When the same people ruin your morning, every morning

I started driving my kids to school earlier this year. It tacked an additional 30-45 minutes onto my already-lengthy commute, and God knows how much more money in gas per week. But I figured if they could avoid a chaotic bus ride, it would be worth it because we’d all start the day with a much better morning.

Alas, it hasn’t worked out that way.

Every morning, the two of them bicker incessantly like an old married couple who should probably just divorce. In fact, they bicker so much that it’s apparently hard for them to get ready on time. I have to continually remind both of them to do pretty basic things, like brush their teeth and hair, or put on deodorant, or put on a jacket when it’s 40 degrees out and my car is coated in a thick layer of frost.

They’ve also developed a habit of waiting till time to leave to tell me about important things that need to be done. Like homework they couldn’t take a break from playing on Pixie Hollow the night before to do. Or that the lunch lady threatened to not feed them if they didn’t bring in some lunch money today. But of course, I’m supposed to wave my magical Mommy wand and fix all that. It didn’t seem to matter when I woke up, or when I woke them up. They’d wait till it was time to go, and then remember the dozen other things they needed to do before we left. All while yelling at each other.

I realized last week that their poor attitudes and constant arguing were ruining my morning, basically every morning. I started driving them to school so we could all have a better morning. I warned them that if they didn’t improve their attitude, figure out a way to be civil, and start taking responsibility for getting themselves fully ready, they could start riding the bus again.

Yesterday was yet another stressful, argumentative, chaotic morning yesterday. And I think The Boy could see the writing on the wall in my body language after the warning last week. He then proceeded to tell me how awful the bus was, and how I really needed to drive them to school because the bus just wasn’t acceptable. I guess he figured guilting me into continuing to drive them would be easier than making an effort to get along with his sister, or expressing appreciation for me driving them.

That was not a successful strategy on his part.

This morning I got up a half hour ahead of them, and headed out shortly after they both woke up, with instructions that they should probably wear a coat when they went to the bus stop.

I hope they both made it to school.

So what about you, reader friends? Have you found yourselves in a situation where you were being taken for granted? Or when something special and extra effort you were doing wasn’t appreciated? How did you remedy it?


  1. Charles Robinson

    When we eat dinner at home I always cook it and we always eat in the den while watching the news. Yes, we’re an old married couple. Anyway, recently Myron got into the habit of slouching back into the sofa and picking up his plate and resting it on his chest while mindlessly shoveling food in his mouth. I told him I thought it was disgusting and he stopped for a while. Then we went on a trip, came home, and the behavior returned. I reminded him, he stopped for a day or two, and then he was right back at it.

    Tonight I plan to set the dining room table for myself and put his on the usual tray. When he asks what’s going on I’ll tell him I’m eating in the dining room and he’s welcome to join me if he can keep the dishes on the table.

    I’ll report back with an update.


  2. ·

    Good for you! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to show loved ones that you mean what you say. I think we’re all better when we set limits on just how many times we’ll be the nail. A shout-out to everyone who decided to be the hammer today!

  3. Kat French

    Charles – Curious how your household experiment turned out…

    Mari – I wish it didn’t come down to being the hammer or the nail, but often it seems that way. 🙁


Leave a Reply