There is a very good reason why I don’t generally let the kids watch tv while they’re getting ready for school anymore. Where in the past having the television on kept us on track time wise (what, Handy Manny is over? Get to the bus stop right now!), lately it’s become more of a distraction than anything else and I’ve realized that if I want the girls to keep moving and getting things done in the mornings, the tv has to stay off.
Which is why our rule is that no tv until or unless everything is done and both Abbi and Hannah are all set to head to the bus stop. Realistically this means that the tv is pretty much never on since they take forever to get ready and aren’t usually set to head out the door until it’s time to go out to the bus stop anyway.
On Friday morning, the girls were wound up because it was the day of the big Walkathon at school. I turned the tv on because I wanted to check the weather forecast and ended up switching it over to Martha Speaks because it looked like both of the girls were ready to go. Abbi had her backpack on and everything.
Just as I was telling them it was time to head outside, Abbi looked down and realized that she didn’t have her gym shoes on yet. And she didn’t remember where she had put them. She and I began to look around but as Hannah went outside and called to us that the bus was coming, Abbi was forced to scramble to grab a different pair of shoes to wear.
And ran out to the bus stop in stocking feet, carrying shoes, just in time.
About 30 seconds later, I walked into the bathroom and discovered Abbi’s gym shoes – on the counter. But the bus had already left.
It was a good thing that I was helping out at the Walkathon anyway – Abbi called me from school at lunchtime to see if I’d found her gym shoes because the ones she had grabbed weren’t going to work for her if she was going to be walking that much. Normally, I’d just let her stay in the other shoes all day to help her learn the lesson to keep track of her things (and to put her shoes on her feet, not the bathroom counter!), but knowing she was going to need to be walking a lot, I took her gym shoes with me to school so she could change into them.
We use checklists both in the morning and the evening to make sure that the girls (mostly Abbi) don’t forget anything, but so far I’ve just had ‘grab all of your stuff’ on there and didn’t think I really needed to spell out, “Don’t put your backpack on and stand around watching tv unless you are sure that you’ve got your shoes on your feet where they belong!”.
Apparently I need to get a little more specific.
And remember to keep the television off!