Morning Routine

Mark Parenting 6 Comments

Prior to Sonny starting Nursery our morning routine was so loose that my request of,

“Shall we get dressed?”, would often include the caveat,

“…before breakfast/lunch/mummy gets home from work?”

I’d like to pretend my boys were free spirits who laughed in the face of routine, but in reality the merest sniff of a tantrum would see me putting their coats away and the kettle on for the umpteenth time that morning. The 10am train would often become the 11am train … the following day.

In September however, leaving the house by 8:40am became a must rather than just a fanciful and laughable ideal.

We needed a routine!

It wasn’t easy at first. Dressed too early and they’d have time to get undressed again. Too late and one of us would leave in pyjamas, tears, or worse still eating a packet of crisps (I’m not proud!)

Initially I had a three hour window to work in given they rarely stayed asleep beyond 6am. More recently however, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, we will be needing to get that alarm clock going  as at least one will still be asleep beyond 8am? Unless it’s a weekend of course, or more accurately Janet’s turn for the lie-in.

“Is it Nursery today?”, gets ignored, as there’s no room in our schedule for a ten minute tantrum.

breakfast in the parkBreakfast takes care of itself. Letting them choose their own cereal can outwit even their grumpiest early morning moods.

Removing pyjamas still remains a battle played out through a game of chasing them around the room and tickling. (At what age does tickling go from being a pleasure to a punishment? God, I hope it’s not this side of University!)

In order to get them dressed I take on the role of Gok Wan, proffering a range of options, starting with the ill-fitting and least popular and finishing with something they see as the lesser of many evils.

The speed at which they get dressed is timed in order for them to a) beat their previous best, and b) beat their brother.

Brushing teeth is dealt with by way of yet another competition to see who can brush the best. Long gone are the days of a diplomatic draw. Now there must be a winner and I’m ashamed to admit my decision is based solely on who my favourite is that morning. I know, it’s wrong to have favourites, but to be fair mine does change on a daily basis. I’m fickle like that.

I’m not sure all this competition is healthy, especially given the mockery that greets the loser. I convince myself it’s preparing them for a competitive world but deep down I know it’s the difference between them arriving at Nursery on time and us having a personal ‘late book’.

Comments 6

  1. Oh thank god, our routine is very similar. We’re normal. Have you tried telling them that the clothes you’re putting on them will make them walk backwards? Works a treat.

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  2. Ah the beauty of having a teen with Aspergers means that morning and night we have routine, routine, routine – it’s the bit in the middle when he’s at school that’s a mess. The youngest has to be pinned down to have his teeth done and he screams! I like how calm your teeth brushing looks.

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      Ah, but you can’t see the lollipops I’m holding in order to get them to both brush and pose. Kind of defeats the whole object of brushing.

  3. Love it – you are a hard worker Mark. I bow down to you, I don’t think I could do it. Strike that, I know I couldn’t do it.

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      Thanks but this is just me justifying what I do as a full-time job so when they go to school I can make out I’m still working part-time!?

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