Getting out the door: Chicago mornings with three boys

Danny has yet to master setting his alarm clock for school. Jack needs to be told seven times to brush his teeth with actual toothpaste.  Joey looks like Andy Warhol each morning after combing his own hair.

And I am left to wonder.


I am not an enabler. I do not get up from the dinner table to fetch my kids condiments or drinks. I let them do homework on their own. I have taught them to pour their own cereal and put their dishes in the sink.

Yet unless I badger them all morning long, they are quite likely to soak in a bubble bath for two hours singing “Happy” from Despicable Me 2.

I do not understand. I was pulling myself out of bed, brushing my own teeth, showering, and maintaining a strong sense of schedule when I was 7. How could it be that my progeny saunter along as though time is meaningless and routine is optional?

Despite my threats to the contrary, I still help them find their shoes and pack their lunches on days we are running late.

For the record, we are running late every day.

I called my husband at the bowling alley the other night to complain. He said he would be home in an hour to hear me out and offer solace.

He walked in three hours later, apologizing for losing track of time.

It then became crystal clear. Like most things, this was all my husband’s fault. The realization hit hard, along with one other thought:

I seriously need a girl.

And a bubble bath.

- Advertisement -


Fashioning Family and Business with Alice and Wonder’s Ali Reff

In 2015, Ali Reff was on top of the world. Living in Chicago, newly engaged and working for one of the largest global public...

See the Stevenson High School 2024-2025 Academic Calendar

See important dates on the Stevenson High School calendar.

See the New Trier Township High School 2024-2025 Academic Calendar

Find all the important dates on the New Trier Township High School calendar.

11 Nature-Themed Playgrounds to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

Explore the outdoors and connect with nature at these totally cool play spaces.

- Advertisement -