Friday, August 15, 2008

It's Like Herding Cats, Only Harder

I haven't been around much this week because our church is doing Vacation Bible School and I have to be up at the butt crack of dawn in order to get there on time. We start at 8:00 a.m. with worship and inspirational talk, but the only thing I want at 8:00 am is more sleep. I have been late every day by at least five minutes, and it is killing me. Trying to get homeschooled kids who aren't used to early morning "morning" needs a "u" in it... I want to cry every time I have get up early, because, as a serious night owl, my brain doesn't function in the morning. Some might argue that my brain doesn't function, period. Let's not go there...

So, what am I doing working VBS when I clearly hate mornings? I guess the obvious answer is because God told me to. But beyond that, the kids are attending (JBug is teaching as well) and I am a shadow/aide for special needs kids. Autism, Downs Syndrome, whereever I am needed, that's where I go. I figured, sure I can teach, but lots of people want to do that. This is something I can do, that God created me to do, that I am skilled in because of my children, and I can bless someone else so their child can attend the program. Because I would have loved if that had been an option for me when my kids were littler. It's a little like herding cats, but I love cats, so it's all good.

So I get up when my alarm goes off at the ungodly hour of 7:30. sorry if you are a morning person and think that is a nifty time to get up. I don't even think God is up at that time. Also? Bite me. I get up at 7:30 and I stand there and look at the wall. Then I remember I was supposed to be getting dressed. So I get the clothes I laid out the night before. I think they come to life in the wee hours, because they are never where I remember leaving them. I find my pants on the vanity, and the shirt on the nightstand...perhaps they attend some wild party and then sneak back in all wasted, then can't remember where they started out? Or, maybe they are just messing with me, knowing my brain doesn't function in the A.M. Or is this what evil lawn gnomes do at night when people are sleeping, move clothes?

Then I trudge around and get the kids ready to walk out the door. This mainly consists of me shuffling to a room, standing in the middle of it, dazed, and wondering what the heck I was trying to do. So I pad aimlessly to another room, stand there, hoping to have an epiphany. It finally dawns on me that clothes might be good for the kids to wear, so I have to find those (in the case of JBean) and wrestle help her into said clothes. This of course requires this exchange:

her: I don't want to wear that. I hate it!
Me: You liked it fine last night, when you chose it, come on now.
Her: No! I hate it. It's not comfy! I wanna wear something else!
Me: Ok, what do you want to wear?
Her: I don't knooooooow! Help meee!
repeat x 3

I then find the nearest wall, and contemplate banging my head into it. I am awake enough though, to know that would hurt. So I move on to breakfast.

I am a great cook. But breakfast? Heh, you're on your own. If God wanted me to cook breakfast, he wouldn't have invented the Eggo waffle. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. I don't eat in the mornings. In fact, if you come near me with food before 10 a.m., your life may be in peril. I can't stand the smell of food in the morning. Give! But not before 9 a.m. So with breakfast in hand (did I mention Eggos are portable?) we search for shoes, beach towels (they get wet at VBS) and my sanity. Once we find the first two, we are out the door. the last one toddles along behind and hides until the clock hits double digits.

There is joy in a job well done. Knowing I am doing something hard for me (the morning thing) makes it that much sweeter to give to God. I have one more day of this routine. I told myself when I started that I could do anything for five days. And I have one more. So I am almost there. Don't get me wrong, I have loved it. I have made connections with children, that have just warmed the cockles of my heart. (yes I do too have a heart!) I have also had the privilege of watching my high schoolers step up and serve in the VBS as well. That has been wonderful.

All in all, I have enjoyed myself. But I come home absolutely wiped out, and so do my children. This leads to tears and tantrums. When I'm they're done, it's better. It is just necessary to wind down. So, one more day, and we are done. And on Saturday? Heaven help the person who wakes me before I get up on my own. I am sleeping in.

