December 13, 2002 - Friday
The boys mother leaves for work about 6:45. I try to leave to bring the boys to school and daycare by about 7:50. I almost never leave on time. Lately, perhaps because it stays dark later into the morning, the boys have been sleeping a bit later and this week we often haven't started breakfast until 7:15. That's about a half hour later than we need to and it makes every bit of Harry's stalling and dallying at the table all the more aggravating. Still, I've been maintaining as strict a policy of not talking about it with him as much as possible, but rather just getting up with Jeremy and leaving him there to finish by himself. Still, the immediate results are far from satisfying and, often, neither are our mornings together.
As I see it, to leave by 7:50, we have to start breakfast by 6:45, go upstairs to brush teeth by 7:20, and start getting shoes on by 7:40. Before establishing those time markers for myself, I used to get exceedingly frustrated that putting on shoes and jackets on the three of us could take as long as it did and inevitably make us late. Over the last week or so, of starting the process far too late, I've been able to shave a minute or two hear or there by, moving my toiletries into the kids bathroom and brushing my teeth and shaving while they brush, or by leaving Harry downstairs by himself to finish the breakfast he's started to dally over while I go upstairs with Jeremy. However, the time gaps remain surprisingly consistent. When things start late, we leave late.
That very awareness, though, has aided my ability to barely maintain a psuedo-Zen approach to mornings, and I have tried very hard to withhold negative remarks from behavior that does not overtly and purposefully delay our routine departure. After all, the boys will be boys and their happy unfocused play is, excepting its affect on our pending departure, usually fairly innocent and just what they should be doing as boys. As a substitute, in the face of mounting frustration that time is passing by as the boys wane in the attentiveness that might accelerate our schedule, I often have invoked the clock, passage of time, and the fact that fooling around has a direct relationship to our "being late," but the concepts are almost certainly beyond Harry's reach. I have also been working hard to associate our available time to divert from a straight path to school and go on the "bumpy road" with Harry's speed at eating breakfast. Sometimes I think the idea is gaining traction. Sometimes I do not.