For the last five months (and this entire school year so far), I haven't been doing the morning routine with my son.  This has been my first week "back on the job," and it's been harder than I remembered.

Maybe I'm crazy or just not very effective - maybe a combination of both - but it feels like the hardest part of my workdays has become getting the 11-year-old out and started on his.

My kiddo definitely deals with distraction, so routine has been key.  We had a pretty good system in place last year, and while my Dad has been with him over the last few months, they established theirs as well.  Now, we're changing course a little with me being the one who is responsible for getting him moving.

I'm realizing it's a harder than I remembered from last year.  My son leaves for the bus around 7:35 a.m., so wake up time with me has been 6:15 a.m.  This usually means he is up and rolling by 6:30 a.m., but for reasons I have yet to completely understand, his morning bathroom routine takes around 30 minutes.

That means getting dressed, brushing and flossing, washing his face, and combing his hair.  It defies logic to me that it can take as long as it does for him to complete what seems like small tasks, but without usually two or three reminders, this can take up to 30 minutes.

From there, it's breakfast.  He's been spoiled by my dad making big breakfasts.  With me, it's going to be either a breakfast sandwich, quick heat breakfast bowl, cereal, or maybe bacon and eggs.

Food can be on the table right at 7:00 a.m. and it can still take almost the entire half-hour to eat.  There are frequent distractions and I've instituted a "no tech/screens at the table" policy to help keep things on track.

A quick clean up of the dining room, living room, and shoes and coat on, and he's out the door, but somehow squeezing in my shower, my breakfast (usually a glass of milk) and getting myself packed up and ready feels like a marathon in just a little over an hour.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm exhausted by just getting things started.