I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person in my entire life. Even when I had to be awake in the wee hours when my children were infants, I did it, but with as much heavy resentment as you can heap on a tiny baby who smells like angel farts. In an ideal world, my mornings would be at my own pace, quiet and filled with coffee. There would perhaps be a chef standing by to make me a breakfast taco.
In the real world, what I have is about a 45 minute window to
- Wake and dress myself which includes making sure I’m not wearing anything inside out
- Clear the house of any debris caused overnight by dog occupants (including but not limited to random middle of the night toilet paper shredding and/or disgruntled peeing on a kid shoe)
- Drag children out of bed by the ankles
- Force-feed children breakfast because they don't believe in eating
- 5-7 interruptions to own makeup/grooming routine for making sure cranky ass children don’t give each other bleeding wounds before we leave the house
- Find kid shoes that match and are not in the process of being chewed or peed on (seriously, I am going to maim whichever dog is doing that)
- Scream threats about teeth rotting out of heads if they don’t START ACTUALLY BRUSHING YOUR TEETH INSTEAD OF JUST SUCKING ON THE TOOTHPASTE, GAH
- Administer daily vitamins and meds
- Remembering anything extra like show and tell or reading logs or $400 checks to Scholastic Book Fair
And I do all this without coffee because I do not have time for coffee because I am too busy explaining to my child why he cannot have “cold lunch” today because I have no idea where his lunchbox is, all I have for ingredients is tortillas and strawberry jam and THAT IS MAYBE SOMETHING YOU SHOULD HAVE MENTIONED LAST NIGHT THERE, HUH?
In short, our mornings have been sucking, big time. So, I told the boys on the way to school this morning that they were going to be held responsible for more of their own morning routines. In other words, I will feed and clothe you, but by “clothe you” I mean, I will provide you underwear. It’s up to you not to put the underwear on outside of your pajama pants and head out the door.
This was met with fear (BUT MOM, MY TEETH ARE GOING TO FALL OUT) and resentment (FINE! I JUST WON’T WEAR UNDERWEAR THEN). But I assured them we’ll have a plan. Specifically, I made a chart for each of the boys outlining the bare minimum that they will be responsible for. Every day they get a check when they complete each task. If they don’t get at least 3 out of 4 checks, they will get a privilege taken away (ipad or wii or tv). They can make up one point a day just by not being a jerkpants before 7am. I think this is fair. (I don’t think anyone will be making any bonus points any time soon, but the option is there).
What you should derive from all this is that I have become that mother who makes charts and you can go ahead and make fun of me for that if you want to, I don’t mind. At least I’m not peeing on anyone’s shoe.