The other day I made a huge parenting discovery.
As much as I want my interactions with my children to be gentle and loving at all times, I always seem to find myself exasperated and on-edge in the morning, snapping at the boys to hurry up.
The obvious answer is to wake them up earlier so they don't have to rush, but it already feels like a crime to wake them up at 5:15 am to be out the door by 5:45. I'm not getting them up any earlier.
We have already gotten into a nice routine of laying out clothes, making snacks and lunches, filling water bottles, etc the night before. It turns out I'm less crazy and snappy when I'm not running around making quesadillas and finding socks 3 minutes before we're supposed to be out the door. Go figure!
But that's amateur level. Everyone knows that. My life changing discovery that has forever protected my children from being shouted at by a mad tyrant at 5:47 is to have them put their shoes on before breakfast.
Seriously, think about it. Shoes with laces, in the hands of five- and six-year-olds, have the power to take you from on time to late. Or from a little late but still ok to pulsing vein in your neck late. Or from amazingly, totally early to... late.
And you don't want to do it for them because they need to be independent. And you don't want to sit down and get comfortable and wait nicely because it's just putting on shoes! They should be done by now! So you stand there and seethe.
The genius thing is that if they take forever to put shoes on before breakfast, then they eat something they can carry. And we walk out the door happily.
But if they are quick, they sit down and eat calmly at the table. And we walk out the door happily.
On Friday, we had the perfect morning. No wailing. No scolding. We were early to wait for the taxi, and look at the sky we were greeted with.
L prayed, on the spot, that every day could be like this one. Man, amen!