On the next episode of The Real HouseTantrums of Modiin:
Yaakov, 5 3/4 years old, perfectly capable of getting dressed himself. But would rather be playing with cars and/or sucking his thumb on the couch. (Why cars now? Why not cars later when I'm begging, pleading with you to find a way to entertain yourself that doesn't involve a movie or kicking Ariella? Whywhywhy???) So I get him dressed, we have the daily fight about wearing tzitzit, then once he's ready - dressedteethlunchwater - he has to use the bathroom, so off come the tzitzit.
Ariella, 8.5 years old, perfectly capable of getting herself ready, which she does verrrrrry sloooowwwwllly. There are usually a few minutes of stretching involved, or adding something to her private-written-in-code note that's next to her bed (although she helpfully wrote herself a key on the page to decode what she wrote, so every time I'm in there I glance over casually trying to figure out what it says). My favorite line (not written in code) is where she explains to herself that she didn't include all the letters in the code, only the ones she used in her note.
We have different views on the stretching + note writing. On a scale of 1 - 10, where 1 is Essential Morning Activity and 10 is Waste of Time Oh My God How Are You Still Not Dressed...well, you can figure out where we each fall.
Then there is the hair, which she spends a long time on so it won't have a "baluta" (bump.) Although it frustrates me, I do sympathize, having gone through a phase myself where I spent a while trying to get my bangs into a bump. There was gel involved. Yes, you read that right.
Nadav, 1.5 years old, perfectly capable of. Well, I'm sure there's something. Getting him dressed usually requires a SWAT team to hold him down, because he's VERY MAD that I interrupted his leisurely breakfast, and he lets me know by trying to throw himself off the changing table. He also often refuses to wear any sort of sweatshirt/jacket, which horrifies his ganenot to no end.
Eventually, everyone is ready, Ariella with her ginormous tik, Yaakov with his little tik, and Nadav clutching two or three sippy cups to add to his overflowing collection at gan. Maybe he's planning to make a break for it one day, to a place where they let you eat Cheerios all day, and he wants to make sure he has enough to drink. We make our way down to the bowels of the Dimri parking lot, Yaakov races no one to the car and shouts "I won!", I turn on the car, look at the time, and mutter to myself how I can't believe we're so late.
You'd think at this point I'd just believe it already.