Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Woody & Buzz are weeping in his underwear drawer while I do ALL the work

This morning I hopped out of bed, brushed my teeth and put my glasses on and headed over to the big four and a half year old's bedroom to get him ready for school. (we call day care "school" in our house.) Every morning we follow the same routine; I rummage through the t-shirt drawer pulling out shirt after shirt while my child lays in bed like a little prince turning each selection down. Eventually I say "pick one. NOW." Sometimes I say "You're wearing THIS ONE." We then complete this same silly dance for shorts and, believe it or not, underwear. It's underwear, dude. JUST. PICK. A. PAIR. Suddenly he won't wear any of his underwear that doesn't advertise the Cars franchise. I think I heard Woody and Buzz weeping quietly in the underwear drawer the other day...

I then haul him out of bed, literally. I pick up all 38 pounds of him, stand him upright in front of me, and help him get dressed. That's right, I admit it. I help my big four and a half year old get dressed every day.  Now I know he can do this himself. On days that he wakes up before we do he always gets dressed before leaving his room. After church he can't wait to run upstairs and change his clothes. So he is capable of getting dressed without my help. But this time we have spent together every school morning has been special to both of us. I enjoy this Matthew & Mommy time, and I know that Matthew enjoys it also. But lately it hasn't been as much fun, for me at least. The fight over what to wear, the fight to get him out of bed, all while his little brother is calling to me from his crib down the hall... it's adding stress to our house in the mornings that we just don't need. I'm sad to say it, but my big four and a half year old is going to have to start dressing himself. And he is not going to be happy about it. But I have a plan...

Tomorrow morning I am going to take a photo of him completing his morning routine. I'll get one of him dressing, one of his breakfast. I'll take a picture of him brushing his teeth with his new "big boy" toothpaste, which he hates, (he loves brushing his teeth, it is the new toothpaste he hates.) I'll snap a photo of him putting on his shoes and walking out of the front door carrying his lunch box and bag. (something else he doesn't like to do and has now learned that little brother will carry things for him.) Then I'll make a little book for him- I'm thinking of putting the pictures on a big ring so he can easily flip through them. That is step one.

Step two: he will now have to decide what to wear the night before so we can lay it out on his chair. Sounds easy, but for some reason I feel this is going to be a difficult step, like I'll just be replacing my morning frustration over pulling every shirt out of the drawer with a new evening frustration of pulling every shirt out of the drawer.

No matter what else he might eat for breakfast my big four and a half year old almost always eats a granola bar every morning. So I will lay one out on the kitchen table the night before and if he is dressed and ready before I am done with his brother he can go downstairs on his own and start his breakfast. He is not allowed to go downstairs alone in the morning so I am hoping this will be a big enough draw for him to want to get dressed on his own.

 Thank goodness I work from home most days. If I had to get dressed and pulled together enough to leave the house in the morning and head to an office I would have to be getting out of bed at the crack of dawn. And that is just not going to happen. I can see the writing on the wall. If I don't get a handle on this now then I might be helping my high schooler get dressed every morning. or worse yet, helping two high schoolers get dressed every morning!

It is not going to be easy. My Matthew is a creature of habit and change is not easy for him. He loves his Mommy and Matthew time and he is not going to be pleased that I am now helping his little brother in the morning instead of him. But my 2011 goal was to create a calmer family environment, so it has to be done. Stay tuned...


  1. Having C and C pick out their clothes the night before helps immensely!! Good luck:)

  2. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!