09 September 2013

Grateful for School Mornings (Even on Monday)

Monday is always a good day to force myself to be grateful. After the relatively relaxed pace of  the weekend, Monday mornings can often be a shock to the system. Especially if you are feeling seasick and under-the-weather, as I have been lately.

This morning as the Monday routine kicked in, I found myself being naturally grateful for my kids' growing independence, and their ability to pitch in an help get themselves ready in the mornings.

Every school morning used to be torture and I must have tried umpteen different clever ways to try and eliminate the stress and yelling. Nothing worked long term - until I finally stopped trying to do it all for them and got them to take responsibility for themselves.

[Dash with self made lunchbox from a couple of years ago]
We now have it down to an art - the kids make their own school lunches. They dress themselves. Sometimes they get their own breakfast. And increasingly, they are even getting themselves out the door and off to school on their scooters, leaving me waving from the doorstep.

I know that probably sounds shocking to many of you, especially given that my youngest is only five.
But here's the thing: He has a big brother and sister. They are looking out for him and showing him the ropes. In the process everyone benefits.

[no recent lunchbox-making photos are available. Here's Miss fab in 2011]

The older kids have been making their lunchboxes for ages now. I have a special basket in my room full of "Lunchbox only" snacks to which they add fruit, yoghurt and a sandwich. The only lunchbox I was making was Scrag's - since he is only five after all.
But Scrag doesn't want to be left out of the lunch-making action. He wants to be a big boy too and do his own lunchbox. Sometimes he even wants to make it the night before. 
Since he's so keen to be independent (and I'm all for encouraging that), now he does the snacks and I just make the sandwich.
He's learning independence and taking responsibility for himself. I've got a keen independent little lad who doesn't need his mummy to do it all for him. Celia Lashlie would be so proud!!

[....and it's a 2011 photo again. Really need to take more pictures...]

Now with the warmer weather and bright spring days on the increase, they even occasionally all scooter together.

One, two, three little ducks all in a row. Scooters and helmets. Big brother (Year Six)  Dash calling, "I'll go in front, Scrag you come in the middle, Fab you come behind Scrag to make sure he's safe..."

As I wave and blow kisses from the front porch, I can't tell you how full my heart feels to watch my kids working as a team. To see the big kids surrounding and leading their little brother. To watch them all take responsibility.

I've noticed there's been less fighting and squabbling lately. I'm not sure what to put that down to, but long may it last. Sure they still get mad at each other, but it's just less scrappy somehow.

I'm loving this new stage of kids who are finding their feet, taking responsibility and gaining independence. It's good for them, and it's good for me. It makes me feel very grateful...

I'm grateful for:

The kids learning to take responsibility for themselves, practising on the little things, gaining skills and confidence that *they can do it* - it's setting them up for the future, which is gaining on us every day.

The kids looking out for each other and developing their friendships with each other. If anything ever happens to me and Mr G, they will have each other. they are learning how to support each other now, in the little everyday things. It warms my heart.

Grateful for scooters, Road Safety lessons learnt by heart and teamwork.

Grateful for mornings with no shouting, kids out the door on time or early almost everyday and waaaay less stress. Such a nicer way to start the day. And the week.

Grateful (again and always) for SPRING!

Now it's your turn: What are YOU grateful for today? (Leave a comment, or use the hashtag on Instagram/Twitter and/or link up a blog post in the linky)

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Gratefully Yours,

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