Awaken Imagination

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Categories Routines, School-Age, SleepTags , , , , , , , , , 5 Comments

It’s still dark when I step into my daughters’ room. I find myself tiptoeing, even though I’m there to wake them for the day and noise is my friend. Much as I need to wake the kids, I dread the tears that will accompany their rise.

Everyone in our family has to wake up painfully early for work and school. We’re up at 5:30 Mountain Time in El Paso, allowing me to start telecommuting to my job at 8:00 Central Time. (I get easily confused about what time it is.) M has been struggling particularly hard this week. Her environmental allergies have left her completely exhausted, poor thing.

I’ve used all the tried and true techniques to get her to wake up happy. I’ve climbed under the covers with her and wiggled her toes. I’ve played her favourite music at her bedside. I’ve put her socks on her while she sleeps to grant her a few extra moments of sleep. I’ve asked her about her dreams. None of this have kept her from tired, self-pitying tears and anger at having to go through the morning routine.

Mommy's helper in waking the kids with a smile on their faces!

This morning, something finally worked. I asked M to tell me not about her own dreams, but about her stuffed toy du jour’s. She has a Care Bear, the music one (Heartsong), that she has named Fuey. (The naming of toys is a discussion for another day.) She was instantly awake.

“Fuey had a dream about going to my school, which is my work. She is going to my work to participate in my choir club. She’s going to be the audience. She dreamed of wearing her Easter dress and sitting with Caitlin who is her favourite my friend because Caitlin loves her. Mommy, I’m awake! I’m ready for the big light! I need to brush Fuey’s teeth. I will squeeze the toothpaste just to let air out which is imaginary toothpaste and brush her teeth!”

That’s the little chatterbox I had been hoping to see! She finished breakfast on time, managed to navigate a disagreement over shoes without tears, and got on the bus cheerful and ready for her Friday. I’m just hoping she’ll remember to turn her homework in.

What helps you get your kids out of bed in the morning or, for those you with early birds, keeps them in?

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Joining in With Those Who Scramble

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Categories Parenting Twins, Routines, ToddlersTags 13 Comments

Like most stay at home moms, we have a nice weekly routine that keeps my 2-year-olds, Tiny and Buba, and me busy and out there with other caregivers and similar aged kids. Most of our activities start mid-morning (9:30/10ish) and all are just minutes away. This means that there is plenty of time for everyone to get up, get ready, and get out the door on time.

Our current morning routine goes something like this: T and I get up at 6:30 (often Tiny and Buba are already awake, but if they aren’t they tend to wake once they hear us moving about). T begins getting ready while I get the kids up. Tiny and Buba each drink a sippy cup of milk while I read them four or five books, and then I work on getting them dressed. (Getting dressed has recently started to take a while, as Tiny feels she needs to be involved in choosing her clothing and both kiddos now insist on attempting to dress themselves.) By the time the kids are dressed, T is ready and he spends time with them while I get myself ready. Then we all say bye-bye to daddy and I make breakfast for Buba, Tiny, and myself. We’re usually finishing breakfast around 8:30, so there’s always plenty of time to clean up, play, and pack a bag before heading out for our mid-morning activity.

But starting Monday, I will be joining in with those who scramble to get themselves and their kids ready and out the door on time. Because starting Monday, Buba and Tiny will begin attending a drop-off playgroup (run by Early Intervention) that starts at 9am and is a good 25-35 minutes away (factoring in morning traffic). So obviously, our somewhat leisurely morning routine will have to be kicked into high gear and certain parts will need to get dropped.

There are some things that are no brainers- we will have to eat breakfast earlier, so dropping the milk and books first thing makes sense. And I’ll definitely be packing the bag (with the travel potty, extra clothes, and snacks) the night before. But what worries me are all the things I can’t control- and what I’m talking about here is uncooperative children. Tiny is especially insistent about doing things herself these days, and while she can do quite a bit by herself, it does take her FOR. EV.ER. And I know she will be most unhappy if/when it becomes necessary for me to step in and take over one of her getting ready tasks.

So what do you have in your bag of tricks that keeps your morning routine going smoothly enough so that everyone is ready and out the door on time for work/daycare/school/activities? And what do you do to prevent and/or defuse children who may melt down and jeopardize the chances of you arriving punctually?

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