Here we are Baby and I... it's 9:08 AM.
She's watching Dora the Explorer... because it's never too early to start learning a second language.
And I'm writing to you... because it is, in fact, too late for me.
This is not a typical morning routine but I thought I'd own up to it and take advantage of a few minutes of quiet to pound out a post.
Lately I've had all sorts of thoughts.
I've been thinking about marriage. I've been thinking about this time... in my life... with young children.
I've been mourning the loss of time I can't seem to stop up.
I've been struggling. I've been succeeding. I've been anxious. I've been optimistic.
I've wept with gratitude... and... from the unbearable longing for a freedom I can almost taste... but fear... may not materialize.
I've... been... alive.
Maybe one day I'll have the time and space to sit and write it all down. Maybe one day I'll write a book. I do have something to say.
But, for now, I'll ask you to share the most mundane of the mundane.
I can't help it.
For the last two days I have been wondering what everyone does in the morning.
You know... how you get out the door. Or get others out the door.
Last year, in our house, the morning went terribly. It was the worst time of the day and tears were quite frequent.
Getting up for school was hard on everyone. We are not morning people! We are not early risers! For the first semester I got up and woke up Kid and Mr F. But, there was a learning curve... and it was our first year of school. Mr F has ADD (as I've mentioned) and it is hard enough for him to get to work on time... alone... let alone having to swing by Kid's school (literally on his route to work) and drop her off. They were late... A LOT. It was stressful for me and I let that trickle down. It was hard.
Then I broke myself and the mornings became Mr F's responsibility. He didn't mind. It was a necessity. I needed to sleep and rest and I needed to keep Baby sleeping so that I'd have less time being up and active before Mr F came home to help at night. (Do not ever break yourself... it was a very hard time... that we survived but certainly paid the price for) While I didn't get up I could hear nagging and occasional shouts from my bed. I worried about her getting started each morning on the wrong foot. I worried that it was just too much to ask Mr F to get himself and Kid ready (maybe it was?... of course he never tried getting up earlier). And I missed Kid. It didn't seem like a huge amount of time to give up... but not getting up meant I wouldn't see her from one night until the next afternoon. It felt wrong and it made me sad. I felt a real difference in our relationship and felt she was pulling away from me. It was hard.
Because Mr F loves me and is a kind hearted person he would be willing to get Kid off to school this year too. And while that is certainly tempting... I think we all paid too high a price for that. He was barely getting them out the door on time and because he was getting himself ready too Kid spent her morning either alone or being rushed. When I'm up I'm focused 100% on her. I guide her through her routine and I'm with her. It makes me sad to think back to all those mornings when she didn't have that. Mr F was awake but he was showering and walking the dog while she sat in the kitchen by herself.
So this is how we do it:
The night before I prep some of Kid's lunch.
I also get her glasses and her brush and set them out on the table where we'll be able to find them!
In the morning I get up 50 minutes before Kid & Mr F have to leave for school/work.
I check my email and the weather.
I brush my teeth.
I make coffee.
I fill Kid's water bottle and milk thermos for school.
I get out her lunch box and food containers.
40 minutes before they need to leave I wake Mr F and Kid up.
I snuggle Kid for a couple of minutes and sing her a song and rub her back.
I yell at Mr F to "Get Up!"
35 minutes before departure M F gets up and showers.
Kid and I pick out her clothes.
I ask her if she wants cereal or yogurt for breakfast and tell her to go potty & brush her teeth.
I prepare her breakfast and start on her lunch.
I go back in the bathroom to find her doing something weird and reminder her to "Brush your teeth!"
25 minutes before departure Kid emerges and gets dressed.
I ask Kid what kind of sandwich she wants for lunch.
Mr F walks the dog.
20 minutes before departure Kid eats breakfast and I finish up her lunch.
10 minutes before departure I brush Kid's hair while she eats (no she can't do it herself... it's about 3 feet long!)
Mr F makes his breakfast and lunch.
If Kid doesn't dilly dally she might be done with her breakfast with 10-15 minutes to spare. That happens maybe once a week. On those rare mornings she is allowed to watch a few minutes of TV before school. It's a pretty good incentive. She just has to put her shoes on while she watches.
They have made it to school on time EVERYDAY! Horray! And there have not been any morning fights! I've got our timing down so that it allows us enough time to get everything done without rushing... but doesn't cut into our sleep any more than necessary. Mr F is only responsible for himself and as long as he and I stay out of each other's way... our mornings are mostly peaceful.
After they leave the door I finally get that cup of coffee and then start my day over again with Baby... on a good day.
Most days Baby does sleep until right around the time they are leaving. If she gets up before that she has the potential to throw a serious wrench in our morning routine. We try our best to get out of the bedrooms quietly... but... our house is only one floor and our bedrooms are right off the kitchen. It's hard to keep all the hustle and bustle down while getting everyone out of the house. If she wakes up... she will not be happy. Baby wakes up slowly and wants to be held. That just can't happen for more than a second. I really need to have both hands free and I also want to be able to focus my attention on Kid so she leaves for her day having had a good morning. So on mornings when she does wake up before I'm done with Kid she watches TV until I can focus on her. It allows her to wake up slowly and stay out from underfoot. It's an unfortunate necessity.
That's how we do it.
Sometimes Baby sleeps for a good half hour after they leave for the day. Those days are golden. Today was not one of those days...