Today was Diddy’s first day of Kindergarten, probably distinguished most by the fact that she had me all to herself for breakfast at 6 am.
I rarely eat breakfast with my kids, as I can’t stand all the screaming and yelling and the fact that Mr. Big(ideas) thinks that they can eat fruit straight off the table sans plates. So for many years I have let him referee breakfast while I went off to walk the dog, and I’ve waited until the kids were out of the house / in the babysitter’s care before I sat down to eat in quiet, solitary bliss.
Kindergarten starts a full hour earlier than pre-school did – 8 am! Jeesh! — so we’re shaking up the morning routine a bit. Here’s how we’re trying to get out the door on time these days.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
- We pack lunches and book bags and purses THE NIGHT BEFORE.
- We put clothes out – down to socks and shoes – THE NIGHT BEFORE (although following the INSANITY of Diddy’s 5 year-old fashionista self last night, we may be moving the wardrobe session to THE MOMENT SHE COMES HOME IN THE AFTERNOON. Waiting until bedtime last night was a MESS – the kid went five rounds on what color socks she should wear).
- We find our car keys THE NIGHT BEFORE, too. Certain people of driving age around here seem to find it difficult to return MY car keys to the key bowl by the front door when they borrow MY car.
- Oh, and: we do our best to get the kids to bed at 7 pm for 6 am wake-up.
THE DAY OF – AS IN, TODAY, THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW PLAN
- 530 am: Walk the dog.
I actually did that today – I even upped my usual game and went jogging. I am a terrible jogger. My system, every few months when I attempt to re-commit to jogging, is to walk to the end of our street with the dog, and then jog 10 houses back towards our house, adding 2 houses a day until theoretically I get all the way to the OTHER end of the street and back. This has never happened. Ah well. It’s a new school year. Soon it will be a new Jewish year. So I am trying again. I want to lose 6 pounds over the next few weeks.
I also want to live through the next few weeks. This morning, as I jogged through the dark dark dark neighborhood with our incredibly not-aggressive dog, I was not so convinced that this jogging-at-530am plan was so smart …
- 6 am: Wake up Diddy (this week) and Gaga (next week when preschool starts) / breakfast.
After we talked about how nice it was to have a quiet breakfast together – meaning, Diddy quietly ate breakfast and while I made coffee and unloaded the dishwasher – we discussed the difference between feeling SCARED and NERVOUS about her first day of Kindergarten. I told her SCARED was the way she felt last summer whenever we went swimming, how she was screaming and yelling and crying and refusing to get in the pool. NERVOUS is more like she feels now, when she says she’s not sure she can swim as far as I tell her she can swim, and I have to move a few feet closer to her, and then as she swims I move back and then she’s gone 20 feet and she’s not nervous anymore.
Upshot: We decided she was probably feeling NERVOUS today more than SCARED.
Also: Mr. Big(Ideas) came upstairs to tell Diddy how proud of her he is around 620. Gaga wandered up around 625 and he made her breakfast.
- 630 am: Make my bed, shower.
I decided I got to get dressed first in this new system (as opposed to the old one, when I barely got a chance to brush my teeth each day) because my bedroom is further from the boys’ room than Diddy’s, and I didn’t want to wake the boys up yet.
- 7 am: Help get Diddy dressed and make her bed. (Next week: Gaga too!)
Theoretically, I was going to do this BEFORE the boys woke up, but Diddy woke them up while I was showering. So today I helped Diddy brush her teeth, then sent her to get dressed while I changed the boys’ diapers and brought them upstairs to Mr. Big(Ideas). He made them breakfast while I helped Diddy finish dressing and helped her clean up her room before school.
- 730 am: Hit the road.
We don’t need 30 minutes to get to school. We need about 12. That’s one of the reasons we CHOSE our school. But I had no idea what traffic was going to be like at 730 around here. Good news: it ain’t bad!
Even better news: We were ready to leave at 720 today, well in advance of our 730 am plan, which is great because once I throw Gaga into the mix next week when pre-school starts up again, I’m gonna need those 10 minutes.
- 745 am: Drop Diddy at school.
Next week, this will involve then killing an hour on the playground with Gaga, as her classroom doesn’t open until 845 am. This won’t be too rough, however, since there’s tons of free coffee and I’ve got a bunch of girlfriends in the same sitch this year.
After which I’ll turn around and head home and juggle classes with the boys, errands, attempts to exercise (I started taking gymnastics at my kids’ gym!), housework, work-work … LOTS OF COFFEE … LOTS MORE COFFEE …
And so it goes.
Report from Day 1 of the New! Morning Routine: success!
Diddy was sufficiently un-nervous by the time I got her out of the car in the school parking lot that she charged up the stairs to her classroom a good fifteen yards ahead of me. So proud of my kid – and so thrilled for her, to get to go to school with old friends and new friends in a fabulous place with the world’s warmest staff and most inclusive community.
One down, three to go!