Around 8:15 each morning, I’m running between the bathroom and the kitchen, putting on my makeup, cleaning up the breakfast mess, and urging Mason to get a move on.
Mason, come on, it’s time to go play with your friends at school! Let’s put your shoes and socks on. Meanwhile, Mason continues to zoom around the apartment on his Bat Mobile, completely ignoring me (pictured, left).
Five minutes pass.
Boo boo, time to get your shoes and socks on! Let’s go! Now he’s crawling around on the kitchen floor with his buses, making zooming noises. He pauses, looks up and gives me a huge grin. Then he turns his attention right back to his toys.
Five more minutes pass.
Mason (voice pleading) we’re running late, c’mon, let’s go!
He starts inching toward the door where he shoes are, but his eyes are still glued to his toy cars.
Mason! Would you like a time out? Shoes! Now!
He hops over to the door, helps me put his shoes on, then runs down the hall to the elevator. I trudge behind him, schlepping the stroller and my bag, frustrated that we’re behind schedule once again.
Of course lots of moms have the same experience every day. I met up with a group of friends at a local Mexican restaurant last night–a rare mom’s night out–and we talked about our crazy mornings. One of the women mentioned that her son is starting preschool next week and she’s looking for some ways to simplify her morning routine to get everyone out the door on time.
I shared with her that I still hadn’t figured out any solutions, even though Mason’s been in school now for a year. Breakfast can take up to 45 minutes. If it’s the high chair that’s stressing you out, why don’t you just get rid of it in the morning? she said. Give him something he can eat on the go!
She had a good point. If breakfast is our biggest time suck, why aren’t I making changes to remedy the problem? This morning I pulled together something Mason could take on the train with us–cut up fruit and whole-grain cereal–and gave it to him. He looked at it, looked at me and then ran over to his high chair and said Toast! Apple! So I fed him PB&J toast (his favorite) with some fruit and milk. Twenty minutes later than I had hoped, we finally got out the door.
Did I make a mistake by scraping my plans and catering to his demands? Or did I do the right thing? Is it just a matter of changing my mindset and accepting that having a crazed morning is part of being a mom?