I know, before I even open my eyes. I hear her little noises, so different from the ones that she makes when she’s just moving around in her sleep. Her excitement, when she realizes, that I’m slowly waking up as well. I’m not sure when I lifted her up in our bed, but here she is, right next to me, crawling onto my chest and giving me big wet kisses on my cheeks, lips and chin. It’s her favorite thing these days. Kissing. Big wet kisses that she makes by putting her open mouth against my face and then breathes out. I know of nothing sweeter than her morning breath in my face, the drool I could do without though. But who cares. I didn’t even get to take my mascara of last night.
Her screeching attracts attention, and within a few minutes the bed is full of warm bodies, legs and arms and long hair. We’re all being cozy for a few minutes, but I know it’s time to get up and get the day started. Staying in bed too long will just make this peaceful morning scene end up in some kind of fight, a foot kicking someone else or a teddy bear being stolen, causing a scene.
It’s part of my new morning routine. Getting out of bed just a little bit earlier makes a huge difference. It gives me time for give out an extra hug, it gives me a bit more patience if a situation that could end up in tears, suddenly appears, and sometimes it even gives me time for a shower or a cup of coffee. It has been a few weeks now, since I started incorporating these new routines into our morning and though we have had rough mornings since then, with tears and children who didn’t want to put on a shoe or got upset by the bare thought of having to say goodbye, it has made things better. It’s all so very simple, but every day I see, how it makes things easier and our mornings so much better.
Now our morning starts the evening before. Every night before dinner I ask the girls to find clothes for the next day. Not just pants and a shirt, but everything. Including underpants, socks, jacket and hair elastics. We even look at the weather report to see what tomorrow will bring. If we will need rain boots or sandals. While cooking dinner, I plan tomorrows lunch boxes. Only planning though, as I still believe that lunch tastes better if it’s packed fresh in the morning. We talk about the next day, what we’re going to do, what they’ll be doing in school, if they have to bring in sneakers for physical exercise or pack their ballet clothes.
The mornings are pretty much the same day after day. The girls use the bathroom while I prepare breakfast. No new breakfast options are presented during the week, they know what they can choose between and that makes things easier. While they eat and talk and maybe do a drawing together, I prepare their lunch. Then it’s time to get dressed and because everything is laid out in their room, it takes no time at all. And most importantly, causes no crises. We brush teeth, comb hair and are left with a little time to spare. Sometimes just a few minutes, sometimes half an hour. We talk, practice ballet steps in our living room, play with baby sister and drink a cup of coffee. All before drop-off, all without tears, all because of a few simple routines.