We're Gonna Need More Paper Towels
Snow Day Part 412

10 Surefire Tips to Smooth Schoolday Mornings

1) Before the school year begins, let each child pick out their very own alarm clock for them to completely ignore every single morning. Having three different alarm tones blaring is a surefire way to make sure you never oversleep and can start shouting at your unconscious children right on time.

2) If a child doesn't have any clean shirts in his closet, it's best to dig one out from the bottom of the hamper to make sure it wasn't worn recently enough for anyone to notice. 

3) Teach older children basic breakfast preparation skills, both for themselves and their siblings, for maximum screaming when older child goes on a cereal-withholding power trip.

4) Bros before Hoes and Coffee before I Make Anybody Eggs. 

5) Pack lunches the night before. Keep lunchboxes in the fridge for optimal frantic grabbing at the last possible minute.

6) If you plan to send in anything special that needs to be heated up or prepped in the morning, make sure your children have back-up money in a school lunch account, because YOU KNOW you gonna forget that shit and send them to school with like, a juice box and some pretzels.

7) Have dedicated, labeled spaces in your home for shoes, boots, coats, backpacks, hats, gloves, homework folders, musical instruments and any sort of form that needs a parent signature. Spread these spaces out across the house and divide by lots of stairs for a quick daily cardio workout. 

8) Up the number of calories burned with some simmering hot rage/school bus panic because NOTHING is EVER where it is SUPPOSED TO BE, and WHY ISN'T ANYTHING PACKED WHY IS YOUR HOMEWORK IN THE BATHROOM NO I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOUR SHOES ARE GAHHHHHH.

9) Keep a pen close to the front door so you can sign whatever permission slip your child forgot to give you the night before, or the week before, and also learn to write checks really, really quickly and to not ask many questions.

10) Consider having a second child for bus route purposes. Odds are better than one kid will get his shit together on time and can keep the bus from driving off while the other one straggles from the house with his coat half on and his backpack unzipped.

11) While shopping, let small children have plenty of input on items like shoes, hats, coats, etc. This allows for better self-expression and bigger forehead veins when they completely refuse to wear any of it. 

12) Take a moment in the car to go through the day's mental checklist to make sure you didn't forget your preschooler's lunch/classroom snack/craft supply/tuition check. Try to take this moment before you actually pull into the school's parking lot. 

Congratulations! Everybody made it to school more or less intact and prepared. Go drink some more coffee. 



I only have one and I have to go through this every morning. Oh yeah and he's 11 and never wants to get up for school ever.


I came up with the brilliant idea to set an alarm on my phone to play our "Let's Go Song!" (Bright by Echosmith) in an attempt to inspire Pavlovian obedience as we get out the door every day.

Instead, hearing the song launches them into full-body tantrums of "I don't want to go!" "I didn't get to play enough" (says the one who was up at 5:45 strewing Legos across the playroom) and "I hate school!". So I guess it sort of worked...?

I'm off to make another pot of coffee!

Lisa Y

A great idea is to make a rule that if your dawdler isn't ready on time, she will lose her iPad time for that evening. This will ensure that not only will she not be ready on time, she will also be crying about her iPad instead of finding her shoes.


I honestly would've thought I had written this if it weren't for the bus thing, since we are close enough to walk/run/say fuck it and drive because no one could find their fucking shoes at 7:45.


The red-hot morning rage is exactly why I chose to change my work hours as soon as my husband got a job that did not require him to be gone before the bus. After 7 years of morning patrol he can have the next 7!!! I am pretty sure the blood pressure control added years to my life!


My 21 year old son has just gone back to university this lunchtime after the Christmas break. I *still* have to go through the verbal checklist of "House keys? Laptop charger? Phone? Phone charger? Wallet? ID?" More than once I've driven the 120 mile round trip to his uni house because he's forgotten something. So it does get better, just more miles involved 😊


Loooooooong time lurking reader. Until today. I had to comment. Never have I had someone describe my morning to such a m'fing TEE! Why, oh WHY can my children just absolutely not get their shit together, even though the routine is the same EVERY FREAKING MORNING EVER! Just thinking of this is making my blood pressure go up and I left the house over 8 hours ago!


Funniest post ever! I would still be laughing... if it weren't so true at my house too.


Bahahaahahahaa. I have one, and this is still a thing. Except my husband is the worst ever at life ever in the mornings too, so not only is it an actual child whining at me about not being able to find/do/get anything, it is also a full grown adult man. GAH YOU GUYS PLEASE FOR THE LOVE GET IT TOGETHER. Anyway, this made me snort out loud at my desk, so thanks for that.


Damn, you're funny. This is my house most days and I only have one kid!


Loving my high school student who still can't hear any kind of alarm clock. Not his phone that plays music and is allowed in his room with the hope that the texts from friends will tempt him in the morning (you can put all messages on pause during the night hours so they come beeping in at wake time). Not the lighted alarm clock that slowly brings up the light and the sounds of singing birds. Not the blaring alarm set up in his bathroom with the hope he'll have to actually walk over to turn it off. On the positive side, when I go knock on his door he always does wake up and goes on autopilot from there, so I guess my mornings are comparatively smooth.


Many days the only "active minutes" I get on my FitBit are from trying to leave the house in the morning! (And my kids aren't even school age yet).


I told my now sixth grader before his first day of kindergarten that if he missed the bus, he had to walk to school. He made sure to tell his sister 3 years later when she started school. They have never missed the bus or even been close to missing the bus. Would I actually make them walk on the busy road? I doubt it, but they don't need to know that. My son has questioned me about it, and all I say is "Why don't you give it a try."


Meant to mention that we still run around like crazy in the morning, but they really do fear missing the bus.


"Cereal withholding power trip"--oh god, so true!!

Also, never make the mistake of driving them to the next stop up the road. It sets a precedent that can never be undone.


"Cereal withholding power trip"--oh god, so true!!

Also, never make the mistake of driving them to the next stop up the road. It sets a precedent that can never be undone.


Actually, that's *12* surefire tips! :-)


Wait.....were you in my house this morning?


Ok, so if you were in my house why not let me know so I can lie in bed???

Insult to injury we have 2 different start times an hour apart. So my out the door joy is 2 1/2 hours M-F. So lucky!!


Apparently, we are living in the same house. My favorite is when my boys ask me where their shoes are. Um, boys I do not wear those shoes so I have no idea where they are located.

Jean Riling

I think #4 is my favorite but it's hard to tell because I love this all so much. I'm often shrieking by 7:30 AM.

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