Last Wednesday, Riley made the big transition to kindergarten. Truth be told, it was a big transition for everybody. With the new school has come a new routine for all of us — an earlier routine that requires us to be out of the house half an hour sooner than we are used to. That may not sound like a lot of time, but with the summer daylight still affecting our nighttime sleep routine, it’s been a drag. A literal drag of small children out from under the covers each morning. A not-happy, not-so-quiet drag.
Four mornings into our new routine, we reached our breaking point. By the time we had to leave, Maddie had visited time-out two times and still hadn’t fully brushed her hair. Riley, when asked to put on her tennis shoes so she would be ready for gym class, took all of the laces out instead — laces that no longer had that little helpful plastic part that allows them to be re-laced. It was too much. I was tired, they were tired, and we were unreasonably late. Sensing my frustration with her choice, Riley cried. I cried. And Maddie scowled. There had to be a better way.
So, the next day, I tried something new, and it worked! They were happy and smiling by the time I toweled off from my shower. A miracle! Of course, we moms know that miracle solutions only last for a short time. We need an arsenal of tricks up our sleeves. So I combed the Internet and found these other suggestions (with a tried and true one from Lesley) to keep in my back pocket. Hopefully, they will help you as well!
Turn up the tunes!
This one was my trick. The girls are really into Sing these days, which has expanded their repertoire of upbeat songs. I made a morning playlist on my phone and turn the volume on loud. There is nothing like a dance party in the morning to lift the mood (and make them actually move).
Play to their personality
This is Lesley’s trick. Story, a wonderful, caring child, is argumentative to her core. To wake her in the morning, Lesley would pick a fight with her. The need to be right would pop her right out of those covers. While Riley may be a bit more tricky, a good story about monsters might just get my fantasy-loving Maddie engaged enough to get her head off the pillow.
Plan your loud chores for the morning
Remember when you didn’t want to run the vacuum in the morning for fear of waking the baby? Those times are gone, mama! Run that vacuum cleaner and clink those dishes to your heart’s content. You’ll have less to do after work, and they will have no choice but to wake up.
Call for backup – the dog
While I found this on the Internet, it was my mom’s specialty. I don’t know how I forgot it! We had a loving border collie growing up, and when it came time to get out of bed, my mom would simply order the dog to wake me up. Our dog would then bound up the stairs and lick my face raw until I finally got up.
Add a little competition
I’ve used competition when it comes to getting dressed and brushing teeth, but creating a competition for getting out of bed is brilliant! What are siblings for if not to compete against?
Bring the sunshine in
I had not heard of these, but I think I might have to invest in one, especially in the winter months. Light tells our brains that it is time to wake up. That’s why it is hard to get up before the sun comes up. We really aren’t made to. These “alarm clock” lights help trigger the brain to wake! Here are a couple I found on Amazon with good reviews: