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Don’t blame me. Blame the Big Hand.

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Now that summer is officially over and October is here, we really have no excuses to not be into our “new” routine yet. Well, I have a confession to make: we’ve just now gotten into a smooth routine. What was the hold up? How hard can this be?

Part of the challenge is the fact that Claire has always had a later bedtime than most. My husband works a later schedule, so if Claire went to bed earlier, she wouldn’t get to see Daddy at all. For all three-and-a-half years of her life, this hasn’t been an issue. Bedtime at 9:00 pm and getting up after the Crack of Nine the next day has worked for us.

The Young Preschooler Class she did last year on Mondays met at Noon. Perfect! No struggles! Now that preschool starts at 8:45, we’ve been struggling with the new schedule. And, by “we” I mean me and the voices in my head. I’ve been struggling with the new schedule, and Claire is just being a typical 3-and-a-half year old.

(Here is where I’ll take a moment for all of you who think 8:45 is a late hour to stop laughing at me. Don’t judge! I’ve always been a Night Owl. I can be a morning person if I’m required to be. I just don’t like it. For years, I had a job where I had to get up at 4:30 IN THE MORNING in order to be at work by 6am. Painful. Very painful. But, I did my time, and no one could tell that it nearly killed me.)

I have a feeling that if we went to preschool every day, we would have been into our new routine within a week or so. But, because it’s only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we can be slackers on the other days. If I had a dollar for every time the words, “Come on! We have to hurry!” escaped my lips on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I could add my newfound money to the budget and justify sending her more often.

If only it worked that way.

I thought there was no end in sight to the struggle I faced on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Claire loves school. She loves going to school. She also has no concept of time and loves to dilly-dally. The more I’d try to tug on her to leave the house, the harder she’d pull right back.

Push-Pull. Pull-Push. Isn’t Momma funny when she gets so frustrated?

And, then it clicked. I was tired of the being the bad guy, so I decided to find something else to take the blame.

Enter the old-school clock we have in the kitchen and Claire’s love of numbers.

“Claire! Let’s race the Big Hand. Do you see that Big Hand? We have to be done with our breakfast before it touches the 3!!”

And, it worked!

Now, every Tuesday and Thursday morning, we race to have our breakfast done by the time the Big Hand reaches the 3, and then we race to have our teeth brushed and clothes on by the time it gets to the 6.

Now, every Tuesday and Thursday morning, she is the one telling me how close the Big Hand is to the 3 or the 6 and every number in between. I haven’t said, “Come on! We have to hurry!” once, which is a shame. I was looking forward to those large bank deposits.

How do you deal with the we-have-to-be-out-of-the-house routine without going crazy(ier)?

Author: JoAnn

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  • comment avatar Danielle October 1, 2009

    What a great idea! It’s amazing how if you change their frame of mind they have a completely different attitude.

    Brushing teeth is the problem at our house. I’ve figured out that the more fun it is-the better he complies. Blue toothpaste=blue tongue. Brushing=bubbles. Brushing his tongue=it tickles! Anything to eliminate the swinging arms and legs. Did I mention he’s a strong little man?!

    Thanks for the idea JoAnn-I’ll have to use it in the future!

  • comment avatar JoAnn October 1, 2009

    Thanks, Danielle!

    The way we got over the brushing of the teeth struggle in our house is this: Claire gets to get out her cup and brush. She gets to get the water. I squeeze on the Pink! Princess! Toothpaste!

    Then, SHE brushes her teeth, first. Then, it’s my turn to polish them up.

    For whatever reason, that works. *I* have to be okay with the process or it doesn’t. Funny, huh? 😉

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 1, 2009

    What a great idea! Unfortunately, my children are numbers challenged so that would NEVER work for us. 🙂

    That said, we’re rarely/never late. I don’t know why that is. Probably just knowing how long it takes us to get ready whilst factoring meltdowns or last-minute poopy diapers, which always seem to happen!

  • comment avatar Lori October 1, 2009

    Great idea, and multi-functional, too!

    I got nothin. I think, through sheer force of will, I get them in the car in time, by hook or by crook.

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