New School Year, Same Old Us

We're not turning over any new leaves this year. Just calling a truce.

Yesterday, I took my kids out for breakfast to celebrate the last day of summer vacation. Over chocolate chip pancakes and bacon, I pitched them an idea. 

"I'm not changing a thousand things about our morning routine, like I do every year," I said. "We all know it never works out."

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The kids exchanged side eyes as if to say, don't we know it.

"I just have one suggestion for this year," I said, pausing for dramatic effect. "I think we should all be out of the house by 7:30 a.m."

"I'm always ready by 7:30 a.m!" my oldest wailed.

Oops. I'd forgotten about that.

My ten year-old likes to be ready early; alarm goes off, feet hit the ground. Last year especially, the poor kid just wanted to get a jump on her day, and her sister and I wrecked her groove almost every morning. If you don’t think a sandwich can make you late, you’ve never seen the glacial pace at which a child can spread peanut butter on a slice of bread.

We'd promise to do better, we'd usually fail, we’d screech into school with five minutes to spare grouching at each other the whole way, and so it went. We owe her one.

“Right. Uh, then I’m talking to myself and to you,” I said, pointing at my youngest. “Seven-thirty. One small change. Let’s do it.” 

So what does “one small change” actually mean? It means I have to make peace with my least favorite chores.

For us, it came down to two basic needs: food and clothing. Keep up with the laundry (worst chore ever) to save time hunting for clothes, and keep up with the grocery shopping (second worst) so breakfast and lunch materials are at the ready, made the night before. No overhaul of the morning routine, no labeled snack drawers. Just a truce with food and clothing.

If we can have more mornings like this, it'll all be worth it.

Three thumbs up for 7:22 a.m.

Happy back-to-school, everyone!


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