I have three kids who many mornings go to three different locations. Getting out the door on time is a challenge. Remembering everything we are supposed to is also a challenge. There is always room to grow. and improve.
What the morning SHOULD look like
Here is what school mornings are SUPPOSED to look like, as per the pretty color-coded schedule I have taped to the fridge:
6:15 AM Our alarms go off. Hubster and I get up and get ready.
6:45 AM Wake up eldest Spartacus. Hubster gets him breakfast while I do Little Miss and Scoober Doo – snuggle, potty, get dressed
7:00 AM Kids eat breakfast and watch cartoons while I get bags and lunches and my stuff ready
7:15 AM TV off, brush teeth, put on shoes and coats, load car
7:30 AM Leave house for school. Enjoy spotting school buses, sipping coffee, and observing what new Christmas decorations went up as we drive through downtown.
What today actually looked like
6:15 AM Alarm goes off. There’s a toddler sleeping across my right arm and I can’t feel it and I don’t want to move to hit snooze. Hubster does it.
6:30 AM Toddler pops up awake like a jack-in-the-box and elbows me in the face. It is time to get up.
6:45 AM Little Miss snuggles while Scoober Doo wreaks terror in my bedroom. He empties a freshly folded basket of laundry, throws a bottle of lotion in the toilet, and hands me one lone flip flop from somewhere.
7:00 AM Miraculous, I and Scoober Doo are dressed. Little Miss is selecting her outfit. We will see her in twenty minutes. Spartacus is eating Fruit Loops (“Donut cereal”) in his jammies. Daddy leaves for work.
7:15 AM Spartacus is STILL eating his cereal.
7:20 AM I turn off TV. I obligingly hand Spartacus the uniform he picked out last night even though I promise myself every day to make him do this himself. He slowly gets dressed while sneaking more bites of cereal. He fights me on why he has to put on clean underwear so instead layers it on top of last night’s underwear and said it will “keep in the stink.” Mental note: baths tonight.
MEANWHILE Scoober Doo (16 months now) is supposed to be fetching his shoes from the bin in the garage but instead pulls out the yellow homework folder from his brother’s backpack and yanks out the homework packet and starts shredding it. Freak outs ensure. Little Miss comes down, dressed, pottied, teeth brushed, and with shoes on. Bless this child. She will eat later after we drop off Spartacus. She goes to get in the van in the garage, but with all the doors open Annabelle the dog bolts into the garage and gets into the minivan.
This ALWAYS slows down our morning. The kids start yelling at Annabelle to get out the van, Annabelle goes limp and refuses to budge, Scoober Doo continues to go after the homework I just returned to the bakpack, Spartacus is yelling about where his lunchbox is (on the counter, WHERE IT ALWAYS IS). I am yelling at Spartacus to PUT YOUR SHOES ON FOR THE FIFTH TIME.
I try to gather preschool bag and babysitter bag and my coffee and my work bag (Tuesday is my “office hour” day, where I sit for two hours in our church coffee shop during preschool). I spill coffee all over myself and my sweatshirt trying to get things in the car. Spartacus jumps in car. He does not have shoes or his backpack or a coat. It is 34 degrees this morning.
Spartacus leaves inside door and car door open as he goes back for shoes and backpack.Annabelle jumps back in the car.
Spartacus says he doesn’t need his coat because he’s wearing his sweatshirt. Then he remembers they are recording their Christmas program today and he has to wear his red polo (which he has under his sweatshirt). I tell him he can take his sweatshirt off before filming. He is terrified that this would be breaking the rules, so he takes his sweatshirt OFF again and puts on his coat.
He is still is not wearing shoes.
7:40 AM We leave the house. By the grace of traffic lights, we got Spartacus to school by 7:58 AM. But good golly. What a fifteen minutes of cardio.
Changes we should make
Spartacus first blamed Annabelle for making us late. I pointed out that at 7:20, both his siblings were dressed and shoed and he was still standing in the family room without pants on, so he can’t blame everything on Annabelle.
If we cut cartoons, that would help the distractions a bit…but on the other hand, if I turn off the TV for those 15 minutes, then all three kids start asking me for stuff at the same time.
Spartacus then suggested I get him up earlier than 6:45. I LOLd. I’ve tried that. When we do get him up at 6:30, it takes him 15 minutes to actually wake up and moan and stretch and leave his bed…we can try to go to bed earlier, but that’s also a bit of a wild card. They’re usually in bed between 7:30-8, so it’s not like he’s totally sleep deprived.
So tomorrow, we will, at the very least, block Annabelle in the kitchen with the baby gate until I get all three children in car and buckled.
Maybe this weekend we will work on cleaning our garage so there is more space to move around the car.
My goal though, is to be ready enough that we can find a few minutes of quiet with my kids, when we say Luther’s Morning Prayer to begin the day off in Jesus’ hands. Mornings should have more prayer and less yelling. And fewer coffee spills.
Also, because we do enjoy this chaos so much, we recently found out we’re expecting baby #4. So there’s that. Prayers always appreciated! 🙂