As I grew up I learned to be lower key in the morning for the sake of those around me, particularly before they enjoyed their morning coffee. This prepared me for life with my husband, Chris, one of the crankiest morning people I have ever met, someone who gets annoyed if he runs into someone he knows on the subway in the morning because, "It's too early for jibber jabber". The thing is, Chris is somewhat capable of getting himself ready in the morning. His offspring, Jack, is not. In fact more than a handful of ECE workers have told me that they actively avoid interacting with Jackie Bear (aptly named) until he's been awake for at least twenty minutes post nap.
Dinosaur Jack, His bark is far worse than his bite!
So, how do you wake a bear, and get him ready for daycare in the morning in fifteen minutes or less?
- BE VERY VERY QUIET....make sure that parental unit(s) are completely ready for work (i.e. lunches packed, make-up on) before beginning operation "POKE THE BEAR"
- If you have other, more morning positive children, get them ready before the bear.
- Lay out clothes in advance...maybe have a second set ready for when they randomly refuse to wear a shirt because it's yellow. Hunting for socks in the morning is a huge waste of time.
- The most convenient thing about a child crying about not wanting to brush their teeth is that they've opened wide so you can provide "the assist".
- I often get Jack ready while he lays on the bed offering him the promise of two or three minutes of sleep if he cooperates, passive resistance I can work with. It's when he starts undressing and telling me to, "Scwam Wabbit" that we run into issues.
- Be prepared for subtle manipulation. Sometimes Jack goes in for a hug, which is nice, but he's really just trying to fall asleep again.
- Don't engage in ridiculous arguments, it just wastes time....of course he can't have gum drops for breakfast, just ignore these requests and carry on.
- Some juice and crackers in the car can double as "breakfast", particularly if you know they're being fed again at pre-school in half an hour.
- Pick your battles...If he wants to wear PJ's to school let him, princess costume, why not?...I let Molly wear a house coat to daycare one day and it inspired a monthly Pyjama day...cause we're trendsetters like that.
- Understand that they will make you late, especially on Wednesdays...
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