In the world of Adult Basic Education (and maybe elsewhere) there is a concept of "gradual release." In this model, students get a lot of help when they are beginners, less help as they gain more facility which prepares them for release-- when they can do things on their own.
Recently the children and I have proven ourselves to be competent enough to get out of the house without extraordinary measures on the part of Spouse. I think since my gradual return to usefulness happened so gradually (and in fits and starts and not without hiccups) it took a while for any of us to notice.
That instead of having one useful parent and one parent who was actuall a liability in the morning ritual of Getting Out The Door, we began having two parents getting in the way of one another trying to do the same things in a small house. So we tried an experiment: Spouse leaving for work an hour before the children left for school.
And most of my solo parenting days went pretty much okay.
I got out of bed before 7 am and was actually awake.
I did not forget to take my medication any of the mornings.
The children did not miss the bus.
I made it to work on time.
The children had lunches (although I think once the "lunch" consisted of an apple, some carrots and a cheese stick)
The children had school uniforms, backpacks with schoolstuff and warm clothes
One day the eldest even had matching gloves (!)
And most of the time this was done with a minimum of yelliness.
I engaged more in the quiet kind of yelliness.
The whispered count-down... we will leave in 5 minutes. Without reminders of all the things that need to be done.
And a bit of... I do not care for the way you are talking to me. We will not be leaving until you brush your teeth.
And a small amount of... because I said so. And I am the parent.
Note: house still a mess, still not really up on the folding of laundry or the cleaning of the kitchen or the making of dinner. These things still require extraordinary measures.
Here are my ridiculous and completely irrational excuses:
I cannot think about cooking anything until the kitchen things are all put away and I can't imagine putting them all away without making a giant unmanigeable project of it. So.
There is really no place to put the folded clothes until I have gone through all the clothes in all the drawers and taken out things that don't fit or that nobody wears, or that belong to summer. And in order to do that I have to go into the basement to get some large bins and I will either get stuck in the basement decluttering OR I will just get bogged down in the whole sorting mess. Instead people can just stuff their drawers full to overflowing and pull everything out in the hopes they can find something to wear. So why bother folding?
The last time I tried to do some light cleaning it very quickly turned into Yet Another Redesign of the children's bedroom. Complete with furniture moving and reshelving board games and moving of stereo equipment and sorting every toy. And a mad dash to have the floor clear enough that the children could physically get to their beds. This was Tuesday. So I am leary.
I think I need to phone a friend to come and boss me around. Do this one thing and then report back. My executive functioning is not to be trusted in regards to how to tackle The Desaster That Is My House. And the things that matter to me are different than the things that matter to everyone else. Which makes it even more confusing.
Quaker, teacher, parent,