Justin and I have never been good together in the morning. Ever. I am very much a morning person. I want to talk and start the day. Justin wants to be left alone. Add a child into the mix, and, well… You guessed it: disaster.
Lately, mornings have involved a lot of crying – on everyone’s part. There are empty threats of leaving for the day without the child in tow. Rushed lunches. A child who often leaves the house without a decent hair brushing or breakfast. You know, the same morning you have.
Our morning problems stem from Robbie being very similar to Justin: he wants to be left alone. He doesn’t want to get dressed; he wants to leave his jammies on. He wants five more minutes of sleep. He wants to watch a movie or play with trains. He absolutely does not want to get dressed or brush his hair and teeth. This was going to take some work.
I started with his hair. Initially, Robbie wouldn’t let me touch him. So, I started talking about his cow lick, making him see what the cow did to his hair every night. He was so busy laughing about the thought of a cow sneaking into his room that he didn’t mind me wetting and brushing his hair. Almost brilliant, but we still had the problem of getting Robbie dressed.
Several months ago, Mom suggested organizing different outfits for Robbie in his closet. I wasn’t sure this would work because Robbie likes to organize his clothes on the floor. But I marinated on it, trying to figure out a better approach. And I may have found it. Last night, Robbie and I laid out five gallon-size Ziploc bags and put an undershirt and a pair of underwear in each one. Then, Robbie matched his shirts and running pants and put them in the bags. Presto: a week of outfits pre-matched by Robbie.
You, like I, must be thinking there was no way this would work. Robbie would surely decide he didn’t like the matches he had made. Oddly enough, it worked perfectly. Robbie was excited to go get his bag of clothes. Sure, he would have rather stayed in bed. But he was dressed in five minutes instead of fifteen and no one cried or earned a time-out. Bonus.