As promised I'm sharing my worst, BAD MOM moment ever, or at least to date. But there is a lesson to be had so read on, if not just for enjoyment and reinforcement that you are not alone in your struggles.
It was the first week of Olivia Mae's Kindergarten year. For those of you who have seen my daughter you know that she is a Mini-Me. She looks just like me, almost eerily so. She also shares some of my personality traits, such as my dislike of morning and my need for plentiful sleep. When she was in daycare/preschool it wasn't a big deal because she could roll out of bed, throw on some clothes and go to school half dressed. The lovely ladies at Wonder Tots would snuggle her into her day and when she was fully alert feed her a yummy breakfast. With real school now in session she had to be up, dressed, fed and ready to learn every day by 8:00! Even at her worldly age of almost 6 it was a little more than she could muster.
The first week was painful. Having to literally drag her out of bed several times each morning, begging and pleading with her to please brush her teeth, please come down and eat. It was painful. On about the third or fourth day (I can't remember exactly as it is a bad, blurry memory now) we were downstairs fixing breakfast and I sent her back upstairs for something (maybe to brush her teeth or get her shoes??? again, it is a blur). She stomped around the corner and presumably up the stairs. After about five minutes I hollered that we needed to get moving with no response so I decided to go check on her. (NOW REMEMBER -- I myself am NOT a morning person so this was all a bigger struggle for me than maybe the average mom). As I rounded the corner of the dining room, what did I encounter???? Miss Olivia perched on the bottom step, pouting and having never even gone upstairs!!!!!! I must have gotten a terrifying look on my face because she popped up and sprinted up those stairs so dang fast. So what did I do??? Yes! I chased her! Right up the stairs and into her bedroom, I picked her up and very firmly placed her on her bed (maybe a little thrown) and screamed "WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO THIS EVERYDAY!!!! WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO THIS EVERY! FRICKING! DAY!!!!" I am not a spanker. I have never lifted a finger to either of my children, not a swat, not smack, nothing, so this was very out of character for me but I completely lost it. I quickly realized I had lost it and went and locked myself in my bedroom to cool down. The kids were late to school and the MORNING CHART was born that day while I was at work.
So what is the Morning Chart? A detailed time line of everything she needed to accomplish every morning with very easy to read times and correlating pictures. I went out at lunch bought her a digital clock from Walmart and that night we sat down and discussed the tasks in detail. I even gave her time to stretch before getting out of bed. We also discussed her bedtime and decided to play around with it. I was putting her to bed pretty early because she does need a lot of sleep and she was laying there for an hour. We moved her bedtime back 30 minutes and she started falling asleep right away. It was not an easy transition but we made it. Every morning I would holler down the hall "It's 7:15, what are you doing?" And she could check her chart and see if she was on track. "It's 7:25. Are you putting your laundry in the hamper?" Eventually the Morning Chart went away but not until sometime in first grade. And I am proud to say that now she sets her own alarm, gets herself up, dressed, hair done, fed all with no prompting and almost a smile and she has been doing this since early 4th grade. We both realize we are not morning people but unfortunately the rest of the world doesn't operate on our schedule!