Twenty-two times! TWENTY-TWO! Good grief.
One or two is understandable. Bound to happen. We’re all human.
But, how exactly do a mom and her son manage to be late to school TWENTY-TWO times in a single school year?!
It’s criminal, really -- and downright embarrassing.
We want to be on time. We hope to be on time. We pray to be on time.
But then we’re late. Again. And again. And again …. And again.
I leave far too many tasks until the morning and then run around like a raving lunatic completely baffled as to why this is happening for the 475th time. I’m a smart woman. Really. I am.
Here's the morning scenario I crave:
Micah and Molly wake up cheerfully to alarm clocks and jump out of bed.
Molly and Micah (in unison): Good morning, Mother! You look beautiful this morning!
Micah: We’d love to talk more, Mom, but we have to go get dressed in the clothes we laid out last night.
Children emerge five minutes later.
Molly: I’ll make my lunch now. You always buy such nutritious and delicious lunch choices, I have a hard time choosing what to pack! And I’ll pack Micah’s too. I garner such joy from doing acts of service for my brother.
Micah: While Molly’s making lunch, I’ll make our breakfast. Put up your feet, Mom. You deserve a break.
We eat breakfast and exchange meaningful and witty banter.
Molly: Sit down, Mom. I’ll clear the dishes and load them in the dishwasher.
Micah: Okay, time to brush our teeth!
Molly leaves for the bus stop. Micah and I leave for his school with time to spare.
Here's my real-life morning scenario:
I wake up too late.
Me: Micah, your alarm went off 10 minutes ago. Time to get up.
10 minutes pass
Me: Time to get up, Micah. NOW!!
10 more minutes pass
Me: I’m coming in there with the spray bottle. NOW!!
Micah: NOOOOO!!! OKAY, OKAY ….I’M GETTING UP!!
The only items that are dirty in the house are the ones that the children decide they MUST wear today or life as we know it will cease.
Me: Time for breakfast!
10 minutes later
Me: Your breakfast is cold.
10 minutes later
Me: You have exactly five minutes or you’ll go hungry today!
Micah finally consumes his breakfast.
Me: Okay, brush your teeth and we HAVE to go!!
Some mysterious force then prohibits him from making it from the breakfast table to the bathroom.
Me: We gotta go, NOW! Molly, your breakfast is still on the table. You’re on your own!
Micah: I can’t find my book bag!!! I need money for my field trip!!
Me: How many days until summer??
I want to say it's his fault. But he's the child. I’m the adult. I have to set better boundaries, give more consistent consequences. I have to have a PLAN. Novel concept.
(Molly's older and goes to school an hour later so we don't have these issues as much anymore.)
School is starting in mere days. Here's some things I PLAN to do differently:
1.) I will make lunches and iron clothes the night before, with the goal of enlisting the kids' help so they take more responsibility for themselves.
2.) I will make sure field trip forms and lunch money is taken care of the night before.
3.) I will get up earlier.
4.) I will make sure they put book bags at the door the night before.
5.) I will offer periodic rewards for being on time for a certain number of days in a row and consequences for the opposite.
6.) I will remember Proverbs 15:1: A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. (New Living Translation)
7.) I will remember Proverbs 15:1.
8.) I will remember Proverbs 15:1.
9.) I will remember Proverbs 15:1.
So how about you? Do you have any great ideas for making mornings smoother around your house this school year? (Or am I the only time-challenged parent in the blogosphere?!)