Four months into the school year and we are still
perfecting working on our morning routine. We start around 6AM and don’t have to leave to get the kids where they need to go until 8:25. That is 2.5 hours. That should be PLENTY of time for a smooth morning.
I really don’t like the kids, especially SuperBoy, to start their day off stressed, or rushed. I like to park and walk him across the crosswalk at school so that he isn’t subjected to the “Slow Down and Throw Your Kid from the Car” mentality of the drop off lane. It is with a calm mindset that I want them to start their day.
Some days that works.
Others, when we are ready to walk out the door SuperGirl, having previously been dressed, shows up with her backpack on…in her birthday suit.
Some days SuperBoy melts down because he has not had enough time to finish playing Legos/Puzzles/iPod.
My all time favorite, however, is when we walk out the door and SuperBaby lays out a four alarm, squishing out the top, poopy diaper.
I’ve been discussing the idea of natural consequences with them. Little bits at a time, pointing out what natural consequences are; both in their world and in the adult world. I’ve prepped SuperGirl’s morning gymnastics instructors for the very distinct possibility that she will show up one day in her underwear (they are on board….giggling all the way).
This morning we had another little talk about it as we were getting ready. Everyone did a GREAT job today. Except for me.
I chose to sleep a little longer this morning instead of getting ready straight out of the gate. As the morning went on I decided to get the dishwasher running and respond to an email from my Mother in Law about Thanksgiving before getting dressed.
And then it was time to go.
The kids were ready. I contemplated throwing some clothes on while they got in the car and waited for me. I have NEVER dropped off in my pajamas. Ever. Chances were, though,..this would make us just one minute too late for school.
So I took this as a teaching moment: my natural consequences for the choices I made this morning were that I would have to take SuperBoy to school in my pajamas. I said “I really hope I don’t have to see anyone today! I made bad choices with my time this morning”. I patted myself on the back: the kids didn’t have to know that I planned to go through the drop off lane; our morning had been so calm and pleasant I figured it would be okay this once.
We get to school and had missed “the sweet spot”: that time right before all of the parents arrive en mass trying to get their kids dropped off in time for first bell. This meant that we very possibly would not be able to get SuperBoy through the line in the 5 minutes before bell. Doing what was best for my child now meant I was going to have to get out of the car and walk him across the crosswalk.
In my pajamas.
I sucked it up. The kids said “Everyone is going to laugh at you!” and followed with monumental laughter (we have not yet reached the stage where I embarrass them with my appearance).
As they halted traffic for us to cross the walk I joked with the teacher in charge: “Today we’re teaching natural consequences!” She laughed.
SuperBoy hugged me and ran off into the school and I returned, unspotted by most, to my van. As I slipped into the warmth of my heated leather seats, I saw sitting in my cup holder: SuperBoy’s water bottle. He had specifically wanted to take a drink with him today. He had asked about the bottle on the way out the door and I offered to grab it for him. Rather than handing it to him when I climbed in, I stuck it in my cup holder and promptly forgot.
I was going to have to take it to him.
In his classroom.
I drew a deep breath and grabbed the cup. I marched it up to the door of SuperBoy’s classroom when another teacher offered to take it in to him. “Bless You”, I say as I turned and high tailed it back to my car.Read More