Moms Columns & Blogs

August 29, 2010

Prep work key to mad morning dash

With elementary school now under way, we're still trying to figure out exactly what time we need to get up.

With elementary school now under way, we're still trying to figure out exactly what time we need to get up. Obviously, we want plenty of time to wake up, leisurely get dressed, have a nice long breakfast, time to talk and set some personal goals for the day.

Who are we kidding? The object is to sleep as late as possible, and still make the bus.

An hour in the morning with my son would be nice. But I'll see him soon enough when he gets home. And there will be a lot more scoop at 2 p.m. than at 7 a.m. So I've narrowed us down to a 30-minute morning. Fifteen minutes to wake up and get dressed. Fifteen minutes to eat breakfast and brush teeth. I fix breakfast while he dresses. And make his lunch while he eats. Done and done.

You have to do a bit of staging for this, of course. Clothes need to be laid out ahead of time. And there has to be milk in the fridge for cereal. The kind that's not expired. And the book bag has to be all packed up and sitting at the door. Staging is key.

I could probably get it even tighter - like if I made the lunch the night before. Then when he's eating, I could be putting his socks and shoes on his feet. And squeezing toothpaste on his toothbrush. That'd probably get us down to 20 minutes.

And I could probably shave off another five minutes by having all the arguments the night before. Go ahead and tell him, "You can't buy lunch from the cafeteria, I'm not driving you to school if you're late, and you have an apple instead of chips, because your sandwich is your carb."

Then quickly follow it up with all the answers to the questions you know are coming: "Because if anybody's buying lunch around here it's going to be Mommy, I don't like driving in my pajamas in case I get pulled over, and a carb is an FDA term and the thing standing between Mommy and a size 6."

Even that fifteen minutes could be knocked down. His clothes are already wrinkled, so why not just sleep in them? That way when he wakes up, all I have to do is slide his sneakers on right before his feet hit the floor. Give him his book bag on the way to the front door, and right before he leaves, hand him a banana. I've cut out dressing, eating and tooth brushing. I'm a genius.

And the morning lasts exactly five minutes. And since it takes me 10 minutes to get my eyes open, I can just go on back to bed.

Until it's time to get ready for preschool...

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