Getting the children ready for school every morning is a struggle. Some days are better than others but in general, I have to bust out the crotchety drill sergeant to get the kids ready for school on time.
I gently remind, eagerly cajole and eventually yell things like this every day:
Time for breakfast!
What do you want for lunch?
Go get dressed
Did you make your bed, brush your teeth, brush your hair? [Note: their reply of “Yea” is often refuted by my “No you did not wash your face I can see the eye puss from here”]
We’re leaving soon, pack your bag!
Why aren’t you wearing any socks?
Put on a coat, it’s cold outside!
All of this is frequently followed by “Damn, we’re late again!”
But one day last week, I’d had enough.
To set the scene, it was garbage day and there was a layer of snow and ice on our steep driveway. Rushing to get the bins down to the street, while coaxing the children into the car, I slipped and almost broke a hip. That is when the mommy temper flared and I decided enough was enough.
“Tomorrow,” I said ominously once I got in the car, “you are on your own. You are expected to do all your things without me reminding you and be ready to leave the house at 8:30 sharp. I will call out the time periodically but other than that, if you aren’t ready, you can walk to school.” [Note: School is 4 km away with 1 km being fully uphill on a 10% slope.]
They looked terrified for a moment then with one voice, reminiscent of Queen Victoria, they said “Ok, Mom, we’ll be good”
And they were!
At 7:30 am I woke them.
At 7:45 as they were eating I called out the time.
At 8 am I called the time again, starting to feel a little like the town crier.
At 8:15 after I called the time, I announced I was going to brush my teeth.
At 8:20 they had their bags packed, their teeth brushed, were dressed and ready to go in the front entrance. They had to wait for me for a change! Happy dance!
It was so peaceful and glorious, I could almost hear the angels singing. I thought “Wow, I am rocking this parenting gig!”
Then I burst my own inflated bubble when I realized “If I am sooo darn smart, why didn’t I think of this AGES ago?”
A parenting #win for sure, but this parent is kind of slow to learn!