4 years ago

Waffles in my rear view

Is there a Mother Guru out there who has a fool-proof plan for getting your kids to school on time?

I am at my wits end.

When my children were smaller, the rush to get them to school and my husband and I to work was nearly unbearable. There was a lot of crying (me), begging (more me) and yelling (all me!) And you know what? It didn’t make a difference. The kids were still late for school and I was late for work.  It only made us all feel bad. Oh, except my husband, who not only got to work on time, but got to work, then had time to go out for coffee with his male co-workers. 

Our solution? We quit our jobs and left the country. Yes, I know that was dramatic, but you have to do what yuo have to do. We lived on a sailboat and I home schooled our 6-year-old daughter and our 10-year -old son for 4 years. The kids always got to school on time, right?

Of course not! All they had to do was literally walk up 3 steps from their rooms on our catamaran, sit at the salon table, and school could start. Some mornings they were still late, but it was bearable. 

When we returned to the US, and our kids entered 6th and 10th grade, we all agreed we couldn’t go back to our old ways. Just in case, we moved close to the school, less than two miles.  My daughter is almost always on time but my son can’t get it together.

Nearly every morning he comes down late to breakfast, usually in a towel,  looking for his clothes that are still in the dryer because he waited until the last minute to tell me he needed them.  This grew old very quickly, so I came up with one of many plans.

Plan One. I told them, “The car is leaving the house at 7:50 a.m. at the latest. If you aren’t in it, you will walk.” They didn’t believe me. They tested me. Big mistake. If you were in my neighborhood that morning you would have seen two teenagers, struggling under the weight of backpacks and lunchboxes, running after a quickly disappearing blue SUV.  The boy was  half-dressed.

That actually solved the problem. Now when I leave the house, they are generally right with me. Score one for mom.

Plan Two. Coming to the breakfast table on time. If they are late to breakfast, then they will be late out the door. My husband and I came up with an idea. We make breakfast, but if they aren’t at the table by 7:20 a.m., they don’t eat.  In my husband’s words, “If you don’t get to the table on time, the only way you will see these waffles is in the car’s rear view mirror.”

Sadly, that didn’t work. I felt guilty about wasting food and worried they would go to school hungry. And you now how it goes. Go to school hungry, get bad grades. Get bad grades, don’t go to college. Don’t go to college, live a life of crime. I don’t want my kids to live a life of crime. I gave them the waffles. Score one for the kids.

So we are at a stalemate. We leave later and later and when we do leave, my son has less and less clothes on.  He finishes getting dressed in the car. We may have to get an RV so he can shower and dress on the way to school. 

How do you manage the morning routine?


Carla BeDell

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