Today I thought I’d talk to you about the joys of the before school morning routine. Mornings are chaotic in most homes I’m sure – getting dressed, eating breakfast, and packing bags – and if you’re a working mother – getting yourself organised for the day too! Well … throw into the mix two kids with their own agendas and need for routine and things get interesting!
In the mornings, Tom likes to choose mini-figures (usually either Superhero Squad or Star Wars) and he plays alone in his room, recreating dramatic scenes from episodes of the shows he has seen. He prefers not to be interrupted and becomes very distressed if he doesn’t have at least thirty minutes to do this each morning. It all works quite well if we keep to the routine – get up, eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, pack back and then play. James prefers to start the day on the wii or the Xbox. He really enjoys the Lego games – Harry Potter, Star Wars, Indianna Jones, Lord of the Rings etc. He would prefer that Tom play these games with him but as I’ve said, Tom would prefer to play quietly on his own. This always causes dramas! This term, James has actually started his day in the bath! Yes … the bath! He has had periods of high anxiety this term and the Epsom salts bath to start the day seemed to calm him. So each morning before I woke him, I’d make a lovely, warm bath with Epsom salts and oils, and then pop him in it. He would even eat his breakfast in there! I mean seriously! This is why he is often referred to as “His Lordship” around here! But you know … whatever works! And this works!
As you will recall, this term featured lots of rain! Every mother hates drop off or pick up in the rain. It’s awful! However the rain brings with it extra issues for our family! Tom really dislikes the rain falling on him – mostly he dislikes it falling on his face. It’s like he’s being physically assaulted by each drop of rain. So to help him cope, he needs his school hat on and an umbrella at the ready. This is reasonably achievable. Managing James in the rain however is a precision operation. Each morning before we get out of the car when it’s raining we have the following conversation.
Me: James – do we lick poles?
James: No Mum!
Me: James – do we jump in puddles or lie in puddles and drink the water out of them?
James: No Mum!
Me: And James – do we lick the entire circumference of the car with our tongues?
James: No Mum!
It amuses me that when we then get out of the car I can see James looking at the pole or the puddles or the car with a sideways glance and a big smile. I will then say, “James – we don’t lick poles do we?” and he will smile and say, “No Mum … I’m just thinking about the pole. My brain says don’t lick the pole but my body says lick, lick, lick!”
So mostly we get into school with our dignity intact but on rainy days I really do think about my exit route from school based on how many puddles and poles I need to avoid. One day we got all the way to the car past puddles, poles and other enticing things and whilst I was loading all their belongings into the car boot James licked the entire outside of the car and ended up on the roof of the car. Sigh!
More on pick up, drop off tomorrow xxx