Punkin's mornings start off with a "HI MONNA!" and a sweet nuzzle as he crawls into bed with me to watch "tartoons." Sometimes his morning starts at 2am (twice last week this happened) and sometimes it starts at 6am (Oops! Better hurry up!), but generally it's about 5:00. We always have to follow the same routine: snuggle hello, watch tv, yell "get up!" to a very drowsy mom, ask for food, get rerouted into the bathroom, point to the box of "Fosted Fakes," scurry off to the bedroom to make sure he hasn't missed any Handy Manny, and scurry back when his table is set up in the living room.
When it's finally time to leave for school, his energy level has started to rise, which means his limbs have begun to move independently of the rest of his body. Having him dress himself is amazingly difficult at this point; nine times out of ten I end up doing most of the work while he flings his body backwards to snag more spoonfuls of cereal.
By the time we leave, we're searching for which toy to bring in the car. Thank goodness these past two weeks it's been his two Woody dolls; before that he would dump out and then sift through nearly thirty small cars, searching for just the right ones. "Dis one? Dis one? Dis one?" He'd end up with half a dozen in his hands, throw them down the stairs, start barking as he went after them, and then just as we would gather them all together, threaten to start the process anew. My neighbor actually opened his door one morning as if looking for a dog. I'm certain that he was certain a Cocker Spaniel had made its way inside.
Now we're at school. I've unleashed Punkin from his carseat and managed to avoid a fatality on our way inside. While I sign in and put my lunch in the fridge in the office, he's picking up the phone, "YUYOH!" typing on the computer, tearing copier paper, and trying to drink out of empty Mountain Dew cans.
So by the time we make it to the classroom and the other students arrive for the hour long morning program that I work with him, wound up does not even describe his bodily state. He is ready to wrestle. But see, you aren't really encouraged to wrestle at school. His teachers keep repeating, "gentle touches" and "no throwing toys." Silly teachers!
The other teachers and I try hard to calm his engine with brushing and other sensory input, but it's hard to do those things when his limbs are moving like a windmill. Hence the bruises on my legs.
Enter: Miracle Toy. Mr. Potato Head. This plastic piece of perfection has moved in and out of the top five favorite toys for several years. And I would personally like to applaud Pixar and the makers of Toy Story 3 for staging a comeback. You rock, Spud. You rock.
(And yes, once the Ritalin kicks in, he is 100% more controlled. It's just that first hour that is tricky. I can't give the meds earlier or he ends up having behavior issues during the core school day. Life is all about compromises!)