Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The slowest poke on earth

That would be my son. I love him dearly, but holy cow can that boy be a space cadet, especially early in the morning when it's time to get ready for school. I'm about ready to resort to throwing cold water on him to get him up and moving in the morning, but I'm not sure even that would help. And the actual getting ready? He can sit on the end of his bed in his underwear for 10 minutes straight just staring off into space, apparently incapable of getting ready without an engraved invitation. It boggles the mind how such a competent, intelligent child could be so completely clueless each morning, but there you have it. You wouldn't think that after nearly 7 years on this planet he'd still have to be reminded to brush his teeth each morning, but sure enough he does. I'm actually waking him (and consequently me!) up 45 minutes before he has to leave right now because it takes him that long to accomplish the 7.5 minutes worth of things he has to do before heading out for school

He's asked for an alarm clock which he will get just as soon as I have the chance to go buy the loudest most obnoxious one I can find. Hopefully that will at least help him get out of bed (though I suspect he's going to be even more of a snooze alarm fiend than his mother is was), but I still have to find a way to light a firecracker under him when it comes to actually getting ready to go. His sister does much better with a set morning routine, but that doesn't seem to be speaking to Itai particularly.

Any bright ideas from all you been there done thats?


In the meantime, I'm heading over to Rocks in my Dryer to see if maybe I've got better ideas for someone else's headaches than I've got for my own.

25 comments:

Kelley said...

My son is a bear to get ready in the mornings. He sits on the side of his bed for ages staring off into space.
One day I asked him why. He said he was rebooting.

Yeah. sounds about right.

Perhaps your boy is purely rebooting?

All I can think of is a very simple routine that he can do on autopilot.

Mom not Mum said...

My son is the same way. I have to tell him to get out of bed 5 times, tell him to get dressed 3 times. Remind him to get breakfast 4 times. Every morning - you think he could figure out the routine but no - oh wait - I guess this IS his routine. LOL

Emah S said...

Maybe you (or he) could pick out the clothes the night before so that at least that step is taken care of for him. I thought when I was reading the post that you had a secret video camera in MY son's room. His favorite line is , "oops, I forgot!" as if it's so hard to remember to put your clothes on when you're sitting there in your skivvies! It does help us when we remember to pick out clothes the night before.

HANG IN THERE!!!

Karen in Iowa said...

I've had this problem with my now 9-yo son. We make sure he gets to bed at the same time every night. We had to work on this to find the right time - some kiddos need more sleep than others. We also encouraged timely waking by imposing an earlier bedtime for uncooperation -- this seems to work pretty well. Now he's up and dressed right away, which gives him extra time to play the Gameboy before school!

Melissa Garrett said...

LOL! No advice from me, mama.

We have to wake up 75 minutes before the bus comes!!

'Cause, you know, you always have schedule in a few minutes for a good fist-fight between the kids. Nothing gets the morning going like a good slap in the face or a handful of hair.

Kim said...

No ideas here either, M is the same way (so am I). An alarm did help her get up, she doesn't know about the snooze and I ain't telling her!! But she's still slow as molasses getting ready.

I feel your pain.

Milehimama said...

My oldest is the same way. I had to really simplify the morning routine.

He changes the night before and sleeps in his clothes. His hair is cut pretty short. Literally the only thing he has to do in the morning is put on socks and shoes and eat.

I have a timer and if it goes off, I will put his socks and shoes on for him. Actually, I just put the socks on, handed him his shoes, and shooed him onto the bus. Took me doing the ONCE and threatening to do it again. The timer helps because it is a reminder.

I hand him a granola bar to eat in the AM too, because the boy can nurse a bowl of cereal all morning. If he doesn't get that done, I stick it in his backpack or pocket along with his shoes! LOL.

He's 9 years old.

Robin said...

I'm not sure I'm heartened by all these stories of 9 year olds still having the same issues, but at least there's comfort in numbers LOL.

I think we'll start implementing that early bedtime if you don't wake up thing. We've tried leaving his clothes out, but he's just as capable of literally sitting on top of them as he is just staring into space in the direction of his clothes drawer, so that didn't improve much. I think I'll try to timer too. He's very competitive so maybe that would get him moving.

Thanks for the tips and the commiseration everyone.

Rachel said...

Thea is the same way most days. She gets distracted by anything in a 3 miles vicintiy.....a cat, the tv, a dust mote in the ether.....

Here's a clock for Itai..hee hee hee

http://www.uncommongoods.com/item/item.jsp?itemId=15888&gclid=CJaP5I36yo8CFQhtFQodWzh4-A

HopewellMomSchool said...

When my son was about this age I had to pick him up in his jammies one day, throw him in the car and take him to school AS IS. He's still slow, but not THAT slow. The one day took care of it. If he sleeps in his undies he goes in his undies. It will only take once!

The routine thing is crucial too--everything ready the night before. I also make breakfast burritos and individually freeze them in wax paper. That gets zapped for 1 minute and off we go!

Robin said...

I'm seriously considering sending him off in his pj's...

Rachel, that clock is a RIOT! I'm actually thinking of getting it (if only I could be sure it would be loud enough to wake him up).

Jamie said...

Ugh, the battle.
I give warnings. 5 minutes until breakfast is over, time for hair, etc. The rule is that when I say change activities, you have to stop what you're doing and do the next thing. If you have time to go back, you can. You leave the house however you look. I try to help by having their clothes and backpacks ready the night before. I've told my son's teacher what our home rules are, so if he shows up no shoes or in pj's- it was his consequence.

