Our church school has started, with my kids more excited than they’ve been in weeks. However, they get this strange quality honestly. I can remember that excitement that comes from walking through the classroom doors! Sitting down in your new desk, getting out your pencils and erasers, scouting out your neighbors, and seeing exactly how far it is from your desk to the teacher’s.
My schooldays hold many wonderful memories. I even love the smell of a classroom! And I’m glad that my children all love it, too. At least for the first week!
To survive these hairy-scary school mornings, I have developed a plan. I figure no captain goes into battle without a battle plan. Neither does a mama of six go into the school year without a plan of survival.
When you have a husband to get out the door by 7 am with a hot breakfast in his belly and a packed lunch on his arm, five children to feed breakfast to, four lunches for school to supervise, and one wailing two-month-old that won’t take “in a minute” references to his breakfast . . . it can go downhill at the speed of lightning. And when things go downhill, I start getting snappy.
Yet I figure that even if our mornings go the way I’d like them to for 55% of the time . . . well hey, we’re still in the majority. My motto is this: state your plan, set your expectations low, and be pleasantly surprised when the plan is actually followed.
So even though first-grader Logan thinks it’s tragic that we must eat oatmeal two times a week just because it’s on my battle plan, he doesn’t realize it’s keeping mama happy. I love not having to think about what to make for breakfast at 6:30 am. I’ve already got it figured out, wrote out, and buddy, that’s what we’re eatin’.
In case you’re curious, here is part of my plan that hangs on the refrigerator so the kids can read what’s for breakfast, and what they pack for lunches.
This is how I’d like it to go most of the time. Ok. I’d even be happy with some of the time.
5:00 am Baby Dallas wakes up to be fed. So into bed with mama he goes for his pre-breakfast snack.
5:50 am Alarm rings. Hubby hits the snooze.
5:55 am Alarm rings again. Dress, hair, and start the coffee.
6:15 am Morning run down to the meadow. For all of a whopping 5 minutes. But it’s still five minutes just for me!
6:20 am Start Lowell’s lunch and throw breakfast eggs in pan.
6:25 am Alarm rings for whichever child is on breakfast duty that morning. They get dressed and come down to the kitchen.
6:30 am Breakfast duty kiddo and I whip up breakfast, empty dishwasher, throw in last night’s dirty dishes, pack Dad’s lunch, and set the breakfast table.
6:45 am Give Dad his breakfast. Wake up the rest of the kids.
7:00 am Dad escapes the madhouse while the others sit down for breakfast.
7:20 am Breakfast is “usually” over and kids all pack their own lunches. First-grader still needs a little bit of help, though, or he’d end up taking only carrots and ranch to school.
7:35 am Chore time. Dog needs fed and watered, beds get made, and rooms cleaned up. Breakfast dishes need rinsed and put in the dishwasher. We’re also trying out a new laundry schedule. Derek and Logan do their own laundry on Wednesdays & Saturdays, and Terrel and Megan do their laundry on Tuesdays & Fridays. I get to do everyone else’s on the other days. So far, it’s working well. And it keeps them from forgetting everything I taught them during the summer about washing clothes.
7:55 am Time to head to school. Baby must be well-fed by this point, or he will holler the whole way to school. Coffee goes with me.
8:15-8:20 Have kids to school and head back home, or go grocery shopping with my two littles, or run packages to the Canadian border for Lowell.
Such is the morning life of one in the Shoe!
How do you survive school mornings?