My husband and I are blessed that Princess gets picked up at our door step every school morning by a District provided bus. This is a little perk that the District provides because Princess's home school doesn't have a program for kids like her. I'm not gonna lie here. I love this little perk. Read on and you'll see why.
The bus arrives at our door step at approximately 6:50 every school morning. This means that Princess really should be ready on the curb when it pulls up. In order to facilitate that happening, her alarm goes off at 6:00. Yes I know that is early.
To make it easier for Princess to get up in the morning, we try really hard to make sure she is in bed, lights out, by 8:30 every week night. But gosh darn it 6:00 still comes whether we like it or not.
When I set the alarm at night, I make sure one of Princess's favorite songs or playlists are set to go off. Usually it involves Michael Jackson. ( Princess is actually sad that she will never get to meet Michael Jackson here on earth because she loves his music so much. For some reason it resonates with her.- But I digress.) At about 6:05 or 6:10 I go in Princess's bedroom to encourage her to wake up. Typically that involves turning off her fans and turning on the lights. She takes some medication in the morning so I give her that with a glass of water in hopes that once she sits up to take it, she will get up out of bed and get ready. Right now at this time of year, that is a complete fantasy on my part. After the medicine is swallowed, Princess lays back down and plays possum until the last possible moment. This may sound drastic but I sometimes have to resort to taking Princess's sheet away to motivate her to get up. When she is cold and uncomfortable, she knows one of the quickest ways to warm up is to get dressed.
I find it humorous that the one thing that always succeeds in getting Princess up out of bed is her bladder. When that happens, she bolts out of her room with lightening speed but not before taking her school clothes with her to the bathroom.
This past Monday Princess missed the bus because she refused to get out of bed. It was funny though because shortly after it left, she got up, got dressed and we made it to school before the final morning bell rang.
On Tuesday I implemented a new strategy. I told her that if she made the bus then she would get 30 minutes of TV time after school. That did the trick. She once again waited until the last possible moment before getting out of bed but she worked hard to be ready for the bus. On this particular day, she was dressed except for her shoes when the bus pulled up. The District has a policy that children must wear shoes before boarding the bus so Princess put her shoes on quickly and boarded the bus with her shoe laces flapping in the wind.
This same tactic worked well for me on Wednesday so I upped the stakes for Thursday. I told her that not only did she have to be dressed but the dog had to be fed and her shoes needed to be tied before the bus pulled up.
This morning, Friday, I kept the expectations the same as the previous day. Princess did not meet my expectations but she was fully aware of them. As she was running to catch the bus with her laces flapping in the wind she said to me " Can I still watch TV after school?" My goal is to get her on the bus with as little drama as possible so I responded with " We'll see when you get home."
The interesting thing about all of this is that I have a very detailed chart that we used this summer during summer school. It tells Princess all of the tasks she must complete and how long she has for each one. I haven't used the chart since school resumed because for Princess the goal right now is to get on the bus. You can bet that I will start the chart again, maybe even next week, but right now we are taking baby steps.
Getting back to the beginning of the post where I said that I love the perk of the school bus, by the time Princess is actually ready for the bus, it is just so nice to be able to say "Your bus is here." Princess knows the bus is not going to wait for her. By the time that the bus arrives I am spent and need a little time to recharge. Having to take Princess to school means that my fuse gets a little shorter. That's why having transportation provided for my daughter is a blessing.
Can anyone relate? What do your mornings look like? Feel free to post comments directly on this site.