks calmly, why are you always yelling?

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.

Thank God for granola bars.