activities of daily living · COVID-19 · slice of life

How long does it take you to get ready?

After Isabelle eats breakfast, she has four things she needs to do before I do her hair. From there, she gets her iPad so she can start some morning math (i.e., IXL and XtraMath).

  1. Brush her teeth.
  2. Wash her face.
  3. Get dressed.
  4. Make her bed/open her blinds.

Ever since she’s been attending school remotely, it’s been taking longer and longer for her to accomplish her mornings tasks. This morning, I told her, “I’m going to set my stopwatch to see how long these things actually take you to do them.”

It took her THIRTY-FOUR minutes to do those things. It should take ten minutes — max.

To say that I was irritated was an understatment. Therefore, I decided to turn it into a mathematical situation. I grabbed a piece of graph paper and made a bar graph with five-minute increments. I said, “Today it took you 34 minutes to bruth your teeth, wash your face, get dressed, make your bed, and open the blinds to your room… and the last item needed a reminder. Do you think this is acceptable?”

Isabelle laughed in my face.

I was unamused.

“It’s not funny,” I told her.

She covered her mouth in attempt to stifle her giggles, but I found her disregard for time to be preposterous. Plus, she had been making lots of noise and riling her brother up.

Speaking of her brother, that’s when Ari proceeded to walk into her room. I looked at him and said, “Ari, this doesn’t involve you. I need you to go downstairs and play.”

He left. I filled in the Monday bar on the graph. Isabelle continued to laugh in my face.

Perhaps I should have Elliot on-hand tomorrow morning when Isabelle gets ready for school.

“Why is this funny to you? You could spend this kind of time playing or doing artwork. But instead, you make mornings feel stressful and chaotic when you don’t take care of your business in the mornings. How will you be able to get out of the house again once the pandemic is over if it’s taking you 34 minutes just to do these things?”

She continued laughing. I thought about walking away. Instead, I pointed to the bar graph and said, “This has to be a shorter bar tomorrow. This is unacceptable.”

That’s when Ari reappeared. He brought me Little Elliot from Mike Curato’s books. He dropped Elliot on my lap and left the room without saying a word.

Later, after Isabelle got her hair done and was settled with Math IXL, I asked him why he gave Elliot to me.

“I wanted to make feel you better,” he replied in the sweetest four-year-old voice.

“You did, buddy. You really made me feel better.”

Bless this little boy.


15 thoughts on “How long does it take you to get ready?

  1. Isn’t it great when kids tag team this way (rather than egg each other on, or worse yet, conspire to irritate you even more)? Somehow kids often know how to relive a tense situation- thank goodness!

  2. Stacey, Ari is growing into a caring little boy. How sweet of him to want to relieve your stress. I do like your mathematic response to Isabelle’s dawdling. I am going to share this with my daughter who is dealing with 3-year-old tantrums.

  3. If it’s any consolation, they do grow up and seem to be able to do what’s necessary in a timely manner when mom isn’t around anymore to remind and cajole. Sometimes natural consequences can help–not done in time, then you’re late/ don’t get to do what you enjoy, and mom’s not making an excuse for you. I know remote learning makes those morning deadlines fuzzy, though…And you have your evidence of good parenting with Ari’s kind act. He had to learn that somewhere!

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