Sometimes as a parent you have lots of time. Other times you have none. Everything revolves around time and the routines can change without warning whenever the children decide. We’ll be getting used to sleeping in until 6:30 am just to have one of the younger ones revert to a 5 am wake up. Noah is consistently up by 5:15, but he is old enough now that he can go upstairs and entertain himself, get his own food, etc. Mathias, the oldest is our best sleeper, and the morning after soccer nights he sleeps until 7/7:15. Most of those days I have to wake him up so he can be ready for the bus.
The troublesome ones are the two youngest, because once they are up that’s it I’m done sleeping. I guess I should be grateful for a 5:30 wake up. Isaiah for the first year and a half was up every day at 4:30. Curse you internal clock.
Having an early start to the day can have fringe benefits once the kids are old enough that you don’t have to sit on the couch holding them or feeding them. For instance, I get to write in relative peace while the children are still distracted by their shows, and not hounding me for breakfast.
There are days when half of the day’s work is done by 8:30. Those are usually not school days, though, because the older two still need to be walked to the bus stop. Next year will be better as we’ll be able to send the kids out on their own. Even on school days, though, I usually have had two cups of coffee before I need to have everyone bundled up and out the door.
When it’s time to go to the bus it’s all about timing and routine. I started getting the kids off the TV at 7:45. It gives them 15 minutes to make their beds, fighting the whole time, brush their teeth, more fighting, empty the garbage pails that need it, yet more fighting over whose turn it is (they love doing chores), and get their coats etc to the door. I budget 10 minutes to get coats, boots, etc on and out the door. When it’s just the older two they can be out the door in 4 minutes. When I add the two younger ones it can take the whole 10 minutes especially when Isaiah decides he doesn’t want to go. If I have to put his snow pants on for him it makes everything harder. Naomi loves going outside so she runs to the door with all her stuff, and if she could get her own snow pants on she’d be ready before the older two.
I give it ten minutes to walk the kids the 400 metres to the bus stop. With the older two it’s lots of time. When I add in the younger ones it takes forever and some days the boys are getting on the bus while we’re still half a block away. The younger two can barely move once they have all their snow stuff on. Spring and autumn are great, because they are then free and will run down the street to keep up with their brothers.
On those rare days when I was able to get my work done before school time I return home and the rest of the day is wide open. Time for the second pot of coffee, because I’ve been up since 5:30 after dealing with teething through the night. I don’t appreciate the early days until there is the rarest of days that I get to sleep until 7, at which point my day is gone and I’m rushing around trying to get things done.
Here’s to coffee and the kids getting older.