parents

47 minutes, 2 Weetbix: How to deal with a procrastinating child.

Em Rusciano with kids, Odette and Marchella.

Do your kids take a ridiculous amount of time to get ready in the morning before school or am I just raising a brilliant sadistic child who gets her thrills by secretly fucking with me every day?

This morning she put on a display of procrastination not seen since the time I convinced my father that before I could settle down to complete my final year 12 maths assignment, it was crucial that I weigh our dog.

I couldn’t possibly start my homework until I had that vital piece of data. (You’d be surprised just how long one can stretch out the weighing of a 4.56kg Jack Russell Terrier).

This morning my child took exactly 47 minutes to eat two Weetbix; I could be almost proud of that effort if it didn’t make my eyes water with frustration. It’s not like she is shelling crabs here; old people and the very young can manage the sloppy mush that Weetbix inevitably becomes.

The events leading up to the world record slow eating attempt were also ball frustrating.

I went in to her room at 7:35am and gave her a clean uniform; she was sitting on the heating vent in her PJs clutching Toby dog.

Em: “O, it’s time to get dressed now. Here is your uniform. I’ll meet you in the kitchen in 5 minutes kay?”

O: “Kay Mum. Can I please have Weetbix with warm milk AND honey?”

Em: “Sure babes, just get dressed. Now, start taking your top off, let me see you take your top off”.

But did she remove her spotty jarmie top?! Oh God no. Logically she commenced a complicated stretching routine. I’m not shitting you. Stretching like an elite athlete preparing for the race of her life.

Em: “O! What are you doing? That is not getting undressed that is a hamstring stretch”.

O: “I’m sore from gym mum, Ron said we need to stretch when we are sitting down at home. So I have to stretch ’cause Ron said. Then I’ll get dressed kay?”

Em: “O, put your clothes on now and come to the kitchen. I mean it, look at my face. See how serious it is?”

Em and Odette.

O: “You kinda look like you need to go the toilet Mum”.

Em: “Get. Dressed.”

8am rolls around and she still hasn’t fronted up to the kitchen… I decide to do a stealth investigation and creep back to her bedroom door.

There she was sitting in just her undies, back on the heating duct, clutching Toby dog.

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Em: “O! You are not dressed, you are the opposite of dressed! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

O: “I am too cold to get dressed Mum.”

Em: “Well thats because you are NUDE, lady!”

She gives me a look that would kill a cactus and proceeds to pick up her clothes and apply them V  E  R  Y       S  L  O  W  L  Y to her body, never once breaking eye contact with me.

We played that game for 5 minutes. I just stood there as she painstakingly layered her school uniform on her body.

Finally she was dressed. Time check? 8.05am. Thirty minutes to put on a polo top, leggings, jumper and socks. I’m sorry to say I made a crucial error here, I didn’t demand the shoes be put on as well. I would pay for that later.

We made our way to the kitchen, sat down at the table and then my daughter proceeded to eat her breakfast one flake at a time.

It was masterful. I walked in and out of the kitchen putting things away, answering emails, sitting and chatting with her and then I looked up at the clock and saw that 8:47 had rolled around and we were not even a bix down!

Em: “Ok, we need to leave now. Please go and put your shoes on.”

O: “I am not finished my breakfast!”

Duh.

Em: “Yes you are, go now and put your shoes on. Put them on your feet. Go get your shoes and wear them. I am waiting by the front door you have exactly 1 minute.”

8:48, 49, 50, 51, 52..

Em: “O, what the WHAT are you doing? Have you got your shoes on, we are going to be late!”

SILENCE.

GIGGLES.

O: “Muuuuum, WE’RE ready for school..”

Em: “Odette, I have had enough. We are going to be late and I am not writing in the tardy book “Weetbix” as your reason. Come out now. I am cross, for serious this time.”

I stomp into her bedroom to find Toby Dog, in full school uniform, complete with scrunchy on his ear and yes he wearing the fecking shoes!

Toby. In uniform.

God I love that kid.

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