Every morning when the kids wake up they have strict instructions to stay in their bed until 7:00 a.m. I allow them to get up and use the bathroom (don't think I haven't considered placing a chamber pot by their beds) but they must return to their room and stay quiet until the clock reaches that magic time. You would think this would be simple enough for them to understand and even easier for me to enforce. This is not the case. There are all kinds of special cases (for example, I ask Libby to NOT return to her room if she has to use the potty, she must rest on the couch so she will not disturb Penelope) and I am way too sleepy to really discipline anyone fairly--I just turn into grumpy irrational evil bed head mommy all too quickly. So all kinds of addendums (I don't know the word but this is the best I can do---I'm trying to write this before Dragon Tales is over) have been made to this "stay in bed" rule and I can't keep up. Like, if anyone ends up resting on the couch to wait until 7:00, they end up turning on the light because they can't see the clock if they don't. And the lack of darkness leads to you guessed it, foolishness and mayhem, which leads to noise, which leads to me emerging from the bedroom grumpy, irrational, etc. (And don't think I don't realize that if I was super Mom I would just get my rear end out of bed at 7. Or better, get up even earlier and put on make-up, have a super spiritual quiet time, and fix a 3 course breakfast. In my dreams.) I have solved this problem usually by just letting them watch 30 minutes of television in the mornings.
But during the school year, they are not allowed to do this on school days. I just don't want to use up my valuable "screen time" (I mentally allow myself so much before I feel guilty) so I have started giving them work to do in the mornings instead. Often Jackson just reads quietly so that is awesome. Even Libby has begun to be able to do this. But they also want a snack and have been allowed to get dry cereal, but then this has led to chocolate chips and other not so good for a morning snack choices. All of this does have a point.
Last night I left them actual work to do, along with an educational toy for Cash. I wrote Jackson a note and told him to help Libby with her work. I was pretty sure she would need help understanding the directions. It was a worksheet. I also left her a complete the sentence and draw a picture to go with it. Jackson used to do them all the time so I figured he'd tell her what to do.
Lots to keep them busy so I can sleep an extra 15-30 minutes. I even left them healthy rice cakes for a snack. Well, when I awoke at 6:54 to hear fighting and screaming I was not happy. I used all the patience I could muster, did not beat anyone or even yell but I made it clear they were to get on the couch and be quiet.
When I got up and looked at Libby's work, it was a total illustration of why I should just get up and help them (or leave them work that doesn't need explaining!). We are talking about the letter "Y" this week. I left Libby a sentence to complete: "Yellow yaks yell if you..." and she's supposed to finish the sentence and draw a picture. I couldn't believe what she came up with. She just copied my partial sentence and then drew a picture of two yaks yelling, "if you!" at each other. I will try to take a picture of it. I didn't know Yellow Yaks liked to cuss. Maybe they did so because of the crazy morning they were forced to encounter at our house...