Good morning? It’s hard sometimes
By By Michelle Blaylock, Mom’s Corner
"Good morning Sweethearts, time to get up."
"Yawn. OK, momma."
I smile as I trot down the stairs.
"Good morning, son, time to rise and shine."
Stretch. "Good morning, mom."
"Good morning, angel, time to hit that floor."
"Good morning, mom."
I have visions of them each coming out of their rooms and peacefully take their turns in one of the bathrooms in our home. I have visions of them quietly and happily asking for their favorite cereal, eggs, toast, or whatever to be passed down the island to them. I also have dreams of when asking what they want in their lunchboxes being told something (actually anything) realistic!
Here's where you need to notice the words I'm using "visions" and "dreams," because this is not the picture of the Blaylock house in the mornings. For one thing we do not put the words "good" and "morning" together in one sentence. Granted that is mostly due to our 19-year-old who firmly believes that there is no such thing as a "good morning." I have to admit it's nothing new. As an infant she hated to go to bed — as she does now and as a infant she hated to wake up — as she does now. Well, at least she's consistent.
Oh, well, back to our mornings. With school back in session, I told the kids they had to get back in the habit of laying their things out the night before. Four of my five school aged kids looked at me and gave me that all in one collective eye roll and groan. My kindergartener just responded with, "Do I have to do that now, too?" My 14-year-old, who has been home schooled for the past two years, said, "Can I re-think my decision about going back to school?" The answer to the five-year-old was "Yes." The answer to the 14-year-old was, "No."
Actually, there are going to be a lot of changes in the Blaylock home this school year. First of all, my last "baby" is starting school. I have to admit a little bit of sadness. Although a good part me is doing the happy dance. I loved my babies when they were babies. I loved my babies when they were toddlers. I still love my babies when they start school, but I'm glad they’re not babies forever! The second major change in the Blaylock home is that my homeschooler is going back to public school. I think she's ready. I've enjoyed homeschooling her, but it's time she rejoined the forces of public school. The third major change is I've decided to start substitute teaching this year. So that means the mornings in the Blaylock home definitely have to be organized and together, because I never know when I'll get that last minute call to substitute teach.
To that effect we've spent part of our summer "organizing" and preparing for mom to go back to work. We've cleaned closets, organized kitchen cabinets, re-arranged rooms to make them easier to keep clean, and purged as much "junk" from the house as possible. We still have things we (OK, things I) want to do, but overall the house is much better and we are basically ready to start school.
No matter how organized we are, mornings are never very pretty in the Blaylock home. Let me give you a realistic view a "Blaylock School Morning." John and I are usually up showered and dressed by 5:45. (Yes, that is in the blessed a.m.). We begin waking up our "gifts from God" by 6 a.m.. It usually goes something like this: "Morning, time to get up."
"Urphgph" as they pull the covers over their heads.
"Come on it's a beautiful day, let's go."
"Just 5 more minutes, pleeeasse."
"OK, I'll be back."
"Morning time to greet the day."
"No, don't want get up, just 5 more minutes."
"Son, time to get up."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah."
"Does that mean you're actually getting up?"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah."
I head back to my 5 minute sleepers. "Girls," I call, "your 5 minutes are up. Climb out of bed. (pause) Now!"
I head back to the kitchen to begin fixing breakfast and lunches. A few minutes pass and I realize that I'm going to have to get down right flat-out mean. So I pull out all the stops with the one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt will get them out of their beds.
"Girls, if you don't get out of those beds right this instant I'm going to let all four dogs in the house and open your bedroom doors!" Now I hear some scurrying. Mornings in the Blaylock house can be so much fun.
Truthfully, I've found sticking to a schedule helps more than anything else. Children do better when they know what to expect and when to expect it. Also, to go along with a schedule is a "plan." We plan what they want to take for lunch the night before. Usually I give them a list of what I have available for example: veggies might include carrots, celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and veggie dip. They might have a choice of a "homemade lunchable" or a sandwich with whatever lunchmeat I bought that week, and of course the favorite standby of a PBJ. They have the choice of whatever kind of fresh fruit I bought that week and I usually try to keep a batch of "treats" available. Treats are normally something I've baked myself, but occasionally I do splurge for something at the store.
John is usually in charge of getting the "orders" the night before for the lunches, getting as much of it ready as possible and beginning to pack the lunchboxes the next morning. The kids are responsible for unpacking their lunchboxes and putting their coolie packs in the freezer after school that afternoon.
The kids are also responsible for making sure their backpacks are by the door, their homework is in their backpacks, and they have everything together. I find that sometimes a checklist helps at the beginning of the school year, until everyone is back in the routine.
Overall, most mornings run fairly smooth everything considered. Of course, there is a certain amount of drama involved. How can there not be? We have six kids, two adults, and four dogs in this house; of course we have a bit of drama!
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