On Getting Your Kids Ready For School

February 6, 2019

Getting children successfully to the school bus seems like an act of God in the mornings.  I used to be a stay at home mom.  I got up, got my young children ready for preschool and/or elementary school and off we went (eventually) to school.  The term “got my young children ready” is so loaded. There are so many things you have to do to actually get them out the door and although those toddler/preschool days are over for my kids and I, we still have our own challenges at this stage in life AND I work now, so it’s extra stressful.

For example, this morning, my kids woke up happy.  Not normal. For some odd reason, they were happily getting along.  Laughing and getting dressed on their own, finding something to eat, gathering their lunches in the fridge and on and on.  Why did I feel uneasy the entire time?  Because I knew.  And you know too.  You know that the laughing turns into fooling around, which turns into someone crossing a line and either starting a fight or getting hurt.  Then there’s the yelling.  Because why not embarrass your parents and yell so loud that the neighbors hear?  The yelling or fighting is a distraction and off we go to “never get it done land.”

Most mornings in my house start off this way:

I wake up one child at a time because God forbid they responsibly use an alarm clock or ipad to wake them up.  And forget kindly sharing a bathroom.  Kindly. Been there.  Done that. (I was woken up at 12am from the alarm clock and realized that my daughter played on her ipad all the night before.)  Do you know how amazingly peaceful the house is when my alarm goes off in the morning and all I hear is the puttering last few drops of the coffee maker?  With coffee aroma in the air and me easing into my morning in the comfiest clothes ever, why on earth would I want to ruin that by waking children up?  But alas, I do.  I do because they have to go to school and I have to go to work.

Then comes the attitude and grumpiness.  Because every morning should be equipped with a grump or two.  OH! The bad breath.  I remind them to brush their teeth at least 500 times in one morning. Do you not smell the FOUL that is coming out of your head?  How do you have friends?  And lie to me about it.  Every. Single.  Day.  I can see the sweater growing on your front teeth.  Yuck.

Grumpiness and breath are followed by, “mom, where’s my….”  Funny they should ask because it’s usually right where THEY left it.  Try looking ON THE FLOOR!  Or it’s followed by, “mom, why didn’t you…”  Why didn’t I what?  Why didn’t I let you sleep?  Why didn’t I do everything for you?  Why didn’t I give you everything you wanted?  Own something at least.  For the sake of sanity.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to get ready for work and dad (God love him) is already AT work, so it all lies on me.  Oh and then there’s the dog.  The dog just grabbed a sock from the laundry room, and is chewing on it in the living room. Or maybe some underwear.  That seems more appropriate.  Or someone just dropped the box of cereal and did a poor job of cleaning it up and I have to get it or the dog will eat it and have diarrhea all over the place.  I swear his stomach is daintier than mine and I have to eat gluten free.

I’m not complaining.  I’m explaining mornings around here.  They’re not simple.  They’re not peaceful.  They’re a lot of little things that add up and make the morning go by super fast.  Those little mandatory things that have to be done are what make us screech up to the bus stop like Cosmo Kramer and thank baby Jesus that we made it yet another day.  I wonder what a well-oiled, peaceful morning is like because we do lunches and make coffee and set out clothes the night before.  Don’t answer that.  I’ll get jealous.

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