This morning I dropped the boys off at school and as I was pulling out of the school parking lot I asked God, "how am I going to get through this?"
In the past three weeks there have been 15 more boys added to my household between 7am-8pm and 3:15pm-5:00pm. Only they take up the space of three. For the past two school years I have had two boys to gather up and get out the door. They know the morning routines, they know the schedule, they know and have done a terrific jobs in making mornings before school and afternoons after school a smooth transition. Why? They know the routines and expectations.
I forgot a major player in this new school season. A new player. Who never cared about routines or structure because if wanted to get in the car in his "shammies" or eat his breakfast when we got back home it was all cool. If he wanted to fill his own back pack full of toys and snacks for a week it was cool. He just went along for the ride and paid no attention to the assembly both Eric and Ethan had down to a science. Now science is not an exacting method of measurement in my home, but I thought it was when it came to coming to and from school. If the truth be known I have been a crazy lady. I think one day, when Emily had a few extra moments she sincerely felt sorry for me and gathered the boys for breakfast, and when I walked in the kitchen in unison they all say "WE LOVE YOU MAMA!".
It has taken me three weeks to realize that Emerson, not having ever been told what our mornings should look like is the instigator of a lot of delays, and trouble for everyone. He now cares where he sits at breakfast. He now cares what goes into his lunch. He has not yet learned that I am not a short order cook, and I will take suggestions for a later date, but once lunch is made, it's made and you can hope for better tomorrow if you don't like today's menu. He never cared, never had a voice because he was not in school. He was never told, eat all your breakfast before you have play time. Or make sure you have your shoes on and backpack ready for school before you come to breakfast. Here is the funny thing. The older boys are now following Emerson's patterns which are not yet established and CRAZY has been every single morning. Really it took me three weeks of school to figure this out.
I have to say I am always esteemed as a mother when others come to me and ask "how do you do this?" I think to myself that I have routines, and schedules and at times have to be a drill sargent to get things moving and done around here, but it works and we have fun along the way. The past three weeks have NOT been fun. I don't like starting and stopping and feeling scattered and tattered as I am trying to march everyone out the door. Good Lord, they are counting pumpkins, watching their growth, and excited to have so many going up our walkway. I had not even accounted for that extra time and was still saying..."move along boys, we have to get going."
So now what? Crazy On-Crazy Off. I will start earlier on Monday with the "schedule chart" One in which the older two boys had when they started Kindergarten, mastered in a few weeks in that the chart no longer had to be on display. I willl then shadow Emerson to help him along, esteem is growing accomplishments and enjoy every single pumpkin counting moment. Whew. Glad I figured that one out.