Monday, March 12, 2012

Breakfast Was Driving Me Crazy!

That is until I changed up my morning routine.

I used to have the older kids get all ready for school (dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed) before they were allowed to have breakfast.  Sweetie Pie didn't have a problem at all.  I just woke her up and she got herself ready.  The Spencinator on the other hand was difficult to wake up, much less get dressed and brush his teeth.  I've mentioned before that he has a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome and if he doesn't want to do something, he can put up a real fight.  Since he pretty much hates school, he doesn't want to get ready for it either.  Needless to say mornings for him us are hard.  But since he always wanted breakfast, I made that his 'reward' for getting ready.   Even so, it was still a daily struggle for the Spencinator.  I'd wake him up earlier but he'd still be rushing out the door.  I'd let him sleep in, I had him wake up to an alarm, I would give him check ins every five minutes -- nothing worked and it made our mornings get off to a terrible start.  And then there was breakfast itself.  Sweetie Pie and the Spencintor would constantly bicker through breakfast and I felt like a referee.  I couldn't wait to send them off to school.

None of this affected the Babes who usually did not wake up until after the kids left for school and she got my undivided attention during breakfast.  See how happy she is about that.
 So, what did I do to save my sanity?????

I decided to let the Spencinator have breakfast first.  This had two very positive outcomes.
1.  He thinks it is great to eat while still in his pj's and before he is ready for school so he wakes up and gets out of bed pretty much right away.  No more fighting with him to get out of bed.
2.  He eats breakfast by himself, without Sweetie Pie there to argue with.  I sit with him for most of breakfast and we enjoy some nice one on one time together.

After I get his breakfast all ready for him, I go up to wake up Sweetie Pie who gets herself ready for school.  By the time she is ready, the Spencinator is done eating and he goes to get himself ready.   I get Sweetie Pie's breakfast ready and enjoy some one on one time with her.

Oh, it is so much better.  Why did it take me so long to make this change?  One reason is because I wanted to be efficient and only prepare breakfast once.  Another is because I wanted us to eat together like a family "should" and I could help the Spencinator learn to interact nicely.  Well this wasn't working and our new plan has brought more peace into our home so that's what I'm sticking with.  For now anyways, who knows how long this will last and what I'll have to come up with next.

Here's how this morning's wake up routine went:

Me:  It's time to wake up and go down for breakfast.
Spencinator : OK (but doesn't open his eyes)
Me:  What do you what for breakfast?  Oatmeal or cereal?
Spencinator :  Cereal.
Me:  OK, what kind of cereal?  Rice Chex or Cheerios?
Spencinator :  You can borrow some.
Me:  Borrow some?  Borrow some what?
Spencinator :  You can borrow some socks.

I think this is a side effect of daylight savings.