Unlike most of my friends, my boys are morning people. They are up to greet the dawn, happy, energetic, ready for the day. They wake up between 6:00 to 6:30.
I am a night owl. I barely deal with morning people.
Both boys’ schools start late. Tornado S’s starts at 8:30; Tornado E’s at 8:50.
On any given day, we have nearly two hours to be ready and at the school.
Today Tornado E barely squeezed into class before the bell. He had to leave his backpack and water bottle at home because we were running late.
I make lunches the night before. I have all the non perishable breakfast materials out on the counter. We have a morning routine chart with pictures that they can check off the chores as they go. Any toy touched is taken away for the day. My own morning routine is 15 minutes.
But Tornado E and Tornado S will just lay on the stairs, on the floor, staring at nothing. Or they will jump from couch to chair and back again. They will get toys out that are immediately taken away.
I don’t want to nag them every step of the way. Take off your pull-up. Take off your pull-up. Take off your pull-up for the love of God!
I’m not to thrilled with the take-them-to-school-and-let-them-get-dressed-in-the-car method. The boys were completely ok with that and only washed their faces and brushed their teeth at night. Ew.
To make matters more stressful, I hate, hate, hate being late. After years of breathing exercises, I’ve learned to let go when it’s another adult, but my kids, my kids, I should have enough control over the situation to not be late.
So what do you do? My parents suggest swatting. Um, thanks, but no thanks. My baby brother (why is the Friendly Giant weighing in? He doesn’t even have kids.) suggests just nagging them through one chore to the next. A friend just facebooked me saying to be completely organized. Got that, except we don’t lay out clothes the night before. (I tried it with me, but I always changed my mind the morning of. But then maybe that’s a good tool on Tornado E. He hates me picking out his clothes.)
So do I bribe them with donuts and chocolate milk? Do I bribe them with extra play time in the morning? Do I threaten them with dire consequences?
Parenting is hard.