Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Manic mornings

I've written about our evening routine before. The mornings are also a really difficult time for me. Ed goes off to work early so that he can be home in time for the evenings, which is great, except it means I'm on my own in the mornings.

It's a lot better since the boys have stopped breastfeeding but they're still not very good at feeding themselves with a spoon so I have to sit and help them. I try and make bed-to-breakfast a very quick transition but somebody always has to wait for something so there is inevitable crying for a short period.

You would think that once they'd had their breakfast they would be happy but unfortunately it doesn't take long for them to start whinging again. They really just seem to be much happier once we're out and about doing something. I'm hoping it will be better in summer when I can just let them go and play outside but they're still crawling and at the moment if they go outside first thing in the morning they are saturated within minutes.

So basically my plan each day is to get out and do something as quickly as possible or at least quickly finish doing all my morning chores so I can give the boys some attention. Unfortunately Miss 3 isn't really onboard with doing anything at all quickly. I have tried endlessly to explain to her that if she could independently get ready and I could independently do my jobs, we would both finish quickly and be able to do something fun. Apparently, this is a concept that the three year old mind simply cannot grasp.

J's morning chores are not arduous. 
I wouldn't even really call them chores. I'm just talking about basic hygiene. Each morning I want her to get dressed, brush her teeth and brush the knots out of her hair without making a massive fuss. 

Another problem I've been having is the road train is getting quite heavy. She's not a bad walker but she gets distracted and getting anywhere takes forever if you have to stop and look at every single thing which is mildly interesting. So I decided to combine my two problems and use a scooter to bribe/incentivise her into doing her morning chores.

I've been asking her to do her clothes, hair and teeth each day for months so I just stepped up the focus on it. I made a little jobs board so she can tick off her things and I can tick off mine once they're done each morning. The idea being that we work as a team and once she has done her three, she can help me with mine and then "jobs done, time for fun."

I can't say that this is the complete answer to my morning problems but I think it has helped. She certainly knows what she's meant to do and I think the fuss is slowly reducing. Last week we had a couple of really good mornings so I made up a little rewards chart to go with the jobs board and told her if she was very good at doing her jobs four days in a row, she would get the scooter. 

I was pretty nervous about doing this because I really didn't want her to fail and I really did want to give her the scooter but I felt like we had some momentum and maybe just a little bit more incentive would keep the ball rolling. With a bit of coaching, she got through the four days and she got her scooter. Hoorah! Now when she's making a fuss in the morning I can threaten to take it away. Not so positive and not so fun but I'm really hoping it won't be necessary too often.

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