Emma is always awake before me. Sleeping is not her thing. So she comes over and lies a little in my bed and cuddles. And for God’s sake, I must not say that now we must get ready. She will not. Mother shall. So I say, “I’m going to pee, I’m going to the bathroom.” Some days she protests, and other days she just comes along. In the bathroom there is a small soft blanket on which she lies down on each morning and I put a towel over her so she can hide from the light and have some more time to get ready inside.
I try to put a toy in the bathroom on the floor, which is interesting enough for her to play with, but not exciting enough for her to immerse herself too much. So while she’s playing, I have time to get ready myself while I’m always saying what I do. At the same time, I put her clothes on the bathroom floor. Only underwear and stockings. Pants and blouse are still lying on top of the washing machine. Then I often say: “Ooooh, I always have to pee so much in the morning. It’s funny that you never pee. How are you doing that?” So she is a little proud and happy that she can do something, and at the same time soon she notices that she is also going to pee. Either she takes the nightgown of herself, or I take it from her while she sits on the toilet.
After the toilet she has to wash her hands and we talk a lot about bacteria and that soap rinses them away and she likes to play with water and wash her hands. While she is still standing in front of the basin, I make her toothbrush ready and ask if she wants to brush her teeth or if I shall help. She chooses and her teeth are then brushed either by me or by herself. She can choose how things are done, not if things are done.
When she’s done, because she is naked, she will, in many cases, even start dressing by herself. It seems quite manageable just with shirt, briefs and socks that lie ready for her. On other days she is a baby and must be helped. Then I say that I know she can do it herself, but I want to play baby with her and help her. Then there is a better chance that we will get out of the door and that she manages to do something else herself.
When we get into the living room, it depends on the time whether she is offered a little breakfast (so she does not start playing too much or gets interested in her tablet or the TV). Sometimes we’re late, so she can get a piece of bread in her hand as soon as we’re out of the door.
When there is plenty of time, it’s mostly because she wakes up an hour before the alarm clock rings. So, mother really needs coffee. And she may play and have breakfast. She wants to “see something”. Preferably youtube on her tablet, or if that’s not possible, then a DVD with something very specific: “Paw Patrol”. Here you can read more about our rules for tablet and DVD. But in the morning, she must not choose. I start a DVD with children’s music and dance. That means she’s busy enough but can let go of it when we leave.
The kindergarten. On good days she really wants to leave. On bad days she cries and asks me to stay home with her. On bad days I must not say that I have to go to work, that just makes her more unhappy. Instead, we focus on the good things and all her friends who are waiting for her and want to play. And we talk about the toys that are in the nursery and about the freshly baked buns that smell so good. That often works. Not always. Sometimes bad mornings take a long time and I break the situation as soon as possible because she’s fine again as soon as we get on.
It does not matter how much she did not want in the kindergarten in the morning. She does not want to go home when I come to pick her up. She is always doing something and she does not want to be interrupted and she does not like change, so I should not decide what she is going to do. So I pick her up late when there are not so many children left. This makes it much easier for both of us. I always say hello to her, tell her that I’m picking up her bike helmet and her stuff now and that then we’ll go home. And then I also mention briefly what I’m going to do today. For example, I have to go shopping, so she has to help me to decide what kind of fruit we should bring home. Then she can prepare for this while I’m packing up. And then it’s just a matter of minutes or half an hour until we finally get out.