The list that brings peace in the morning
IF I’D said “brush your teeth” one more time I might have gone mad. Bonkers. Just like those cartoon characters whose heads spin so fast they shoot right off. That was me every morning after asking my almost seven-year-old to get ready for school.
My normally gorgeous, considerate, school-loving child is great everywhere else, but unfortunately for me, not so much in the morning.
And that is despite starting every morning with the best of intentions.
But every day was the same.
Cue anger. A screaming match. Frustration. Tears — and we were only one sock in.
What do you do when you don’t know what else to do? You whinge to a girlfriend.
Even better than kind words, she had a solution. The solution? A To-Do List.
Now, it might not sound as earth shattering as it is, but I implore you to give it a go because in my experience, and hers, it works.
That very afternoon, my daughter and I wrote it together, detailing the simplest of morning tasks.
Then we put a little box next to each task, and found a clipboard and a pen that were all hers to care for. She woke up excited. I woke up smiling.
“Mummy, I have to have breakfast, that’s first on my list,” she said at precisely 6.18am. Tick. Make bed, clean bedroom. Tick, tick.
I know that empowering a young person makes sense. But when you’re in the trenches, when you’ve got three kids to wrangle, a kitchen to clean and a time crunch to get out the door – well the “lead by example” way can get lost in the wash.
I’m hoping this is my change that will make a change in her. In us. That we can work together instead of learning behaviour that is sure to drive us apart.