S&R: Mornings

I need to distract myself and expressing my feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewings isn’t helping very much. So here’s some stuff I need to start writing down. I’m going to write a series of posts over the next three months. I’m going to document as much as I can about how I say things and why I say them. A friend is going to stay with us for a bit around my due date (because even as I whiiiiiiiiiiiine about how I feel like I can’t ask for things… I did a better job of arranging labor support this time than last time. I was way more clear and demanding about what I asked for and I did find a person who could say yes. I feel like karmically I have used up my asking for a while.)

S&R stands for scripts and routines. You are going to see that attached to all of the posts.

I’ll start with mornings.

In the morning the kids wake up sometime between 5:30 and 7. Obviously it is better for me when they sleep later but… what am I going to do? Rarely if we have an outing that goes late they sleep till 8 but it is incredibly freakish. Don’t expect them to sleep past 7.

Most of the time the kids want to immediately move to the couch with me for a morning snuggle. Noah usually makes breakfast while the three of us sit on the couch and talk about randomness. I assume that your routine will more closely resemble that of the routine we maintain when Noah is not around. So we’ll skip over the ridiculously awesome part of every day that involves Noah cooking. You’ll get that part when we aren’t in the hospital.

I have no idea if the kids will want to sit on the couch and have a morning chat with you. My attitude towards this kind of stuff with the kids is that I rarely offer but I don’t refuse. You of course will have your own comfort level. You can decide if you are comfortable with two minutes or twenty. Or more. Chatting with them is fun.

When Noah isn’t here I wait until the kids complain that they want food and I get up. I tend to go back and forth between a couple kinds of breakfasts with the kids. I try to make sure there is a fruit and a protein. I go back and forth between a carbohydrate or a vegetable but I rarely do both at once.

Examples: fruit & granola & yogurt, eggs & potatoes & bell pepper in a stir fry, breakfast pastry & fruit & lunch meat, cereal & fruit & milk & cheese, nuts & fruit & cheese & bread.

I’m not saying you MUST FEED THEM WHAT I DO. I’m saying this is what I will have in the house. If you want to feed them whatever the heck combinations you want… rock on. I just find I do better knowing what a given child is accustomed to because then the little sucker argues with me less. Like, if you want to give vegetables and carbs and protein for breakfast it’s not a big deal. They eat a lot of fruit.

You’d better believe we will have a full larder of food when you are here. Going to the store won’t be an issue.

Like, when we run out of fresh fruit… we have lots of canned/preserved and the kids love it.

After breakfast I ask the kids to get dressed and brush their teeth and their hair (EC doesn’t really brush her hair and I don’t care).

I notice that I tend to divide the day into little checklists I rattle off on my fingers. I try to keep it to 2 or 3 things per list. After breakfast the three I say repeatedly: hair, teeth, clothes. They still need reminding. We are not a household that likes hygiene. We have a grudging relationship with society where we admit that other people require it of us.

After that I walk over to the chore chart list and I say, “Ok… what chores need to be done?” The kids usually need to be told to wash their hands with soap before unloading the dishwasher. Because of course they do. It’s not like we have had this conversation every day for years or anything.


Everyone is responsible for clearing their own dishes to the sink/counter area. Usually a grown up loads the dishwasher but the kids are completely capable of doing so and I will probably ask them to just do that. They get a butt-load of points for washing dishes so they are usually happy to chip in.

The chore list is important because they earn points for their chores. Washing dishes is 20 points and that’s really forking high in our scale. I think it’s twice what any other chore is worth (I’m too lazy to walk over and check) because it is so far an adult chore and them doing it is covering for something an adult should be doing and they get bonus points for that.

EC is supposed to sweep the floor as needed and check every day. In practice this means she does it when I tell her it’s gross and we are going to get bugs.

FMC is supposed to mop about once a week. Of course this means they do it approximately when I go, “Dude… this is nasty.”

A lot of their chore list are “suggestions” and not requirements. If they do those things they get points for it because we are trying to encourage habits but I don’t require them because I’m not that big of a hypocrite. I don’t do frequent sit ups even though they would be good for me either.

But they empty the dishwasher and set the table as a pretty major “every day” part of the habit of life.

