I am not a morning person. Not by a long shot. I get up and get children ready for school out of necessity and duty, and while I find joy in it after being up an hour or so, it doesn't come easily. I'm pretty grouchy in the morning, and that's putting it nicely.
Bria, my eldest daughter, has always been one of those morning people that are up with the sun, happy and chipper and ready to greet the day with a smile. Which is good, because she does temper my grouchiness to an extent.
Still, mornings are typically not a well-oiled machine around our house. I have learned to set out their snowpants, coats, gloves, scarves, and hats by the radiator the night before so that bundling up actually makes them warmer (we keep all of that stuff on the enclosed front porch, which isn't heated). I have learned to check backpacks and set them by the door the night before, otherwise homework is forgotten, planners aren't signed and general chaos ensues. I have learned to pack the bulk of their lunches the night before (minus the sandwich) or else I find myself paying for hot lunch far more often than I am truly comfortable.
And still, the process of getting the girls out of bed, dressed, breakfasted, bundled and out the door isn't a pleasant one for me. Let's just say the snooze button gets hit an awful lot, especially since it is still pitch black when the bus picks them up these days, not to mention the time we actually have to get out of our cozy blankets.
A few times this winter I forgot to set my alarm clock, turned it off instead of hitting snooze, or just plain hit the dang snooze button one too many times (who invented that thing, anyway?). This, of course, resulted in my driving the girls to school very late, or at least running out the door and flagging the bus driver down at the corner. Bria was not happy with me whenever that happened and she demanded an alarm clock of her very own so that she could get herself up.
We obliged and bought her a cute little heart-shaped Hannah Montana alarm clock for Christmas. I was shocked at how excited she was to receive this gift, as Bria is usually a bit more subdued about her gratitude. Not this time. She opened that gift and before I knew it she was flying at me to hug and kiss me and thanking us over and over again.
Well, I should have bought it on the first day of school! It has been wonderful! Bria gets up at 6:30 am, all on her own, and even manages to get her sister up most days. She gets herself ready, makes her bed (still working on Chloe), gets them both breakfast and is usually bundled up and ready to go before my alarm even goes off. In fact, these days we're more likely to be awoken by the sound of happy little girls chatting in the kitchen over their Cheerios than we are a bleeping alarm clock. (And yes, I meant to type bleeping.)
I can saunter out of bed just in time to make sandwiches, put their lunchboxes in the backpacks and make sure they brush their teeth. Then we head out the door to the bus and I come home and head straight back to bed where I stay until the sun comes up an hour later. I can do this because I usually walk them to the bus stop in my (very warm) pajamas.
I'm still not a morning person, but at least mornings are a tiny bit more enjoyable now.