Step 1: Open toddler’s door. Softly and sweetly say, “Good morning, [insert personal term of endearment here]!” Get yelled at. Hope that when they say “I’m still sleeping!” or “Close the door!” they really mean, “Good morning, mommy! I missed you all night!” Know they actually mean, “Close the door, peasant. I’m sleeping!”
Step 2: Walk away. Give them five more minutes to wake up on their own. Make coffee, let the dogs out, brush your teeth, and prepare.
Step 3: Open the door a second time. Sit on toddler’s bed and stroke their hair. Steel yourself against tears and pleas for more sleep. Consider the fact that they will always be tired on school nights and up by 6 on Saturdays. Say nothing. Just wait for the tears to stop.
Step 4: Pick an outfit.
Step 5: Put it back. They hate it.
Step 6: Pick another outfit.
Step 7: Put it back. It’s not the right color.
Step 8: Give up on clothes.
Step 9: Attempt to remove wet diaper while dodging kicks. Ignore the headache that’s begun from piercing screams. Make a mental note to wear ear plugs tomorrow.
Step 10: Ask toddler to get dressed. Plead, cajole, threaten, punish – do what you have to do to ensure clothes of any kind go on their bodies.
Step 11: Look at the clock – realize you’re now running 10 minutes late, even though you got up 10 minutes earlier than yesterday. Bribe toddler with juice and nursery rhymes (kids YouTube).
Step 12: Panic because there’s no juice and SHE WANTS JUUUUUIIIIICE!
Step 13: Panic when there’s no milk either. (When was the last time you went to the grocery store?)
Step 14: Attempt to put shoes on toddler. Watch helplessly as a melt-down ensues.
Step 15: Consider giving up and going back to bed. Realize you’re out of sick days, grit your teeth, and wrestle ease toddler into car seat.
Step 16: Turn on DVD player to Judy and the Beast.
Step 17: Press forward because it’s the wrong scene.
Step 18: Repeat process three more times. Threaten to turn movie off.
Step 19: Sing along with movie. Stop singing when toddler insists that “mommy, you don’t sing.”
Step 20: Drop off toddler at school. Struggle to release yourself from toddler’s death grip. Watch helplessly as melt-down ensues.
Step 21: Get back in car and breathe a sigh of relief.
Step 22: Seriously consider going back inside because you miss toddler.
Step 23: Scroll through photos of toddler on your phone and cry because you love them so much.
Step 24: Ask yourself if it might be time to have another baby.
Step 25: Contemplate your sanity.