We try to get chores done by 9. Then we transition into academics.

Right now we have to deal with the fact that we have to produce documentation for the charter school. That means work books. Boooooo workbooks. The kids have a huge stack in their play room. They prefer to do stuff on the computers. FMC has to do 15 minutes a day of this reading program. That’s on the computer and they know how to log in. Both of them would love to spend most of the rest of the time on Khan Academy doing math and JavaScript… but we can’t turn that in to the charter school.

I require them to do a solid hour of work on something that can be turned in. We have to produce for: language arts (spelling, writing, or grammar all count), science (we have a huge number of options here from reading a science oriented book to them and having them draw pictures to we have really awesome curriculum for biology, chemistry, and physics… there are so many cool experiments in the workbooks), math (Khan Academy doesn’t count! EC can do Life of Fred or one of the other workbooks; FMC has several workbook options), and history (read a book about a historical person and write a book report, work on the CA history comic book or time line, watch documentaries about history and do the workbook write up).

After they work for an hour on stuff for the school they get to play with something academic for another hour. I don’t really care what they do. Sometimes they do language stuff (we have Signing Time videos and FMC works on Duolingo). Sometimes they play on Khan Academy for a while (EC in particular is into their coding stuff). They like playing Human Resource Machine. Sometimes we research something kind of random like the history of fashion or something about travel or researching a person or watching videos in another language or something. We do a lot of stuff. The general motto for this is: Be Curious.

Ok. That’s all I have in me to write today.

6 thoughts on “S&R: Mornings

  1. Michelle

    This is super helpful please continue!

    Im going to attempt to make a printout with the daily and weekly schedule so i can glance at it throughout the day, plus notes on food options/ideas and a map. Its one of the ways I manage my shitty memory plus if I write it in a way that makes sense to me it will help me learn. 🙂

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      Excellent. I am so glad this is useful. I will keep up with it. These entries will trickle in over the next month or so.

      If it is more helpful I can simply print up a copy of the kids weekly Google calendar so that you see how things are structured for us. We could even make a household binder for you with different tabs for making the information easy. One tab could be schedule stuff with a master week schedule plus daily schedules blown up with more details. Another tab could be maps of our neighborhood to the local stuff we do. Another tab could be food stuff.

      Would that be helpful? I understand that I need to do work here to help you remember this stuff because it’s a lot. I am so grateful you are willing to take this on with/for my family. It is so unbelievably kind of you. I’m so so so so grateful. I will do whatever I need to do to make this easier for you.

      1. Michelle

        Binder might be good! Especially with maps and emergency info. Its a little hard for me to picture at the moment.

        For example for folks are out of town and my mom has asked me to water plants. There is a sheet of paper i can check with details. So when i forget what day it is over and over i check my phone – aha its monday afternoon! And then i check the paper and see that i water on tues or weds. Then tues or weds i check the paper and if ive checked it off, im done, if i havent, then i go water as long as i have energy. On a bad day i may have to check very very frequently and on a good day i may not have to check at all but i’ll usually check at least once in case im having memory problems im not aware of.

        For food once a week or so i make a list of food i want to cook or eat. I put that food in the front of the fridge if possible. Then when i forget what ive cooked i can check my list or the fridge. Same as above i may have to check multiple times. When my brain was much worse i had to write down meal times or id forget whether i had eaten at all. Hasnt been that bad in years.

        So my plan here is to have a list i can glance at with food options and folks’ preferences, with little notes like: 6 to 9 am snuggle?,breakfast, “hair,teeth,clothes”.

        I get the impression that your family does less cooking and more meals than I do so i think it will be an adjustment but that it will balance out.

        Im still struggling to understand the chore points and school stuff but i think that will be easier when i can read this more carefully not on my cellphone.

        1. Michelle

          It amuses me that memory problems are an area where my pre existing neuroses/anxiety were actually helpful lol. I spent years teaching myself that i did NOT need to check that the door was locked again and again, but now I do so its OK. 🙂

          I do try to not offload it on other people as much as I can though.

          1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

            I’m asking you to assist me in a very complicated system. I think asking me to be clear about how I communicate all the parameters isn’t offloading the process.

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