T, who likes mornings fine when they start later

What do you do that's extra-hard? How do you manage to do it?

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14 sent chocolate:

Laura Iriarte said...

I feel for you sis...and I feel for me too-who has to start back to work on monday for the school district...ugh...i want summer to last foreverrr! or i want to be able to make money and work from or the
one. more. can do it!

flickrlovr said...

I did VBS at our church a couple years in a row, and led the 2 and 3 year old groups...phew, was that a workout! I definitely had the same positive (yet exhausting) experience that you have.

I'm totally not a morning person either, and have put off volunteering at our local hospital for that very reason. (But-bonus! I just found out they have afternoon shifts too!) I really want to serve my community, especially in the health care field, and this is a great opportunity for me to jump into the hospital setting, test it out, and make sure that nursing is really what I want to pursue as a career. I keep coming up with excuses for not doing it (and have another good one now that school's about to start back and I'll be spending all my free time studying) but I'm really going to make an effort to get into the volunteer rhythm this fall. It's something I know rewards me in many ways, and I need to simply buck up and do it!

califmom said...

Amen and God bless you, woman. Not only is God not up at that hour, I am not up at that hour. You are a saint. Giving the gift to those kids and their families, well, you know how much that means because you've been there. Sleep your butt off on Saturday. I don't want to see any tweets from you before noon.

Adrienne said...

I get ya!

I have been working 14 hours shifts this week and then coming home and watching these dang Olympics. I AM a morning person, but having stayed up until 1AM then getting up at 5AM for 4 days in a row? UGH

Yesterday was my last day on that job so today, I slept til 10 and feel wonderful!

Trooper Thorn said...

Funny posting. In the future we will all wear tear-away paper jumpsuits and there will be no more complaints from kids about whet to wear in the morning.

Thanks for your comments on Olympic outfits. I guess clothing is a theme.
I'm working on another posting today.

Phisch said...

Our church is so small, we have to mooch off other church's VBS programs :D

Well I did VBS all the years my oldest went and we always had fun. And naps afterwards. Without naps, we would have been lost to the world. His first VBS, he cried bec. there was so much input (that was just at worship, too). By day 2, he was sitting and day 3 he was sad to find out it was only 1 week long.

Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

I am not a morning person at all either so getting back into the routine of getting up at 5:30 next week is not going to be pretty. Great job on doing something to help at VBS though!!

Anissa Mayhew said...

Morning stink! If they could just make them later in the day, that would be great.

I hope tomorrow you are snoozing late in the day and know that you shined God on lots of little lives this week and that makes it all worth while.

that girl (shelly) said...

coffee, coffee, coffee. My kids LOVE VBS each year, you're doing a great thing. Early to bed is the only way. But I don't follow that advice ;)

for a different kind of girl said...

Lately, I've not been very good at managing anything, be it extra hard or super easy. I guess my extra hard thing is getting my life back in order and a bit better organized. I find I sit and rest and mentally prepare a bit too long, then I figure 'eh, why start now!

Kaye said...

I found you via Watch Me, No Watch Me and want to tell you that your post there cracked me up. I plan to drop in now that I've found you.

Thanks for making me laugh...I needed that on a Saturday that I had to come in to work. =)

Gayle said...

What a funny post. I, too, am a night owl (3am last night). School starts on Wed. and it is going to kick my butt. As to your question...right now my hardest thing is dealing ten dogs...eight of them puppies and two that might as well be because they were never trained. Arrrg!

Summer said...

Ugh, early mornings should be against the law. I'm going to run for office and my platform will be nothing happens before 10 AM. And free coffee for everyone.

Kaye said...

That post up at Watch Me today...the one that led me to your site? Well, I liked it a lot. Therefore:

CONGRATULATIONS! You have won the Mrs Nespy’s Frugal World Bronze Medal for August 16th. Go to to get the code to post your medal if you’d like. Thanks for the great writing! Too funny!

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