Jendeis said...

A posted schedule in the mornings that he can cross off.

Set out clothes and books the night before.

Get thee a TIMER!

J. Lynne said...

I was going to recommend that alarm clock too.

My father used to sweep into my room in an extremely annoying grandiose obnoxious way and say at the top of his lungs, "Good morning, sleepyhead!" and then he'd pull back my curtains drowning the room in light. It was horrible. A nightmare every morning.

Sadly, to this day, I am still not a morning person. I'm currently trying one of those light therapy boxes to try to reset my internal sleep clock.

Christine said...

Josh actually jumps out of bed, so no help from me. His dad is another story, he's the one that sits on the end of the bed with socks in hand for ten minutes, but I digress. I give us all an hour to get ready. The only thing I have a hard time with him, is getting him away from the PlayStation or TV long enough to get dressed and ready.

Besides the alarm, at school, the teachers in K and 1st grade used Timers to help Josh know when it was time to go to the Nurses office for his blood sugar check. This year he knows about time, and knows when to go by himself, so I'd suggest using a timer too.

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Hey Robin
I am going through this right now with my seven year old daughter.
I have to give her an extra half hour to get ready before everyone else. That means waking her up, and guiding her through everything-with still a bit of resistance on her part. It is tough, but she needs it, she isn't a morning gal.
I don't like the arguing either, I used to yell at her to get her to move, and then I would feel bad, and she would go to school feeling bad too, when she hadn't done anything wrong.
You'll get through it, same as me. Then next year it will be something else...
xo
(You are a good mom!)
Gillian

pippi said...

My son has similar "get out of bed" issues. He inherited both my inability to get up in the morning and my husband's ability to fall back to sleep mid-sentence. But HE came up with a solution that gets us up and out most mornings.

When I call him out of bed, he has to wake up enough to say "one minute" then I set the timer on my watch for 1 minute. When it goes off, he is allowed to ask for one more minute. But two is the absolute limit. He does often require a snuggle during this two minutes, but it is so much faster than when I had to start a half hour before I wanted him to get up that I don't mind. (Actually I know that my days of getting to snuggle him are fast coming to an end, so I kind of enjoy it-he's 11)

Once he gets out of bed, he does his routine on autopilot, but we did have that written down and in a plastic sleeve so he could check it off for a while. This does include that I put out jeans and socks and he picks out a shirt so he can basically just crawl into his clothes.

Mel said...

I am no help - we have the opposite problem of actually trying to keep O IN bed in the morning!

Molly said...

Oh, my, I literally laughed out loud at this! Our 7 year old girl is the same way! Just this a.m. I walked into her room to find her sitting on her clean clothes in her undies staring into space! When I asked her what she was doing she looked at me with those glazed over eyes and said, "Huh?!" I have found that using the timer helps her a lot. Also, having her get dressed in a room AWAY from her sisters helps her concentrate better. Waking her up and giving her 10 minutes of snuggle time in bed before she has to get out seems to help her, too. One thing to remember, when you buy that alarm clock, buy one WITHOUT a snooze button! Don't want to add one bad habit on top of another! I used to have that addiction, it was a killer to break, too! It's amazing how well you can do math in your sleep trying to figure out how many more minutes you really have to sleep when you have set your clock ahead to allow for the snooze! :)

Shama-Lama Mama said...

In our house the tv was always on kids shows, and it was distracting. He is still slow but its helped a lot that we turn off the tv. If he is dressed and fed and still has time left before leaving time, he can watch tv. Its been a good motivator.

Jeremy said...

Some where on my sidebar is a link to Think Geek who has an alarm clock that jumps off the night stand and he has to chase it around the room to get it to stop. That should get him going, but sad to say it only goes down hill as they get into teen age years.

I have one who is up at the crack of dawn and one who is up at the crack of noon if we let her. Go figure.....

Robin said...

Jeremy, I think that's the same clock that Rachel gave the link to earlier. If it's actually loud, I'm seriously thinking of it. I can just picture him stumbling around after it!

And after reading all these comments I am definitely going to start using a timer. Thanks everyone.

jen said...

Mornings are not pretty around here - but that's mostly my fault. I wake up so slowly! Ug! Anyway, about the kids: make the routine as simple as possible (do as much as you can the night before), keep the same routine every day (so he will eventually learn what comes next, make a chart if you have to), and don't nag. I mean that in the kindest way possible. We moms tend to tell our kids things over and over and over, and they learn to tune us out. Tell him something once; if he doesn't do it, it doesn't get done. And work out a deal that if he doesn't make the bus, he has to pay you to chauffeur him to school (or if he's late, he has to pay a late fee to you or do extra chores). So the ball's in his court. It sounds sort of mean, but it's better than nagging him out the door!

Carol Anne said...

I made each boy a morning checklist. I put it in a sheet protector and put it in a binder I also did the same for bedtime and an afternoon one for the eldest. I put those in the binder too. Then, I gave them each a wipe off pen and let them check off things. If all got done by 20 minutes before we had to leave, they each got 10 minutes of webkinz time.

We only used them for about a week, but it helped get things moving and helped us remember things like asthma medicine and teeth brushing that we were always forgetting.

Linda said...

Mam used to come into my room, 'come on linda it's time to be getting up', and open the curtains.

I hated waking up like that. I still hate alarms unless they're waking me up for something fun.

It was much, much better when I got my own radio alarm clock and could wake up gently to music.