Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sept 12 2006

Herding cats. Nailing Jello to a tree. These are two of my favorite similes regarding getting children to be doing what one wants them to be doing. Near impossible, and expends a thousand times more energy to accomplish than one usually has.

My son is in sixth grade. That means, including kindergarten, that this is the SEVENTH YEAR of this same morning routine. It's not a difficult routine. Get up. (this is a hard part for him...he needs a lot of sleep. He goes to bed at 8:30ish, and still has trouble waking up at 6:30) Get dressed. Make bed (which is a matter of pulling up a comforter. No top sheet even). Eat breakfast. Brush teeth. Brush hair (if I can ever get him to actually DO that). Pack snack. Go out to wait for bus. If pressed, he could conceivably do this entire routine in less than fifteen minutes. Yet I wake him up at 6:30, and at 7:45 when he goes out to wait for the bus, there is usually at least one of these things not done. (it's never 'get dressed.' I have yet to see my boy go out to the bus naked. Although he *has* managed to sneak by me once or twice wearing the same clothes as the day before.)

I have tried a lot of different techniques to make this easier for him. I've created checklists. Yet I still find myself having to ask multiple times: "Have you brushed your teeth?" "Do you have a snack?" I may have to face the facts.


Poky people bug me. I can't stand the idea of being completely oblivious to inconveniencing others by making them wait for you, and then not even *hurrying*. While I am perfectly capable of being lazy, I can't comprehend being inconsiderate.

I'm hyper-aware of deadlines, and can't relax until that task is completed. That's one of the things that contributed to my big nervous breakdown a few years back, which was constant, never-ending internal pressure due to deadlines. Everything was a deadline. Getting ready for work in the morning was a deadline. GETTING to work at the self-imposed fifteen minutes early was a deadline. There were a billion deadlines during the work day. Deadlines about *leaving* work (and forbid if everything wasn't finished, which it NEVER was, because I was doing the work of three people), picking up kids, getting dinner ready, getting kids ready for bed, waiting for husband to get home, little timer ticking in my head that if I didn't get to bed by x time, I wouldn't get enough sleep (I mean, seriously, pressure to fall asleep? THAT'S a recipe for disaster right there).

That little timer was ticking in my head ALL THE TIME. It never shut up. Then I started having panic attacks. Which kept getting worse. Then it got to the point where I was having panic attacks EVERY DAY, usually while I was on my way to work. Then off and on during the day while I was AT work. Any time I was shopping. Whenever I was going somewhere social. It was awful.

And how on earth did a blog about Mark being a slowpoke in the morning turn into a rant about my breakdown? I'm not even going to finish this.

Besides, it's time for the kids to go wait for the bus.

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