Put Your Own Mask On First

this is not my rooster. we met this rooster in Historic Jamestown, VA.

It’s 6:00 a.m., Sunday morning. The little rooster has awakened with the sun. Blame it on his grandfather’s dominant dairy farmer genes summoning him to get up and milk the cows.

There are no milking cows at our house, but this Sunday we are due at the early 8:30 a.m. service for my husband to sing. Two and a half hours is plenty of time for three people to get ready for church.

My son wakes us, crawls into our bed, squirms, crawls out then disappears to play. His father is immovable, somehow skipped by the early-to-rise dairyman genetics. The time is now 6:30 a.m. I get up and begin the routine.

Shower. Try to wake my husband. Prepare breakfast for my child who is starving. Feed the dog. Try to wake my husband. Read a book to my child who is lonely and bored. Try to wake my husband.

The time is now 7:30 a.m. My husband gets out of bed and stumbles to the bathroom. My child is on his second breakfast. We giggle at the table as we hear his dad warming up his voice in the shower.

“Ah, ah, ahhhhh!” he sings. We giggle some more.

I let the dog out. Try to convince my child to get dressed. Check to see if the dog has done her business. Check to see if my child is anywhere near his clothes. Clean up from second breakfast. Let the dog in. Praise the dog. Hunt for my child who has disappeared again to play.

Get third breakfast out as my husband still needs to eat. Ask said husband to please help our child get dressed and ready. Clean up from third breakfast.

The time is now 8:00 a.m. The final stretch. Departure in 15 minutes. I run upstairs to get dressed and put on some makeup.

“But, Daaad!” says child. “I’m trying to read this book!”

“You have to get dressed NOW,” says husband. “We’re going to be late!”

I’m tempted to leave my mirror with a half painted face to intervene. But the wise words of the trusty flight attendant ring in my ears: Put your own mask on first, then assist those traveling with you to put on theirs.

slow children at play

If I don’t get ready, none of us is going to make it. I reach for the hair dryer to complete the blowout.

“Daaad!” says child. “I want my book! You are so mean, Dad!”

That’s it. Exit bathroom. Break up squabble. Comfort and dress child.

The time is now 8:15 a.m. My child and my husband are clean, polished, dressed and sitting in the truck waiting for me. I’m standing in the bathroom with unstyled hair and no shoes, wildly slapping on mascara.

Next week, come hell or high water, before anyone else eats, bathes, dresses, reads, or requires me in any other way imaginable, I’m getting ready first. One must get into the lifeboat before one has any hope of helping the others.

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. from 2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT

Someone Saved My Life Tonight, sugar bear.

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Filed under family & friends, humor, life

15 Responses to Put Your Own Mask On First

  1. Aimee,

    You sound remarkably like my wife, wise lady…. Very funny post that gives us a peek at ourselves without even meaning to. Pure blogging genius I say… Bravo!!


  2. Elizabeth Whelan

    Aimee…(that is like the toothpaste and 2 e’s)…Matthew can even recite that now!!

    I am laughing hysterically to your post. I promise myself everyday that I will put myself first as in getting ready. But, no…I am embarrased how I leave the house half the time! And I love it when Don and Matthew are in the truck waiting on me “after” I have done everything else. This can’t be that hard but apparently it is! And for the first time ever as a mom I am still in jammies trying to get an agenda for the day. But since we are going on the 30th..something day of triple digits…I am “not” sure where I would be going?? Last Thursday we were the only ones at the pool!!!

    Thanks for your posts…they keep me sane!

    • Dear Elizabeth, thanks for your comments. They keep me sane. Now go put some real clothes on. lol. On second thought, maybe just a swim suit given the unreal heat that has descended upon your state. Stay cool down there!

  3. Oooh, I hear you. Loud and clear.

    I, for one, can’t wait to get back into our morning routine. Not so much looking forward to the process of reestablishing it, but it won’t take long!

  4. Laura Singleton

    Aaaaand that’s why I have cats.

    • Then, Laura, you’ve actually been in training for a morning routine with kids. Corralling children is often like… here comes the punchline… get ready for it… oh, you guessed it… HERDING CATS. Meow. :0

      • Laura Singleton

        Pffff. My babies don’t need no herding. They lounge comfortably and insolently on their cat castle as I get MYSELF ready for work. (Probably thinking, “Just GO already … you’re making too much noise!”) Because God knows (and your blog proves), myself is enough!!!

  5. Lesa Bauer

    You know, Miss Aimee, my mom always said it was harder to get my brother and me ready for church after we became teenagers than when we were an infant and pre-schooler. Just think of the days and years to come!!! ;-)

    Sending warm hugs your way!!!
    Keep up the GREAT blogging!!! I enjoy the smiles and giggles along the way!!! :-)

  6. Alisa Gilboy

    Oh my word! This must be the battle of every wife and mother (and dog owner) in the universe. No kidding – I can get up at 5am on a Sunday and somehow STILL struggle to get out the door on time, with shoes, and maybe some jewelery! The dog piece is a particular challenge since we have beagles and the female will kill herself getting over (yes, over) the 5ft fence to get to Fred (the rabbit who lives in the forest behind our house who comes out to tempt her). I’d say at least one Sunday a month, Sean is chasing Sammie through the forest wearing a nicely pressed pair of khaki’s and his Sunday best shoes. AArrrrgghhhh! What is it?!
    P.S. LOVE the “slow children at play” sign. I had a teacher in high school who got a charge out of “Slow Ahead” signs. he had the most fun emphasizing different parts of the sign “slow A HEAD!”

    • Amen, Alisa. I too could rise while it is still dark–I could rise while it is still yesterday–and somehow manage to be the last one out the door. And just think if we had more than one child to corral! Lol.
      I’ve met your beagles and heard stories from G&T about their escapades in the hood. Your super dogs–scaling high fences in a single bound and all–would complicate any morning routine. Good thing they’re cute, just like our kids.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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