Passing On the Morning Baton and Who is the Poop Pro?

As a newlywed, I worked nights in the emergency department of our city's hospital. I loved my job! I loved my coworkers! One particular coworker was incredibly kind and generous to me and everybody else. I just couldn't understand how she did it all: worked full-time nights, went to school, mothered three little girls, and still managed to be among the living.

I asked her one day how she did it. She mentioned that her oldest was five and perfectly capable of taking care of herself while her tired mom was catching up on an hour or two of sleep. Not having any experience with children of my own yet and knowing this lady was anything but a deadbeat mom, I figured five must be the magical age a child could start taking care of themselves in such things as serving food for themselves and getting ready for the day.

Then I had a five year old...


But this morning when my five year old Dee walked into my bedroom at 6:51 am asking to be fed and dressed I was compelled to conduct a little experiment. I had been up multiple times through the night with his two younger sisters and in no mood to leap from my warm bed to wait on him.

I also keep remembering (with a slight sense of horror) that in a very short three months there may be another little sister (or brother) here wreaking havoc on my night time peace and morning mentality. It was high-time to see if my co-worker friend was onto something.

"Dee, you do it."


"You're a big boy. You go find your clothes and get dressed. Then eat breakfast and brush your teeth."

"Are you sure, Mom?"

"Positive. Now go and do."

Sounding a little unsure: "Well oooookay, Mom."

I laid in bed, refusing to open my eyes, but certainly not about to fall asleep again. Let's see listen how this goes.

In fifteen seconds he was back. "Mom, I can't find my pants."

"Then go eat breakfast first." I heard him wander back to the kitchen.

"Mom, I can't find a bowl."

"They are in the dishwasher, Dee."


In a few seconds I heard the clothes dryer opening. "They're not here, Mom".

"That's the clothes dryer, Dee! Check the dishwasher where the dishes usually are."

"Found one!"

Pretty soon I heard the glass tap of one bowl on the table immediately followed by the metallic tap of a spoon. Then a second glass tap and a second metallic tap. Then a third. And a fourth. Knowing full well a mess was in the making, I chose to snuggle down deeper in my blankets and leave the boy to his own devices. Besides if I hover we may never know if he can truly do this.

Soon the sound of cereal and milk could be heard. So, the boy can feed himself. Interesting.

In minutes he was back in search of pants. Knowing I had just washed every last piece of clothing in our house the day before, I informed him there was a clean dry pair in the dryer. You know, the dryer... where we keep bowls.

With eyes still clenched shut, I hear him wander back in claiming he was dressed (looks like he can dress himself too...who knew?) and wanting me to help him get his boots on.

"Go brush your teeth first". Teeth brushed. Add brushing teeth on the list of things Mommy no longer has to supervise.

Since he had brushed his own teeth I felt certain his face was in a state of disarray. No peeking yet. "Go get a washcloth and wash off your face".

"Okay Mommy...{water running}...All done!" Well that was easy.

Then he was back at my side, boots in hand. If I could have figured out a way to tie them with my eyes shut, I may have done it. Instead I opened them to see how my big five year old had done.

He looked good! And happy!

I sneaked a glance at the clock. And all done in twenty minutes?! That's got to be a record! All ready and no "Come on Dee! You need to hurry. Dee! You are going to be late! Hurry up!"

Looks like my friend was right: Five year olds are capable of taking care of themselves!

Just not the rest of the house...

Extra points to Dee for putting his bowl "in" the sink after breakfast.

And bonus points for feeding his sisters too!

Let's not forget Mommy! Extra points to Mommy for letting go and not hovering! And bonus points for having enough time to take a shower before school!

*** *** ***

Lest you thought I forgot... Are you wondering who won the diaper game? Who is The Poop Pro??

No one guessed Milky Way MIDNIGHT (the only kind of Milky Way worth human consumption...in my humble opinion), but I won't hold that against you. Many of you came close. But only one person got all four.

The person who performed with the most particular poop prowess was...Lisa from The Thomas Tribe! With two kids and one on the way, I imagine she's changed a few diapers...or eaten a few chocolate bars. Either way, CONGRATS TO LISA! Your prize will be in the mail shortly.

Thanks everybody for the "poop" play! Now, who's hungry? Maybe Dee could make my lunch too...


Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

Those are huge bowls of cereal!! My kind of kids. Except we'd fill our with something more sugary. Cocoa Pebbles and such.

Self-sufficiency is the best part of having older kids. I'm glad you're joining the ranks! What a great kid to serve up his sisters, too!

I always want to live in a small house so that I can hear EVERYTHING that's going on in all corners. It's a good thing.

shortmama said...

Glad he survived getting himself all ready to go!

MiMi said...

Wow! What a big boy! :)

Jill said...

Good job, Dee! It makes a happier morning doesn't it? And I love his portions. When I can come over for some cereal?

Jeigh said...

Way to let go, Evie! I promise, you will love that when the new baby comes! On a side note, four year olds are NOT old enough to do all that. Yesterday, I was sick, and went back to bed after turning on cartoons for Jett, and instead of waking me when he was hungry, he instead found and consumed an entire box of Cheez-its, and I slept in way too late! So guess who the deadbeat mom is now!

See Mom Smile said...

Good for you and Dee!! From a mom that likes to sleep in, that is how you do it. Kids won't ever let themselves starve. And yes you have to live with the messes but it is sooooo worth it!

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Yea, my kids can dress themselves and are finally figuring out that they can just scoot a chair over to be able to get a bowl.

It's the gallon of milk that hasn't been mastered yet.

Good for you!

Debra said...

I think he did a pretty good job for his first time! You are a braver mom than me! Loved the post!

Sami said...

I'm kicking myself, because I almost guessed Milky Way Midnight, knowing it would be the one you would use, but I fail at life. I still wouldn't have won, but I would have done you proud!

Great job, Dee! You da man!


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