Writing with kids: the morning routine

When you have kids, it seems like your life is centers around their needs.  I have given up trying to fight this fact.  Everyone is much happier when I get the big items for them taken care of.  I know my needs are important.  But I am talking about the BIG stuff.  FOOD.  SHELTER. CLOTHING.  LOVE.  HEALTH.  EDUCATION.  (Sorry I don’t do fun.  They have dad for that.  I am too busy keeping people alive.) It’s kind of like Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  I am not trying to make it sound like I have this whole morning thing down.  NO. I don’t.  it actually got harder once they could do the things and stuff for themselves.

I am not a morning person.  I actually have no memory of getting to school for most of my childhood.  That is impressive because I live in north-central Illinois and it is FREAKING cold in the winter.  I think I just dozed off waiting for the bus.  One of my children gets up early.  The other has to be gently coaxed from bed; until it hits panic time and I run in and drag him out of bed.

I have managed to put my day on hold until I get them out of the house, unless I have an appointment.  In those cases, I have to get up earlier.  I know that living in controlled chaos is not good for us, but it is working for now.  Our oldest has special needs and between my need for control and his need for routine (and control–my mini-me) we have this thing down.  The younger son is a tornado.  Some mornings we have to have hugs to get going, and other mornings he doesn’t even want me to look at him.

Even though they are almost 8 and 9½ I still have to remind them about each and every step of the process.  And I do this sitting on the sofa drinking coffee and working on whatever writing I have to do.  It sounds all serine and in control doesn’t it?  I generally get up after BoyOne.  The problem arises when my morning brain looks at the kids and doesn’t process things like (“your clothes are on backwards.” and “what is that in your hair?”)  I have walked a quarter mile to school only to have to send one kid on with another family and take the oldest back home to change.

A list of things that I say in the morning:

  1. Go put on the clothes I left on your bed.
  2. Did you wear that yesterday?
  3. Go put on the clothes I left on your bed.
  4. Did you eat?
  5. Brush your teeth and wash your face.
  6. What is that on your face? Go wash your face.
  7. You have dragon breath.
  8. Where did you get that shirt? Go put on the clothes I left on your bed.
  9. If you are going to eat you need to eat now.
  10. Make sure your folder is in your backpack.
  11. Come get your lunch.
  12. You have 2 more minutes to eat. Are you going to eat?
  13. Why is your folder and lunch still on the floor?
  14. Put on your socks and shoes.
  15. Did you eat?
  16. (Bonus if I notice this.) Make sure your shirt is one the right way.
  17. Go wash your face.
  18. Go get in the car.
  19. Come get your lunch and folder.

(Takes a break to go start waking up the kids; they slept in!)

Writing is a way for me to detach my mind in the morning.  Since I have started I have been less reactive to the kids.  I can send them to do something and attend to the story in my head or on the phone, then instead of blowing up, I just move on the next item.  I am a very good multitasker and if my brain is not occupied by several things, the negative thought creep in and my interaction with the kids and deteriorate.  I want nothing more to send them off to school looking healthy and happy.


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