We are a house of slow starters in the morning. No matter how early we get up (or make the attempt) when it comes time to leave we are rushing out the door with a flurry of “Do you have your back pack? Shoes? Socks? Shoes??????” as my 6-year old son lounges on the floor reading or playing with his train set, oblivious to the fact that school start times are not negotiable.

So, having gotten tired of trying things that didn’t work or only worked for a short time like making lists (Brush teeth, put on clothes, etc), repeating the message x10 (“Please brush your teeth. …Have you brushed your teeth?”) I decided to try something new the other day to get my son’s attention. Actually it was his idea that we communicate via walkie-talkie Monday morning and that, in turn, gave me the idea to follow-up on the morning routine in a more playful way. Me: “This is command central. Do you read?” “Are your socks and shoes on?” This elicited not only giggles but a speedy response. Why hadn’t I thought of this earlier? Since that morning we’ve used the walkie-talkies again and again; instead of feeling frustrated I’m getting out of the door 5 minutes early every morning!