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Dear Young Children Getting Ready for School

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No, you can't have Easter candy and popcorn for breakfast. I just made you scrambled eggs and strawberries. I don't care if you didn't know what you wanted until you saw this yucky stuff on your plate; it's this or nothing. No, the cat can't help you eat it. Put the cat down!

Time to brush your teeth and wash your face. What are you wearing? Yes, I see quite clearly that your black hat with the spray of beads and feathers perfectly matches your other seven black clothing items. Yes, it looks fabulous. No, you cannot wear it to school. Why? Because none of the other children will be able to see past the feathers. Also, you are not a titled English Lady. Hey, don't take it out on me, I didn't make the Fancy Hat Rules. Did you feed the cat?

What are YOU wearing? Is that two pairs of underwear I see peeking out of the waistband of your pants, which, by the way, are twisted almost sideways? I agree that lightning bolts and Lightning McQueen go well together but two pairs is too much. You can barely handle one. Back to the bedroom!

Did you brush your teeth? Why are you naked ten minutes after getting yourself dressed? A word of advice: you don't have to remove every article of clothing because you got one drop of toothpaste on your shirt. It's true. Look, I'm wiping your snot off my shirt right now with a damp rag and going about my day as usual! It's totally possible! Yes, I will dress you. Yes, you are still a big boy if I help you with your sleeves.

Hey! Get out of the pantry! No, you can't have a snack. Your plate is still full of eggs and strawberries. Yes, I see how you turned all your strawberries upside down so they look like pyramids, how clever of you. Have you considered putting them in your mouth and chewing them up one by one, preferably in the next three minutes? All the cool kids are doing it.

Did you feed the cat? No, I haven't seen your other shoe. Oh, wait, do you mean that one right in the middle of the kitchen floor? Yes, I've seen it. Don't dump the sand on the--too late. Here is the broom, sweep that up please. Your shoes are on the wrong feet. And YOUR shoes are on the wrong feet. And you, where did you get those? You can't wear your dad's flip flops to school. First of all, no open-toed shoes allowed. Second, you are not a dad. Hey, don't take it out on me, I didn't make the Dad Flip Flop Rules.

Your pants are still twisted. Wait, now you have on NO underwear. Go get the lightning ones, please. What do you mean, they're too scary to wear? You liked them fine a few minutes ago. Bring me any clean underwear. I have to put them on for you; we're in the final countdown. Yes, you do a good job with underwear, but I'm faster because I've had so much practice. I've been putting them on for YEARS, my friend. That level of experience is hard to find. Take advantage.

Do you have your bag? Do you have your homework? Do you have your Letter E show and tell object? No, dirt does not start with E. Get your elephant instead. No, you cannot watch TV. Sunscreen time! COME BACK HERE ALL OF YOU! Okay, I'm fine with putting sunscreen on you while you are partially wrapped in the shower curtain. It makes it easier, actually, because your arms are tangled up.

No, you cannot stay home for special mommy time. Why not? Because it's my turn for special mommy time. No, you can't take your little kite to play with on the way. Yes, I do like hugs and kisses, very much. Hug, hug, hug. Kiss, kiss, kiss. Excellent. Let's go. No one's hair is brushed, but we have a legitimate chance to make it on time today. I'm feeling a rush of triumph. What's "triumph"? It means achieving victory despite unspeakable obstacles. One last thing--FEED THE CAT.