How to Make School Mornings Easier

Originally published on the now defunct on October 9th, 2010

Jedi’s recent introduction to school has been an adjustment for all of us. While I believe he really likes going, if for nothing more than recess, he also complains every morning, pleading for a few more minutes of sleep. When I finally do manage to drag his weary, floppy body out of bed, his movements are slow to pick up speed. This means that even though I give us plenty of leeway at the time I chose as our wake-up call, we are still and always hurrying to get out the door. Isn’t that the story of a mother’s life?

Here, in all my month-full of infinite wisdom, I’ve compiled a few tips and tricks that I’ve painstakingly accrued.

Threaten and Bribe
I can’t get my son out of bed without a boost, this usually involves a bribe of a delicious breakfast. Sometimes, though, even that doesn’t do the trick. Which is when I break out the vague ‘don’t make me count to 3′ threat. It works like a charm. So well, in fact, that no one, including myself, knows what happens if I ever am forced to count to 3. Though I like to imagine it involves bacon. Mmmm… bacon.

While he’s brushing his teeth, I comb his hair. While he’s drinking his morning juice, I’m helping him apply his socks and shoes since he takes forever at it. The benefits of this are two-fold: 1.) it’s an obvious time-saver, and 2.) if his mouth if full, he’s less inclined to complain. Or I’m less likely to hear the complaints, anyway.

Get Everything Ready The Night Before
I skim through his backpack every afternoon he skips merrily through the door. No, that doesn’t really happen, but I do pull out any and all papers, pictures he’s drawn, worksheets sent home, and homework that needs completed. I empty all contents, making sure my end of the deal is done, signed, notarized, whatever necessary, so I don’t have to fumble with it in the morning. In the afternoon, that blue scribble of a dog is such a good job, sweetie! In the morning, it’d be a lot less cute.

When All Else Fails, Run
If you’re running late, is it really necessary to brush those teeth? OK, yes it is, but I’m sure there are some tasks you can rush or eliminate. For instance, good hygiene is very important, but if it’s a matter of my son washing his hands or missing the bus, the way I see it his hands are just going to get dirty again anyway. We haven’t missed a bus yet.

With these tips and tricks, your child may not be the cleanest in school, but you’ll never miss the bus, either.