Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How to make school mornings better.

So mornings can be brutal. Absolutely brutal. We are that family that likes to sleep until the very last minute and then rush around like headless chickens. We Fogels can sleep like nobody's business. So here is how we took some of the beatdown out of our mornings, even with a child who STILL cannot (will not) dress himself:

The Kindergartener:
Alarm clock. We took Ryan to Target when she turned 5 to pick out her own alarm clock. We lay out her uniform the night before and when her alarm clock goes off, she gets up and dresses herself and comes downstairs. Larry has her cereal and juice waiting for her at the table. While she eats I fix her hair, then she gets her shoes on. She is pretty self-sufficient.

The Preschooler:
Lord love a duck. Zane is just difficult. He refuses to dress himself and needs a lot of prodding. So we try to make mornings as prod-proof as possible. He sleeps in his school clothes (unless it's picture day or something) because I refuse to struggle a groggy, cranky child out of PJs and into school clothes. He is also not a breakfast kind of guy, but I refuse to send him out the door without anything in his tummy or to stand there and prod him to eat, so he drinks a breakfast shake out of a straw cup, which we hand him as soon as we roll him out of bed. Then I carry him downstairs and he goes potty and then sits at the table in a coma while I get his shoes on until it's time to go.

The Lunches:
We make them the night before and stick them in the fridge so we can shove them in the backpacks on the way out the door. Larry loads the lunches in the backpacks while I get dressed. (Though I am totally unashamed to be that sh#@show of a mom at drop off in her pajamas. This is the blessing and the curse of going to a very close-knit community school. You already know everybody, they already know all your junk and you can just be yourself. Even if yourself is in jammies.)

The Car Loading:
Larry loads the backpacks in the front seat and buckles Zane in the way-back (we carpool with neighbors, so we sit the kids in the order in which they get out). Zane might be the only nearly-five-year-old who refuses to buckle himself. But whatever. We have learned to pick our battles.

The Shoes/Jackets/Backpacks:
These are all stored in bins/on hooks in the laundry room, which is on the way to the garage. We can just grab them all on the way out the door.

Our morning routine is, start-to-finish, 25 minutes from the time we roll out of bed to the time we pull out of the driveway. It isn't pretty, Zane is sometimes a bit wrinkled and we are all still half-asleep, but it is SO MUCH BETTER than it used to be where everybody was yelling at everybody to hurry up, get up, get dressed, etc.  And doing carpool keeps us accountable to leave on time. We drop the kids 10-15 minutes before school starts so the kids don't feel rushed or worried about being late. (Not that Zane would care one bit.) ;)


  1. You've got it down to a science! I love, love, love "The Preschooler" paragraph. "Lord love a duck." LOL!

  2. LOL. Zane is lucky he is so cute or I swear I would throttle him! ;)

  3. This is seriously impressive.