Posted by: Jamie Stamm | August 26, 2008

Working out the kinks in our morning routine

Cera has never been a morning person, so Jerry and I were a bit concerned about how she would adapt to rising early for kindergarten.

And we’ve been pleasantly surprised.

For the most part, Cera wakes up immediately and heads to the living room for a cartoon and breakfast, although there have been a few mornings when I’ve emerged from the kitchen, bowl of cereal in hand, to find her curled up on the couch, a blanket wrapped around her as she struggles to keep her eyes open.

But, honestly, who among us hasn’t had mornings like that?

So here’s our typical routine: I set up Cera with a 15-minute cartoon (usually “Phineus and Ferb,” her current favorite, which, quite perfectly, is divided into 15-minute episodes), and she’s expected to have her breakfast finished by the time that cartoon is over. That’s rarely a problem, and it allows her 15 minutes afterward to get dressed, brush her teeth and have her hair done before we load into the van at 8 a.m. Plenty of time to get ready, I think.

Except that after her cartoon is over, Cera stalls. Some mornings, I’ll walk into the living room with just five minutes to go before our scheduled departure, and she’s sitting there in her shorts and shirt, socks in one hand as she gazes into space. Or she’ll “struggle” to put on her sneakers, an activity she can perform at any other time of the day without a hitch. Or I’ll find her in the bathroom, holding her toothbrush and staring at herself in the mirror.

It’s like she’s in her own little world.

Before I know it, our morning is no longer on schedule. And I hate running late. So I feel my voice – and my blood pressure – starting to rise.

Since she seems more with it in those first 15 minutes, I’ve thought about flip-flopping Cera’s routine, although that pretty much guarantees sloshed milk or spilled orange juice will end up on her clothes, and we’ll have to scramble to put on a second outfit. Plus, I’d rather she brush her teeth after she eats her breakfast.

It is only three weeks into the school year, so I guess I shouldn’t expect us to have worked out all the kinks yet (I’m sure we’ll encounter even more when Anthony starts preschool next week). And we don’t really have to be on our way at 8 a.m. on the dot – this morning, we left the house at 8:04 and still made it to school in plenty of time.

Maybe I just need to relax my schedule and go with the flow. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past five years, it’s that with kids, things always seem to have a way of working themselves out.

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