Practice Makes Hopefully Less Exhausted

My kids go to Richmond public schools and, until this year, elementary students started latest in the region: 9:15 AM. This year that changes and the first bell moves up by 1.5 hours to 7:45. As you might expect this means a pretty big adjustment for the entire family who has worked around particular wake-up and departure times for a while.

In hopes of reducing the negative side effects of this change, today was the first day of family practice for the new schedule. Well, really last night was the first evening. The kids picked out today’s clothes last night while Valerie and I got their backpacks in order (except for meals of course), and then we made sure to get to bed by 10 PM ourselves. Our kids will most likely get on the bus by 7:15 (or get in the car around 7:15 if the bus is a vector for COVID spread 😬), so my wife and I get up at 6 and focus on getting the kids ready first. Get ’em dressed, get ’em fed, and throw on whatever clothes we’re okay with wearing out of the house because, honestly, we’ll have plenty of time to get ready for our days after we say good-bye to the kids.

And today worked pretty well, actually. My rising 3rd grader was slow to get up (she’s normally out of bed any time between 6:15 and 7 AM), but she gets dressed pretty quickly. The rising kindergartner was a snap, but I gave him direct supervision. Since the kids aren’t actually getting on the bus this morning, now they have a bunch of time to relax and watch cartoons before they start their days, and Valerie and I are ready to roll earlier than usual.

In the long term I don’t know whether Valerie or Maddie will ever quite adjust to the earlier wakeup time, and my ongoing struggle will be to put down the dang phone at night and stop playing sudoku so I can go to sleep. I bet we run in to some bumps between now and September, but I can’t imagine just switching to this new routine when the kids actually need to make it to the bus stop and get to school on time. I’m hoping this means we’ll have somewhat adjusted by day 1 so that we’re less wiped out after a stressful first couple of weeks back to in-person school with COVID protocols and fear of the Delta variant grinding us down 😐